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rev-68041Gerald Berenson, MD, and his team at the Bogalusa Heart Study have been collecting health data about childhood heart disease risk factors and their lifetime implications for 39 years, making it the longest running biracial health study in the world. The study has generated thousands of peer-reviewed articles and provided hands-on training for hundreds of medical and public health students. Berenson just published his third book about lessons learned from the Bogalusa Heart Study: Evolution of Cardio-metabolic Risk from Childhood to Middle Age (Springer, 2011).

“We started our study with school-age children, from 5 to 17 years old. Because of the results we went down to preschool age, 2.5 to 5.5 years old,” says Berenson. Ultimately, the Bogalusa team sought birth records to try to answer questions about birth weight and heart disease and diabetes risk. A majority of the people who began participating in the study as school children continued to come back to the Bogalusa clinic for follow-up health checks as first years, and then decades rolled by, creating a generation of heart health data.

The secret to the loyalty and commitment of the study participants was becoming partners with them in their health, says Berenson.

“When we did a physical examination for the study, we sent back information to them and their doctor and referred them to their private physicians if they had them. If there was any kind of medical problems I went and examined them myself and took care of them. I had 4,500 patients to look at initially,” Berenson recalls, wryly. The study has screened over 16,000 individuals in the Bogalusa area over the duration of the study.

Research results from the Bogalusa Heart Study demonstrated that when risk factors for metabolic syndrome and heart disease are present in childhood, related health problems such as high blood pressure, hardened arteries, heart disease, and diabetes are more likely to occur in adulthood.
Dr. BerensonGerald Berenson has been studying risk factors to children’s health for nearly 40 years, expanding his work beyond Bogalousa, LA, to partnerships around the globe. His research is now looking at longevity and genetics.
“Now we are looking at longevity and doing genetic studies,” says Berenson, who is working with his staff to develop a formal archive of the Bogalusa Heart Study. He also is building international collaborations with researchers from nations including Finland and Australia that have been studying health data over the lifespan.

Despite his contribution to the understanding of children’s heart health, Berenson says there are still many questions he wants answered, among them: “I’d like to know why are so many prescriptions given for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, how to control violent behavior, how to overcome the inertia in schools to teach proven health education.”

Berenson and his team have tried to solve that last question with a health education program called Health Ahead/Heart Smart. The K – 6 health curriculum which was implemented for nearly 7,000 students in Washington Parish schools and resulted in better control over weight gain among participating students as well as better fitness results in national tests.

Bogalusa Heart Study Charts Risk Factors in Child Health >

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  • ‘Meet-And-Greet’ AMA President-Elect Barbara McAneny, MD +

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    Orleans Parish Medical Society (OPMS) and Jefferson Parish Medical Society (JPMS) will host a ‘Meet-And-Greet’ for members and prospective with the American Medical Association's new president-elect, Barbara L. McAneny, MD. The event will take place at LCMS Health's new Conference Center located on the Children's Hospital New Orleans campus, 200 State Street, New Orleans, LA 70118.

    After a brief reception, Dr. McAneny and a panel of local health experts will discuss the mental health challenges

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  • Dr. George S. Ellis, Jr., begins his term as President of Orleans Parish Medical Society and welcomes six new board members +

    Dr Ellis pic 250 NEW ORLEANS, LA, February 1, 2018 - George S. Ellis, Jr., MD, has begun his two-year term as President of Orleans Parish Medical Society (OPMS) this month and welcomes six new board members. Dr. Ellis served as president-elect from 2016 through 2017. He replaces Royce Dean Yount, MD, cardiologist, who served as President from 2016 through 2017.

    Dr. Ellis is an ophthalmologist who specializes in Pediatric Eye Diseases and Adult Strabismus. After completing a residency in Ophthalmology

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  • Your Opinion Counts +


    OPMS Members,

    Do you want to help improve the practice of medicine in Louisiana? Orleans Parish Medical Society wants to put your ideas into resolutions for the 2018 meeting of the Louisiana State Medical Society House of Delegates. Any solutions you suggest could become a new law or regulation to improve medical practice in Louisiana.

    Please email your ideas to OPMS by Monday, October 30th.

    Thank you. -- Jim P.

    Read More
  • Joining Orleans Parish Medical Society just got EASIER! +

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    NOLA physicians, medical residents and medical students can now enroll or re-enroll online at

    When it comes to providing healthcare, there's no U.S. city (or Louisiana city, for that matter) that has dealt with more unique environmental, sociological and cultural challenges than those experienced by New Orleans, its physicians and their patients. That's one reason why Orleans Parish Medical Society (OPMS) plays an important role in helping to support the needs of the city's

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  • In The Spotlight +

    Dr. Ricardo Febry, Internal Medicine Consultants, discussed Alzheimer's disease with host Leslie Snadowsky on United Health Foundation's 'Community Health Heroes'.

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  • Orleans Medical Society Alliance honors 50-year anniversaries at 2017 Doctors’ Day Celebration +

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    Mrs. Natalie Treadway, President, Orleans Medical Society Alliance, welcomed honorees and guests. Royce Dean Yount, MD, President, Orleans Parish Medical Society, assisted by George Ellis, MD, President-Elect, introduced and toasted the honorees. The 2017 honorees included: John O. Edmonds, Jr., MD, Calvin Johnson,
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  • OPMS Members: +

    In January 2017, the Louisiana State Medical Society (LSMS) House of Delegates voted to amend the LSMS Charter and Bylaws as they relate to their requirement for joint membership. Beginning on September 1, 2017, Orleans Parish Medical Society members will have a choice on how to spend annual membership dues. You may now choose to join either OPMS or LSMS or both.

    Membership in both organizations is encouraged but no longer required. The LSMS is

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  • Orleans Parish Medical Society appoints Jim Pittman as Executive Director +


    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE , March 22, 2017

    Orleans Parish Medical Society appoints Jim Pittman as Executive Director

    NEW ORLEANS (March 20, 2017) -- Orleans Parish Medical Society (OPMS) has selected Jim Pittman to serve as its new Executive director. Pittman comes to OPMS with over 30 years of strategic health care, managed care and pharmaceutical marketing, public affairs and business development experience.

    "I'm excited to be working with Jim Pittman to help implement our strategic plan," said

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  • LSMS 2014 Hall of Fame Award +

    hall-of-fame-2014-web In recognition of his dedicated service in both elected and appointed positions that uniquely contributed to the welfare of the LSMS, Patrick C. Breaux, MD of New Orleans, be elected to the Hall of Fame of the Louisiana State Medical Society.

    Dr. Breaux received his BS degree from the University of Southwest Louisiana and medical degree from Tulane School of Medicine. He completed an Internship and Residency in Internal Medicine and Fellowship in Cardiovascular Diseases

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    phy-award-2014-web Juan J. Gershanik, MD has a long and distinguished record of service to his community and surrounding area, which includes obtaining his medical degree in Argentina in 1963 and coming to the United States for his training in pediatrics/neonatology and to head the Neonatology Section at the LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport in 1971 where he developed the first neonatal intensive care unit with an organized transport system for sick newborns. He moved to

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Seeking nominations for 2018 Officers and Councilors

Orleans Parish Medical Society (OPMS) officers and councilors are elected for a two year term. Those terms are coming to an end. We are seeking nominations for the terms which will begin in March 2018. OPMS officers and councilors play a vital role in helping us to achieve the following goals to...

Attention Members:

In January 2017, the Louisiana State Medical Society (LSMS) House of Delegates voted to amend the LSMS Charter and Bylaws as they relate to their requirement for joint membership. Beginning on September 1, 2017, Orleans Parish Medical Society members will have a choice on how to spend annual membership dues. You may now choose to join either OPMS or LSMS or both.

Membership in both organizations is encouraged but no longer required. The LSMS is the 17th state medical society to move away from the unified membership model, which was established in 1903. Additionally, each individual Parish Medical Society must determine their future relationship with LSMS by choosing to be designated as either a Chartered or an Affiliated Parish Society. After careful review and considerations of information and options provided by LSMS on "Local Independence", the Orleans Parish Medical Society board of directors has decided that OPMS will remain a "Chartered" Medical Society.

Re-enrolling in Orleans Parish Medical Society:
By October 1, 2017, you will be receiving information regarding re-enrollment in Orleans Parish Medical Society via mail and e-mail. We plan to make re-enrollment as simple as possible by providing stamp-addressed return envelopes and the option of enrolling using an electronic platform to re-enroll on the OPMS website, We hope that you decide to remain an OPMS member and will encourage others to join as well. 

Follow updates from Orleans Parish Medical Society on social media:
Orleans Parish Medical Society now provides regular information and updates on Facebook and LinkedIn social media platforms. If you are not already, please follow OPMS on social media. In addition, we will also soon feature an OPMS Twitter handle and a OPMS LinkedIn discussion group.

If you have any questions about future enrollment in Orleans Parish Medical Society and our new social media platforms, please feel free to contact me at Have a great weekend! -- Jim P.