Julie O'Donoghue

Julie O'Donoghue

Julie O’Donoghue is a senior reporter for the Louisiana Illuminator and producer of the Louisiana Illuminator podcast. She’s received awards from the Virginia Press Association and Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press. Julie covered state government and politics for | The Times-Picayune for six years. She’s also covered government and politics in Missouri, Virginia and Washington D.C. Julie is a proud D.C. native and Washington Capitals hockey fan. She and her partner, Jed, live in Baton Rouge. She has two stepchildren, Quinn and Steven.

Ferncrest Manor Living Center in New Orleans

Over a dozen nursing homes could evacuate to facilities that failed state inspections

By: - August 16, 2022

Ahead of hurricane season this year, Ferncrest Manor Living Center in New Orleans submitted a summary of its evacuation plan to the Louisiana Department of Health – just like the 93 other nursing homes in Louisiana’s most storm-prone parishes.  Ferncrest Manor’s plan garnered special attention from state health officials. The nursing home listed a campground […]

Bob Dean warehouse

Officials find problems with several more Louisiana nursing home evacuation sites

By: - August 12, 2022

Hundreds of nursing home residents in southeast Louisiana may be still at risk for evacuating to inadequate or unsafe shelters through the end of this hurricane season, according to limited data the health department provided. 

A microscopic photograph of the monkeypox virus.

Louisiana makes moves to stretch monkeypox vaccine supply

By: - August 10, 2022

The Louisiana Department of Health is encouraging health care providers to stretch the state’s meager monkeypox vaccine supply by splitting individual doses as much as five ways, following a federal government directive Wednesday that allows them to do so.   “This is a potential game changer for our monkeypox response, especially ahead of upcoming large events […]

"No Trespassing" sign outside Jetson Center for Youth in Baker

Louisiana youth prison job applicants who fail abuse screening get second chance

By: - August 9, 2022

Facing a chronic shortage of workers, Louisiana’s Office of Juvenile Justice is providing more flexibility to job applicants who want to work as guards in the state’s youth incarceration facilities, including when it comes to screening for the threat of pedophilia.   People are no longer being automatically removed from the pool of potential juvenile justice […]

Bridge City Center for Youth

Juvenile justice official suggests Louisiana prosecutors should charge more minors as adults

By: - August 9, 2022

A new administrator for the state Office of Juvenile Justice suggested Monday that Louisiana prosecutors need to consider charging more underage teenagers with adult crimes. His stance has rankled child welfare advocates who believe people under 18 should not face adult prison sentences that can last decades.  Juvenile justice facilities across Louisiana have been overwhelmed […]

With limited monkeypox vaccine, Southern Decadence is a concern for Louisiana

By: - August 4, 2022

Louisiana is headed into one of the largest gatherings of gay and bisexual men in the country next month without nearly enough monkeypox vaccine to meet the demand – and with a shortage of vaccine nationwide during a growing outbreak of the virus.  Any person, regardless of gender or sexual history, can contract monkeypox, health […]

Louisiana State Senators Bodi White and Mark Abraham

Louisiana Senate Finance chairman sent to hospital with COVID-19 symptoms

By: - August 3, 2022

Sen. Bodi White, R-Central, was transported to a New Orleans hospital Monday with symptoms of COVID-19 following spinal surgery he underwent in July. He is the chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, which helps build the state’s spending plan each year. “The decision to transport Senator White was made out of an abundance of […]

The Louisiana Department of Health is referring doctors and hospitals who have questions about Louisiana's abortion law to the Office of the Attorney General. (

These pregnancy conditions would allow for an abortion under Louisiana ban

By: - August 1, 2022

The Louisiana Department of Health on Monday released a longer list of pregnancy and fetal conditions that could allow a person to terminate a pregnancy even with Louisiana’s abortion ban in place.  The list defines what lawmakers characterized as a “medically futile” pregnancy – one that is expected to produce a child who could live […]

Louisiana to receive 7,200 more doses of monkeypox vaccine in the coming weeks

By: - July 29, 2022

The federal government has told Louisiana it can expect 7,200 more doses of the monkeypox vaccine to arrive in three different batches over the next four to six weeks. That’s on top of the approximately 2,000 doses the state has already received, for a total of 9,200 doses overall.  State health officials said the allocation […]

A microscopic photograph of the monkeypox virus.

Vulnerable to monkeypox in Louisiana, they struggle to get vaccine, care

By: - July 29, 2022

It took New Orleans resident Jared Zeringue three days of incessant calling to find a dose of the monkeypox vaccine in Louisiana. First, he contacted New Orleans health care offices listed on the Louisiana Department of Health’s website as vaccine providers but couldn’t find anyone willing to give it to him. Then he called the […]

New Orleans most prominent LGBTQ+ health clinic out of monkeypox vaccine

By: - July 26, 2022

CrescentCare, New Orleans best-known health care provider for the LGBTQ+ community, ran out of monkeypox vaccine doses Tuesday and doesn’t know when it will receive more. “We don’t have anything here to give to anybody at this point,” Joe Hui, the clinic’s spokesman, said Tuesday afternoon. “We have no idea if [more doses] will show […]

A microscopic photograph of the monkeypox virus.

Louisiana receives 970 additional monkeypox vaccine doses

By: - July 22, 2022

The federal government has sent Louisiana an additional 973 doses of the monkeypox vaccine, nearly doubling the state’s supply.  A week ago, the Louisiana Department of Health reported it had 1,048 doses of vaccine on hand. Each person vaccinated needs to receive two doses 28 days apart. Louisiana now has the capacity to fully inoculate […]