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LSU Health Helps Kick Off Night Out Against Crime

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Leslie Capo

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The highlight of the 2016 Night Out Against Crime Kick-Off for public health graduate student Kristin Cornwell was when she convinced a Central City resident who said she didn’t eat vegetables to try an organic baby carrot and became an instant convert. Meeting the Mayor was a very close second! Mayor Landrieu set the tone and an example by munching on the carrots as he encouraged the flock of children clamoring for his attention to do likewise.

For nursing faculty Gwendolyn Stewart-Woods, RN, MSN, it was the chance to get a big hug from an NOPD commander she first got to know when she took care of him in the critical care unit.

Cornwell and Stewart-Woods were two of nearly 30 students and faculty from LSU Health New Orleans schools of nursing, medicine, public health and dentistry who spent the evening meeting and serving neighbors at A. L. Davis Park during the annual NOPD event.

Night Out Mayor Landrieu
When public health professor Melinda Sothern, PhD, CEP, arrived, she immediately drew a hopscotch court with the colored chalk she brought for the kids. Play and physical activity are paramount for Sothern, who is one of the world’s most respected pediatric obesity researchers and an exercise physiologist. She played pitch and catch with the youngsters, and they got to choose among the hula hoops, jump ropes, balls and a selection of other active-play toys she brought. Zephyrs mascot, Boudreaux, also jumped into the act!
Medical students Katelyn Robillard, Armand Jacques, David Mas, Hunter Hidalgo and James Li from the CORE student outreach organization were kept very busy checking blood pressure and blood glucose levels.
Samantha Spiers, a public health graduate student, and Eddie Starr, a dental student, talked with residents and answered questions about sustainable projects like urban and container gardening. They brought printed handout materials about the Raised Root Student Garden on campus, Louisiana vegetables and other local projects.
Meanwhile, nursing faculty Monchielle Bolds, RN, MSN-HCSM, CCRN, and nursing students Lauren Atkins, Maeve Brennan, Alyssa Brubaker, Sydney Carlton, Kayla D’Angelo, Reynecia Douglas, Elizabeth Flowers, Anja Kacmarcik, Nicole Koppi, Daniel Lacy, Bailey Miller, Alexis Rizzo, Brittany Russell, Amber Sims, Vanessa Shields, Courtney Stoufflet and Madison Thompson measured blood pressure and provided car seat safety education. Giveaways included a variety of safety-promoting items-- car seat safety educational pamphlets and buckle-up stick-ons, seat belt safety handouts, condoms, bandages, ice/heat packs, cell phone card holders and pill boxes.
Night Out nursing
For the second year, LSU Health New Orleans faculty and students came out in force to help NOPD kick off Night Out Against Crime. Outreach and community service are LSU Health New Orleans traditions. Not only an opportunity to support law enforcement agencies and first responders, this event also gives students the opportunity to get to know the people they’ll soon be treating as patients. And the neighborhood residents were most grateful. As the LSU Health team headed out at the end of the evening, neighbors sitting on their stoops called out, “Thank you so much for coming, thank you, thank you!”