TriWest opens Harahan operations center

TriWest Healthcare Alliance has opened a new operations center in Harahan.

TriWest serves community health care needs of veterans, alongside the Department of Veterans Affairs, in administering Patient-Centered Community Care and the Veterans Choice Program.

TriWest employees will provide support for veterans by processing health care requests, conducting inbound and outbound telephone correspondence with veterans and health care providers, while also scheduling appointments by phone.

Veterans in the New Orleans area have not had local access to a VA hospital in over a decade and receive much of their health care through community health care providers. Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson said the decision by TriWest to place its new operations center in New Orleans means veterans there and over a larger geographical area will receive better care with fewer obstacles and shorter wait times.

BBB plans seminar to ‘power up’ executives

The Better Business Bureau of South Central Louisiana Inc. is hosting “Power UP in 2016,” a business seminar for business executives, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 16 at the Renaissance Hotel in Baton Rouge.

Topics include powering up teams to outperform competitors; recognizing and avoiding five mistakes that kill productivity, companies and careers; creating a culture of communication, confidence and collaboration; the advancement of women; turning presentations into experiences; and servant-leadership: what it is and why millennials thrive under it.

The cost is $179 per person for BBB-accredited businesses and $225 for nonaccredited business.

For information or required reservations, contact BJ Militello at (225) 346-8343 or email

Play therapy center receives endowment

The Loyola University New Orleans Play Therapy Center of Education and Research has received an endowment to provide training and continuing education workshops for health care professionals, especially mental health counselors focused on families struggling with life-threatening illnesses such as cancer.

The endowment was from The Heebe Family Fund at Touro Infirmary.

Play therapy is a form of mental health counseling or psychotherapy by which licensed mental health professionals incorporate the use of play to better communicate with and help clients achieve optimal mental health.

Furthering this effort, Loyola New Orleans will host the Louisiana Association of Play Therapy’s annual conference Feb. 26-27 at 6363 St. Charles Ave. in New Orleans. Play therapy supervisor Linda Homeyer will headline the event, which will include presentations about trauma-informed play therapy and include a day of professional workshops.

“It is very important for the state of Louisiana to have a premier location for play therapy education for professionals as well as children, families and caregivers,” said LeAnne Steen, director of the Play Therapy Center.

Energy-efficiency event set for building industry

The LSU AgCenter will offer a seminar on Feb. 17 in Metairie to help educate home contractors, designers, inspectors and owners about new energy-efficiency requirements.

The seminar is from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Local 60 Plumbers Hall, 3515 N. I-10 Service Road West near Severn Avenue. The course will focus on the energy-efficient building code that Louisiana adopted in 2015. The code includes upgraded provisions for windows, lighting, thermostats, fireplaces and labeling. The most significant changes are the requirements to verify building and ductwork air tightness.

Disaster conference registration starts

Registration has started for RES/CON, an international conference on resiliency and disaster management that is being held March 1-3 at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

The event is a rebranding of the International Disaster Conference and Expo that has brought more than 800 participants to New Orleans annually since 2012.

More than 20 speaker forums are planned. Topics include emergency management; coastal restoration and water management; technology; homeland security; first response; and vulnerable communities.

“RES/CON will provide a new and unmatched platform for international experts to share leading ideas, demonstrate best practices, collaborate on projects, and generally educate each other on building stronger communities,” said Michael Hecht, president and CEO of Greater New Orleans Inc. “Located in New Orleans, RES/CON will also feature lessons learned and the resiliency practices of a region that continues a historical rebound from major natural and man-made challenges.”

Expo booth and registration information are available at

Vegetable, flower growers seminars set

The LSU AgCenter and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service are presenting a series of free workshops on producing commercial vegetables and cut flowers using high tunnels, or hoop houses.

High tunnels are plastic-covered unheated and uncooled greenhouse structures that can help commercial gardeners extend their growing season to improve profitability, said Carl Motsenbocker, an LSU AgCenter horticulturist.

Workshops, each beginning at 1 p.m., have two- to three-hour classroom-style sessions followed by a visit to a local grower using high tunnels. The programs end by 5 p.m.

Area workshops are scheduled:

FEB. 16: New Orleans at the Sanchez Multipurpose Center, 1616 Caffin Ave.

FEB. 18: Baton Rouge at the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens at Burden, 4560 Essen Lane.

FEB. 23: Alexandria at the LSU AgCenter Dean Lee Research and Extension Center, near LSU of Alexandria off U.S. 71 South.

MARCH 1: Jennings at the LSU AgCenter Jefferson Davis Parish extension office, 1006 S. Lake Arthur Ave.

Registration is at

Moran Group opens Poydras Center office

The Moran Group, a marketing and advertising agency in Baton Rouge, has opened an office in New Orleans at 650 Poydras in the Poydras Center.

The office will have about 30 employees.

“For someone who was born and raised in New Orleans I’m excited to continue my agency’s growth here,” owner and President Jim Moran said.

The 32-year-old company works with clients in more than 50 markets across the country, providing traditional and digital media buying and planning and an in-house production department.