2022 Champions

Nita Hemeter

On July 18, 2020 at age 68, Nita Hemeter cofounded a non-profit organization dedicated to humanely addressing the tragic overpopulation of feral and community cats in the New Orleans area.

She and a group of volunteers trap 30 to 50 cats per week, get them spayed or neutered and then return them. The program not only stabilizes cat “colony” populations, it helps those cats live healthier lives with fewer fights, less competition and less roaming. If you see a wild or otherwise homeless cat with an ear “tipped,” it’s an indication that the cat was spayed or neutered.

Ms. Hemeter started actively trapping in 2014, and since then, she and the volunteers she coordinates have trapped about 10,000 cats.

She says it’s been a learning process for her — not only working with the cats and the veterinarians, but working with volunteers, community members and others. She’s gotten good at teaching people about the program and at training people to help.

Even with the numbers of cats she handles week in and week out, she keeps a deep sense of optimism. “We can solve this problem,” she says.

That drive – that conviction — is the hallmark of a champion. And that’s why Peoples Health and the New Orleans Saints are proud to honor Nita Hemeter as a Peoples Health Champion.

“We can solve this problem.”

Nina Hemeter

If you think about it, you probably know a Champion.

A Champion may even be you. Nominate yourself or someone you know—like a relative, co-worker or neighbor—as a Peoples Health Champion.