Public health conference to be held at Tech

By Emma Stone

The Promising Practices Conference aims to engage communities around health and wellness in Louisiana.

The free conference will be held at Louisiana Tech University on-site and online on Friday, June 2 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The theme will be on building effective community partnerships around topics of health and wellness by identifying effective strategies, best practices and information resources.

There will be a pre-conference workshop available to any person on Thursday, June 1 from 1-5 p.m.

The pre-conference will include two workshops. The first will feature Professor Nick Bustamante, director of Visual Integration of Science Through Art (VISTA) Center with Louisiana Tech University.

The second will host Dr. Kirk St.Amant, director of the Center for Health and Medical Communication (CHMC), Louisiana Tech University. 

“Speak with, don’t talk at,” said St.Amant. “The idea is to talk through ideas and help community members figure out what works best for them based upon the expertise of the people and experiences of the people they are speaking with, not just the panel members.”

His topic will be using plain language to share health and medical information effectively.

The companies that are partnering up to help sponsor the event are the Louisiana Cancer Research Center, AmeriHealth, Louisiana Public Health Institute and the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living.

“I think most of us are very concerned about having healthy and well communities. But many of us feel lacking in terms of where to start to address issues, what questions to ask and what resources are available,” said St.Amant. “And so this is an opportunity for individuals to realize they’re not alone in this. Others have done this before.”

The conference will open with Shelina Davis, Chief Executive Officer of Louisiana Public Health Institute, speaking with her speech “Alone We Can Do So Little; Together We Can Do So Much (Helen Keller).”

Dr. Joe Ramos, director and chief executive officer of Louisiana Cancer Research Center, will be a keynote speaker for re-envisioning the Louisiana Cancer Research Center to better support communities across Louisiana to reduce the burden of cancer and improve the health of Louisiana.  

The closing talk will feature Dr. Earl “Nupsius” Benjamin-Robinson, director of Office of Community Outreach & Engagement of Louisiana Cancer Research Center, on “Community, Healthcare & Services, and Research: Bringing It All Together.”

“We can learn from the experiences of others as well as we can discover resources we might not have known were there everything from information to funding sources that can help address these issues assist to create and sustain healthy communities,” said St.Amant.

To register for the pre-conference workshop and the conference itself, visit