Women’s Health – Working Together to Protect Women in Our State


Women’s Health

WOMEN'S HEALTH BLOG September 2023

Working Together to
Protect Women in Our State

Written by Assistant Sec. Torrie Harris


Whether at work, home, school, or simply on the other end of a phone call, you don’t have to look very far to see the impact women have in nearly every aspect of our personal lives and the well-being of our entire state.

Gov. John Bel Edwards has made improving the lives of women, children and families a top priority of his administration. As a result, there have been many opportunities for women from all walks of life to collaborate on a variety of initiatives designed to benefit communities throughout our state. This passion and excitement to see women succeed and flourish in our state grew even more deeply this last summer when the Legislature created our state’s first-ever Office of Women’s Health and Community Health during the 2022 Regular Session.

You may be interested to learn that:

  • 6% Louisiana women 18 and over and 10.7% women age 65 and older suffer from coronary heart disease. That’s compared to 3.6% of women nationally. (2019-21)
  • 1% of Louisiana women 18 and over and 17% of women age 45-64 are diagnosed with diabetes. That’s compared to 9% of women nationally. (2019-21)
  • 9% of women in Louisiana are considered obese, compared to 30.4% of women nationally. (2019-20)
  • 4% of Louisiana women have a depressive disorder, compared to 26.1% of women nationally (2017-18)

This new office is dedicated to improving women’s health outcomes throughout the state and serving as a resource center for data and strategies, which will be used to increase the quality of life for women throughout Louisiana.

The office will be focused on topics such as improving access to healthcare, addressing health disparities, mental health concerns, and how we can best assist women in managing illness, as well as researching the effects of poverty on women’s health, and how to alleviate key socio-economic factors that prevent a good quality of life for women across our state. This holistic approach will ensure we address the root of women’s problems rather than simply managing the symptoms.

Since March of this year, our team has been hosting town hall meetings in each of the nine public regions of our state. These open forum discussions allow women to discuss firsthand the issues, opportunities, and stressors they face to assist the office in developing priorities. These town hall meetings also enable the office to share resources, promote Department of Health programs, and raise awareness of this incredible and long-lasting work.

The next two halls will be in Region 7 (Northwest Louisiana), on Monday, September 25, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport-St. Mary Medical Center, at 1 St. Mary Place in Shreveport.  For more information visit ldh.la.gov/womenshealth.