Next week, June 25-27, users and producers of health services and policy research (HSR) from around the world will descend upon the great city of New Orleans, Louisiana (NOLA) for the 2017 AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting (ARM). With over 20 conference themes, 150 sessions and more than 65 exhibitors, ARM attendees will have a plethora of opportunities to network, learn and engage with all things HSR-related. As if that weren’t enough, this year’s host city, also the largest city and metropolitan area in the Pelican State of Louisiana, boasts a wide variety of things to do. While the meeting days will be full, here is a quick snapshot of ways to experience New Orleans beyond ARM’s compelling presentations and intriguing research related tête-à-têtes:  

Take a Tour

From the French Quarter to the World War II Museum, New Orleans is full of historic sites, beautiful architecture, and rich culture Organized tours take many forms from self-guided walking tours to airboat tours and even ghost tours – all of which are quite popular among visitors. Located less than half q mile from the Hyatt Regency (home of ARM17), sports fans can take a short walk over to check out the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and imagine the ‘Who dat?’ chant cheering on 2010 Superbowl champions the New Orleans Saints.    


Gumbo, Oysters Rockefeller, po' boy sandwiches, crawfish, jambalaya, beignet, Bananas Foster: these are just some of the delicious cuisine New Orleans has to offer! For those that choose to venture out, this city has more than enough to satisfy your appetite, including   over 15 James Beard award-winning restaurants.. For those with simpler taste take some time on Monday to enjoy a meal of red beans and rice. What began as a customary meal on “washday” (Monday), eating red beans and rice has turned into an iconic and delicious weekday food tradition.

Join a ‘Second Line’ parade

Second line is a tradition in brass band parades in New Orleans. The "main line" or "first line" is the main section or members of the band. Those who follow the band just to enjoy the music are called the "second line." On any given day, you might run into a second line parade in New Orleans. If you so dare (and are lucky enough to find one) when you hear the music coming, stop what you’re doing and join in!  

Get festive—celebrate!

As the festival capital of the world, there are yearlong food, music and multicultural heritage festivals hosted in New Orleans. During our (ARM) time in NOLA there are three exciting festivals that will be in progress: Festigals, Louisiana Cajun Zydeco Festival and the ESSENCE Festival.

Meet and Greet AcademyHealth

Of course, we couldn’t let you leave without saying hello! We hope, during your down time, that while you are exploring all that New Orleans has to offer, you also take a moment to get better acquainted with AcademyHealth. Located at the Strand Foyer on Level 2, feel free to stop by the AcademyHealth booth at any time during ARM to:

  • Take a virtual tour of AcademyHealth online and find out who we are and what we do.
  • Meet AcademyHealth staffers who will be ready and available to answer any organization or conference questions.
  • Not yet a member? Don’t worry! Stop by the AcademyHealth booth (or the registration desk) for information on membership. You can also join on the spot!
  • With over 2,500 attendees, we consider ARM a celebration of all of the hard work, research and efforts of health services and policy researchers around the world! This year we are exploring your “Why.” We want you to answer the questions: “Why do you do health services research/health policy?” Share your stories and hear from others.

As we enter the final days before ARM, we hope that you are just as excited as we are to travel to the Big Easy!  If you haven’t already, there is still time to register to join the fun. For additional information on the 2017 Annual Research Meeting, visit You can also follow the festivities on Twitter using #ARM17 and by following us at @AcademyHealth and on Facebook at

AcademyHealth staff ARM17

We’ll see you soon! Laissez les bons temps rouler!


Zenneia headshot

Zenneia McLendon

Digital Strategy Manager - AcademyHealth

Zenneia McLendon is the Digital Strategy Manager at AcademyHealth operating within the communications departme... Read Bio

Blog comments are restricted to AcademyHealth members only. To add comments, please sign-in.