SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB) is set to premier a show concerning the reasons why the United Health Foundations ranked Louisiana at 49 on its state-by-state report card.

Grim health statistics in Louisiana are caused by inequalities in the state’s healthcare system. Factors that contribute to this is significant gap in healthcare access to poor people, disabled people, and minorities. LPB has announced they will explore the causes of these inequities and begin a conversation concerning the seeking of solutions. The discussion, Spotlight: Bridging the Gap in Health Equity, will air on Monday, May 22 at 8:00 p.m.

The Louisiana Department of Health published the Bureau of Family Health Communications Data Report from the year 2018, which contains links that give users easier access to health-related information.

What issues are killing Louisianians at an abnormally high rate? The state is second-highest in the nation for c-section births, pre-term births, and low birthweights.

More people die of sepsis than in any other state.

The leading cause of death for adults is hearth disease, and for children the leading cause of death is gunshots. Only Mississippi and Alabama have more deaths from heart disease.

Only Mississippi and Alabama residents have more stroke deaths than people in Louisiana.

Louisiana also has the sixth-highest rate of alzheimer’s disease-related deaths, and the fourth-highest rate of accidental deaths in the country.

Only three states have higher rates of diabetes than Louisiana. We have the fifth-highest rate of kidney disease in the United States, too.

Only Mississippi has a higher homicide rate for adults than Louisiana.

Louisiana ranks second in the percentage of children dying from gun-related injuries and life expectancy for Louisiana adults is the third-lowest in the nation.

PBS’s upcoming Spotlight will focus on discussions with Senator Regina Barrow from District 15, who serves on the Senate Health & Welfare Committee; Davondra Brown, M.Ed., MCHES, the Director of Community Partnerships & Health Equity, Louisiana Department of Health; Dr. Shantel Hebert-Magree, CMO of Medicaid, Louisiana Department of Health; Jan Moller, Louisiana Budget Project’s Executive Director; Ashley Shelton, the Founder and President of The Power Coalition.

Kara St. Cyr will host the show, which will be broadcast live at and on-demand via YouTube.

St. Cyr is also the co-anchor of LPB’s weekly news magazine Louisiana: The State We’re In.

Those seeking more information about the upcoming PBS conversation-starter may contact LPB’s Public Information Officer (Colleen Spillane) at or call 1-800-272-8161.

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