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"Children's Health Matters" is the subject of a special "Louisiana Public Square" at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

The program airs on WLPB, Channel 27 (cable Channel 12), in Baton Rouge and Lafayette and WLAE, Channel 32 (cable Channel 14), in New Orleans. It also will stream live online at lpb.org/livetv and will be available on demand at lpb.org. The hour re-airs at 11 a.m. Sunday.

The monthly LPB public affairs program is focusing on the state of children’s health in Louisiana as it rolls out its new One to Grow On initiative. The new project tackles childhood obesity, mental health challenges facing families and health inequities — all issues raised in the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2020 Kids Count report "that ranks Louisiana 48th overall nationally in health, education and economic well-being of its children," a news release says. "Contributing to the low ranking are the percentages of newborns with low birth-weight, accidental deaths and obese children, all which exceed the national average. In addition, Louisiana also has among the highest death rates for pregnant women in the U.S."

During the broadcast, viewers can react through an interactive survey. 

One To Grow On, a multi-platform initiative, "includes videos for broadcast and digital viewing, as well as a dedicated website onetogrowon.org, featuring links to reputable resources helpful to parents, expectant parents, grandparents, teachers, neighbors — anyone who cares about the future of Louisiana’s children. The videos cover everything from prenatal and postpartum care to general health care and youth mental health.

"These digital shorts will air during children’s programming on LPB and on LPB PBS KIDS 24/7 channel. Additionally, the videos will be available on the LPB YouTube Channel, as well as on the LPB Facebook page."

An advisory board of pediatric and childcare experts from across Louisiana helped develop the videos and resource links. The board includes: Dr. Lauren Bailey, a pediatrician in Lafayette; Dr. Rani G. Whitfield, a family physician in Baton Rouge; Dr. Jamar Melton, a pediatrician in Baton Rouge; Dr. Catherine Hudson, a gastroenterologist in New Orleans; Dr. William Binder, an OBGYN in Baton Rouge; Kathy Kliebert, a Medicaid consultant; Anna Long, Ph.D., associate professor, LSU Department of Psychology; Jeanne Donaldson, Ph.D., associate professor, LSU Department of Psychology; Kristi Gustavson, CEO of the Community Foundation of North Louisiana; Karis Schoellman with the Bureau of Family Health in Baton Rouge; Mary Baudoin, a foster care supervisor in Lafayette Parish; and Dr. Terrie Thomas, an OBGYN in Baton Rouge.

Christina Melton, deputy director/chief content officer at LPB, oversaw the project. Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health is funding partner.

“We all have a hand in the future of Louisiana’s children. Through this partnership, we hope to connect with more families in providing tips and education on how to raise a healthier generation,” said Dr. Trey Dunbar, president of OLOL Children’s Health.


Email Judy Bergeron at jbergeron@theadvocate.com.