Thursday, 18 October 2012 15:48

Louisiana organizations: LITE, LaSPCA, Blue Cross, BRAC, JFT

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LouisianaToday's Louisiana organization buzz focuses upon LITE, BRAC, the LASPCA, Blue Cross and are the press releases

On Thursday, JFT officials, staff and members including librarians, teachers, and support employees were joined by students and community volunteers to work together to bring over 50,000 new books to the students in Jefferson Parish. Thursday’s work will include the sorting of over 2,000 boxes of books that will be distributed to 19 schools in Jefferson Parish over the course of the next month. Over 70 teachers, librarians, and paraprofessionals worked together with JFT staff to place an order for their schools from the non-profit organization First Book.

By providing transportation, the JFT was able to secure these tens of thousands of books at entirely no cost to educators, students, administrators, or the district. Sponsors of the program include the Dawn Busters Kiwanis, the Building Trades Council of Southeastern Louisiana, the Greater New Orleans AFL-CIO, and Bavarian Wealth Management.

The free books were provided to Jefferson Parish teachers and paraprofessionals as part of a project between the JFT’s national affiliate—the American Federation of Teachers—and First Book, a national nonprofit that has distributed more than 90 million books to children across the country over the last 20 years. In recent months, AFT affiliates have joined with First Book to give away over a quarter of a million books.

Robert 'Tiger' Hammond of the Greater New Orleans AFL-CIO said they are providing both financial support and volunteers for the program because “we have always assisted working families in every capacity. Whether it’s working for good wages and benefits or doing what we can to help our students, we are always willing to help.” “We are thrilled to be able to provide our students the opportunity to build at home libraries, and also to work together to send the message that reading is important both in school and out of school,” said JFT President Meladie Munch.


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(Contact us if you have an event you want a Bayoubuzz Video)




Baton Rouge, La. (October 18, 2012) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) and the McKinley High School Alumni Association (McKinley) today announced that they have agreed to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will facilitate the promotion of BRAC’s talent development program among McKinley alumni. The agreement states that BRAC will partner with McKinley at events to promote the region and employment activities within it. In turn, BRAC will work to identify career opportunities for out-of-region McKinley graduates and provide the resumes of alumni members interested in returning to the Baton Rouge area to companies with open positions. The MOU’s goal is to grow the number of resumes included in BRAC’s talent database.

"Despite the challenges of operating as an urban school, McKinley High School consistently stands out as a shining example of the best and brightest students in the East Baton Rouge Parish School System. While we do retain many of our graduates in the area, we realize that many of our best leave the area and we welcome the partnership with BRAC to help get them back,” said Garrick Mayweather, Executive Director, McKinley High Alumni Association.

“We are excited to be working with the McKinley High School Alumni Association to further expand the talent development program,” said Adam Knapp, President and CEO of BRAC. “This partnership will allow us to reach out to talented Baton Rouge area alumni and get them back to the Capital Region. With the help of McKinley, we will continue to build a robust talent database to be utilized by regional companies to recruit talented employees back to the region.”

BRAC is currently building a diverse talent database that can be accessed when regional companies are searching for candidates for hard-to-fill positions. Those interested in being a part of the database can find more information on the “call for resumes” and confidentially submit a resume at

The talent development program is a core program of BRAC’s five-year strategic plan, The Creative Capital Agenda. The multi-faceted program is designed to address a major concern

identified by BRAC’s economic development prospects and investors and is dedicated to retaining and attracting talented professionals to the Baton Rouge area. Over the next few years, BRAC will be implementing a number of strategies aimed at increasing the region’s talent level with initiatives focused on college graduate retention, candidate attraction, and newly relocated employee assimilation.

About McKinley High School
McKinley High School's long history as a premier educational institution in the Baton Rouge community continues into the twenty-first century. Academics are the main focus of the educational experience at the school. Traditional high school courses are offered, in addition to a curriculum for the academically gifted and talented. Students also have opportunities to follow curricula for jobs and for college preparation. Arts have an important place in the curriculum as well. Courses in music, dance, theater, and visual arts are offered, as well as courses for those students designated as talented in visual and performing arts.

About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) leads economic development in the Baton Rouge metropolitan area, the Creative Capital of the South. Serving as the voice of the business community, BRAC’s investors includes more than 1,200 organizations whose employees represent over a third of the workforce.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana

BATON ROUGE, LA and DUBLIN, OH, Oct. 18, 2012 — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions have launched a joint program designed to improve cancer treatment using clinical pathways.

The clinical pathways program helps identify and promote best clinical practices in treatment methods for select types of cancer.

"Our goal with this joint program is to work with doctors to improve the consistency, quality and cost-effectiveness of cancer treatment," said David Carmouche, MD, Blue Cross senior vice president and chief medical officer.

Carmouche said that Blue Cross clinical staff will work with oncologists and hematologists throughout the state, combining collaborative dialogue and clinical research with the latest technology—all aimed at encouraging high-quality, evidence-based standards of care to ensure best patient outcomes.

Blue Cross and Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions will establish a committee composed of network oncologists in communities across Louisiana. The committee will identify evidence-based treatment regimens, or clinical pathways, for delivering patient care for breast, colon and lung cancers, among others.

As of the program’s launch date, Blue Cross has secured 100 percent participation of community oncologists in the Lafayette, Lake Charles, Monroe, New Orleans and Shreveport markets. Blue Cross network oncologists and hematologists who successfully implement the pathways program may be eligible for rewards and will be noted in the health insurer’s searchable online provider directory at

Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions is an independent company that provides technology, education and training to help doctors implement and monitor current and new treatment methods in order to achieve better outcomes. The tools track clinical results and cost savings, while adding little administrative work for the oncologists and hematologists who participate.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana will also use PathWare™ Decision Transaction Solutions, Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions’ medical benefit management system that makes it easier for physicians to participate in clinical pathways programs. The system provides physicians with real-time decision support at the point of care, including easy access to clinical pathways for various types of cancer.

“Patients who would benefit most from this cancer care pathways program are already facing big challenges in their health,” said Mike Reitz, Blue Cross president and CEO. “Knowing they are getting treatment from doctors who are focused on continuous quality improvement should give them some peace of mind.”

Reitz added, “We are excited to collaborate with Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions and our own community oncologists and hematologists. This is yet another example of how Blue Cross is building partnerships to improve the quality of care for our customers.”

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana

Founded in New Orleans in 1934, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is the oldest and largest Louisiana-based health insurance company. Blue Cross is a private, fully taxed mutual company, owned by policyholders—not shareholders—and governed by a local Board of Directors. It is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

The company and its subsidiaries provide group and individual health insurance plans, life and disability insurance, group voluntary products and administrative services to more than one out of every four Louisiana residents. With headquarters in Baton Rouge and eight district offices, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana employs nearly 2,000 Louisianians who are committed to improving the lives of its customers by providing them with health guidance and affordable access to quality care.

Learn more on the company’s website at or on Facebook at Follow Blue Cross on Twitter at and CEO Mike Reitz at

About Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions

Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions provides clinical, reimbursement, technology and distribution services that help health care professionals, payors and pharmaceutical and biotech companies improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of caring for patients who are managing complex diseases. Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions helps customers alleviate day-to-day administrative burdens, optimize business functions and partner to implement new innovations that move their businesses forward. To learn more, visit

About Cardinal Health
Headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, Cardinal Health, Inc. (NYSE: CAH) is a $103 billion healthcare services company that improves the cost-effectiveness of healthcare. As the business behind healthcare, Cardinal Health helps pharmacies, hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers and physician offices focus on patient care while reducing costs, enhancing efficiency and improving quality. Cardinal Health is an essential link in the healthcare supply chain, providing pharmaceuticals and medical products to more than 60,000 locations each day. The company is also a leading manufacturer of medical and surgical products, including gloves, surgical apparel and fluid management products. In addition, the company supports the growing diagnostic industry by supplying medical products to clinical laboratories and operating the nation's largest network of radiopharmacies that dispense products to aid in the early diagnosis and treatment of disease. Ranked #21 on the Fortune 500, Cardinal Health employs more than 30,000 people worldwide. More information about the company may be found at and @CardinalHealth on Twitter.

Louisiana SPCA

New Orleans, LA –Heroes come in all shapes and sizes and the Louisiana SPCA is celebrating the lot of them at the 34th Annual Howling Success Patron Party & Gala. Serving as a tribute to the more than 15,000 animals that come to the Louisiana SPCA every year, Howling Success will be on held Saturday, October 20 at the Empire Ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

A unique fundraiser that raises a significant portion of the local non-profit’s annual budget, Howling Success kicks off with a patron party beginning at 7pm featuring a performance by Ingrid Lucia. The gala will run from 8:30pm – 12am with attendees enjoying a marvelous silent auction, fine dining from great restaurants and specialty cocktails with music by Twilight Band.

Melinda Schwegmann will serve as Honorary Chair and Chef Greg Picolo as Restaurant Chair. Guests will be treated to signature dishes from landmark New Orleans restaurants, in addition to delectable hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and fabulous auction items all the while benefiting the animals of the Louisiana SPCA. There will even be a Mardi Gras Bead Dog® sculpture from Paws on Parade up for raffle!

Dedicated to the prevention of cruelty to animals, the LA/SPCA’s mission is to advocate for the animals of Louisiana by advancing their welfare, promoting their interests, and fostering the human/animal bond through innovative programs, education, and services. In 2012 alone, the LA/SPCA will spay/neuter 8,000+ animals; impact thousands of children and adults through Humane Education programs; and provide low-cost clinic services through the areas’ only high-volume affordable spay/neuter Community Clinic. Howling Success allows the LA/SPCA to continue working towards our goal of eliminating animal suffering.

Howling Success is Saturday, October 20 at the Hyatt Regency’s Empire Ballroom. The Patron party begins at 7pm and the Gala kicks off at 8:30pm. Attire is cocktail or superhero themed. Tickets are now on sale at Ticket prices start at $125 with table sponsorships starting at $1,500. Live music, a silent auction, food from a variety of restaurants, and premium drinks will be served.

About The Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (LA/SPCA):

The Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (LA/SPCA) is a private non-profit organization dedicated to the elimination of animal suffering. Chartered in 1888, we are the oldest and most comprehensive animal welfare organization in the state, providing care and basic medical services for thousands of homeless and unwanted animals each year. The Louisiana SPCA is not affiliated with any other entity. For more information on the LA/SPCA, please visit


October 1, 2012, LAFAYETTE, La. – Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise (LITE), in collaboration with the Louisiana Small Business Development Center (LSBDC) and the Louisiana Technology Transfer Office (LTTO), will be hosting a free workshop on October 24 at 9 a.m. in the LITE Theatre, that will give small businesses the opportunity to learn from industry experts on how to win federal grant funding.

This seminar will focus on funding that is available through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants, and it will give each attendee a behind the scenes look at how to prepare a winning proposal.

“Small businesses in the State of Louisiana are not receiving their fair share of funds from SBIR and STTR sources, and our goal for this event is to help our community secure their share of $2 billion federal funds.” Stated Dr. Kam Ng, LITE CEO.

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn from multiple experts on the funding process starting at an overview of SBIR/STTR, technology transfer opportunities, the role of the Office of Innovation Management in securing this funding, and much more.At the end of the workshop a panel discussion will be in place to answer any questions that attendees may have. Lafayette’s City-parish President, Joey Durel will be kicking off the workshop, and the full agenda can be found on

“This workshop is a great opportunity for small businesses in Lafayette and Acadiana to learn how to apply for grants that can help their business, and also help our area become better known as an innovation hub. Along with all the resources we have to offer, this is another important asset small businesses have available to become successful, and I hope that many take advantage of this unique opportunity.” Stated Durel.

This event is FREE, open to the public, and due to limited seating registration is required. Tours of LITE’s visualization venues will also be available to all attendees during the lunch break, and immediately following the panel discussion. Lunch is not provided, but we will have one of Lafayette’s newest food trucks, Lil Chibs Grill, on site for attendees to grab a bite to eat!

The full agenda and registration information can be found on the LITE Website HERE!


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