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LPHI & CCBC Launch txt4health Campaign

February 2, 2012

On Tuesday, Jan. 31st, the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) hosted a launch event at the New Orleans Hyatt Regency Hotel to celebrate New Orleans becoming the first city in the country to use a new mobile health technology program called “txt4health."

Txt4health is a mobile texting program that delivers personalized text messages aimed to help people better understand their personal risk for Type 2 diabetes and assist them in managing their overall health. The half-day health expo attracted more than 300 attendees to the Hyatt.

The expo included more than 20 exhibitors from health care providers, health associations, community based organizations, and social service organizations. Physician and regular health contributor on television and radio Dr. Corey Hebert served as the emcee.

The event opened with a live performance by O. Perry Walker High School Marching Band. Dr. Farzad Mostashari, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology delivered the keynote address. International celebrity and native New Orleanian Wendell Pierce issued a personal call to action inviting the audience to enroll in txt4health and ensure that their friends and families did so as well.

In addition, remarks were offered by national, state, and local public health leaders including Joe Kimbrell, CEO of LPHI; Mike Reitz, CEO of BlueCross Blue Shield of Louisiana; Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce Greenstein; Dr. Anjum Khurshid, Director of Crescent City Beacon Community; Nebeyou Abebe, Txt4Health campaign manager; City of New Orleans Health Commissioner Dr. Karen DeSalvo and representatives from the Center for Disease Control and American Diabetes Association.

The launch event also featured panel discussions on community and public/private sector perspectives on tackling diabetes by leading healthcare experts. Chef Tory McPhail of Commander’s Palace Restaurant, Chef Scot Craig of Katie’s Restaurant, and Chef Simone Victoria, personal chef and Culinary Instructor at Job Corps, led cooking demonstrations that showed the audience that you can have both delicious and healthy food options.

Txt4health was developed through a unique collaboration between the American Diabetes Association (ADA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), Beacon Community Program, Crescent City Beacon Community (New Orleans), Southeast Michigan Beacon Community, Greater Cincinnati Beacon Community, and Voxiva. The program is launching in two of the 17 Beacon Communities next month - Southeast Michigan on Feb. 22 and Greater Cincinnati on Feb. 16.

Txt4health uses text messaging to offer a new way to take three actions:

  • Encourage individuals to engage with and manage their health,

  • Help individuals assess their diabetes risk levels, and

  • Better connect individuals with the wealth of existing wellness and diabetes care resources available today, to help them manage their diabetes more effectively

 To enroll in the txt4health program, individuals must text “HEALTH” to 300400 using their mobile cellular devices to assess their risk for Type 2 diabetes. Participants will then receive weekly text messages that will include customized information to assist in improving and managing their health and will serve as a resource to connect them with free health and wellness resources available in their area. These messages were developed with input from the ADA and CDC.

For more information about txt4health, please visit www.txt4health.com.

For more information about the Beacon Community Program, visit http://bit.ly/uEvKzs.

For more information about type 2 diabetes prevention and treatment, visit www.diabetes.org.