Unique Partnership Fights Obesity in New Orleans

January 17, 2005

Madeline Vann
Phone: 504-247-1425

Tulane University announced today a gift of $275,000 from the Entergy Charitable Foundation to support the "Treat You Right" campaign in coordination with Step Together New Orleans. The New Orleans-area "Treat You Right" campaign promotes behaviors such as increasing walking and eating fruits and vegetables to combat obesity, diabetes and other health concerns.

"We are proud to be able to contribute to efforts that improve the quality of life for the community," says Paul Whelton, senior vice president for health sciences at Tulane University. "Our faculty members have been directly involved in Step Together New Orleans since the program was funded a year ago by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have seen great success with Steps' efforts to build a network of citizens and community groups dedicated to making this a healthier city. Our partnership with the Entergy Charitable Foundation and Step Together New Orleans is a model for other cities around the nation."

The gift from the Entergy Charitable Foundation represents the first major gift from a corporation to support a local Steps initiative. Step Together New Orleans is a collaborative effort led by the City of New Orleans Health Department in partnership with the Louisiana Public Health Institute to combat obesity, diabetes and asthma. It is funded primarily by a five-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of the national Steps to a Healthier US program.

"The Entergy Charitable Foundation is focused on addressing education and the issues faced by low income families and individuals in the communities served by the Entergy Corporation. We are excited about the impact that this unique partnership will have on low income families and New Orleanians overall," says Horace Webb, president and CEO of the Entergy Charitable Foundation.

"New Orleans is a wonderful city, but it is also one of the least healthy cities in America. If we work together as a community, though, we can change that. One of the first steps is this ad campaign. We want everyone to know that if people stick with it, making small changes in how they eat and how active they are can change everything," says Tom Farley, chair of community health sciences at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Farley played a key role in drafting the proposal for the funding to the City of New Orleans and continues to serve as chair of the leadership team.

"Step Together New Orleans has made great strides during this first year and we're looking forward to continued successes," says Carolyn Fernandez, director of the program. "We are coordinating with multiple community groups and local and state government agencies exploring ways to make the city's physical environment more friendly towards healthier behaviors like biking and walking, while encouraging our community members to get active and eat healthy."

The "Treat You Right" campaign will include television, radio, bus and street car promotions of physical activity and healthy eating. The spots will hit the streets and airwaves in early February, Farley says. For more information about Step Together New Orleans and the many ways in which citizens can be involved in improving the health of New Orleans, visit their website at:

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000