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Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals | Kathy Kliebert, Secretary

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211 - Get Connected. Get Answers.

Complete demographic data reports now available for four Katrina-affected parishes

Data on health insurance coverage, home ownership, mental health and more are downloadable at www.popest.org

Tuesday, October 10, 2006  |  Contact: Media & Communications: Phone: 225.342.1532, E-mail: dhhinfo@la.gov

BATON ROUGE—The complete results of a new door-to-door survey of people living in Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes are now available online at www.popest.org.

The full reports for these four initial parishes include data on age and gender make-up, as well as information on the black, white and Hispanic populations. In addition, there is information on home ownership, mental health and health insurance coverage.

The study, done with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Census Bureau, is the first of its kind since hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005. As of August 2006, the survey estimated the population of Orleans Parish to be 187,525 residents. Jefferson Parish had 435,786 residents, Plaquemines Parish had 20,024 residents and St. Bernard Parish had 25,016 residents.

The comprehensive household survey was conducted by the Louisiana Public Health Institute on behalf of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals and the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA). Work began in June with technical assistance provided by the CDC and the U.S. Census Bureau.

"We were pleased to join the state of Louisiana in this substantial undertaking," said Alden Henderson, chief of the Health Investigations Branch at CDC's Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

"We used a Census Bureau method to select neighborhoods, housing units and individuals to survey.  We adapted this method to address the unique challenges facing the New Orleans area following Hurricane Katrina," Henderson said.

The CDC assisted by helping to train the surveyors, design the survey protocol, determine when and how to revisit households and how to capture the data. Like the decennial census conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, it does not include those who commute into the city. In addition, the survey does not include institutionalized populations such as prisons and dormitories and has no projection of those that plan to return.

Funding for the 2006 Louisiana Health and Population Survey was from the CDC, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals - Office of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control Foundation.

The survey process began in June of this year, when survey teams visited neighborhoods and left behind survey information packets on doors. The packets included instructions, the survey form and a letter from Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco and Dr. Cerise. The letter explained the project and its importance. The teams later returned to the homes where packets had been left in order to survey residents in person.

Throughout the process, survey team members wore project t-shirts and carried official badges identifying them as members of 2006 Louisiana Health and Population Survey team.

To discuss the methodology, reporters should contact Dr. Henderson from the CDC at (404) 498-0070.                                                            -End-