Rapides Parish Health Unit Hosts Open House to Educate the Public on Healthy Lifestyle Choices

The Rapides Parish Health Unit is where people can come for vaccines, but they also educate the public on how to live a healthy life.

They hosted an open house to inform the public about the different services and programs they provide.


WIC Lactation Counselor Rebecca Parker educates women on how to properly breastfeed their babies.

“It’s amazing, I love to see it when it clicks with a mom when she has that bonding time, learns how to breastfeed, is no longer afraid of it, understands that it is normal, it is something that our body is designed to do, to make milk for their baby.”


Through WIC, women can learn about the benefits of breastfeeding.

“Life changing events happen when they become together and they breastfeed, healing, bonding, and it’s crazy, if baby is running a fever, if mom and baby is skin to skin, then mom’s breasts will cool down and the breast milk will cool down and it will help the baby’s body temperature cool down as well.”


Outreach Specialist Donna Matthews informs people on how to reverse an opioid overdose through a nasal drug spray.

“If someone overdoses on an opioid, their breathing can become shallow and can stop, so this drug, this Naloxone, and it’s actually called Narcan can bring them out of that long enough for emergency personnel to get to them, to save their life.”


Region 6 Disease Intervention Supervisor Kenneth Nash informs the public on how to take care of their sexual health.

“If you’re sexually active, you need to be tested and tested on a regular basis, just to ensure that everything is okay with you, and you can achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle. You can’t actually look at someone and tell if they’re STD positive. You can’t assume that someone is STD negative, you just have to be tested just to ensure that everything is okay.”


Nurses do the legwork to administer the shots and help keep the facility running.

Regional Nurse Manager Charlotte Amphion says, “We’re here to serve the public and unfortunately a lot of what we do, people don’t know about and so being able to provide these services is very important in accomplishing and decreasing some of the health disparities that we see in our community and across the state.”


The healthcare providers say this is a safe place for people to receive treatment and recovery.

For more information on the various resources they provide, visit your local health unit.