Louisiana Department of Health

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Louisiana Department of Health
LDH Logo.jpg
Agency overview
HeadquartersBaton Rouge, Louisiana
Agency executives
Headquarters of the Louisiana Department of Health

The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), formerly known as the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, is a state agency of Louisiana, headquartered in Baton Rouge.[1] It is Louisiana's largest state agency with a budget of $14 billion and approximately 6,300 personnel. The agency oversees the health of the population under its current secretary, Dr. Rebekah Gee.[2]


Dr. Rebekah Gee, an obstetrician and gynecologist, was appointed secretary[3] in 2016 by Governor John Bel Edwards. Prior to her role as secretary, she served as Louisiana's Medicaid medical director. Before that, she was the director for the Birth Outcomes Initiative. She was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2017[4] and recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of 2019's Women Leaders to Watch in Healthcare.[5] She resigned effective January 31, 2020; she was replaced by Stephen Russo as interim secretary pending a permanent replacement.[6]

Mark A. Thomas has served as deputy secretary, the chief operating officer of LDH, since 2018. His previous role was assistant secretary for LDH's Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities from 2013 to 2018. The deputy secretary is the coordinator for LDH's Regional Coordinating Councils and oversees the coordination and implementation of the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).


The mission of the Louisiana Department of Health is to protect and promote health and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all citizens of the state of Louisiana.

Offices of the Louisiana Department of Health[edit]

LDH's agencies include:

  • Office of Public Health
    • Monitors food and safe drinking water
    • Fights chronic and communicable disease
    • Ensures readiness for hurricanes, disasters and other threats
    • Manages, analyzes and disseminates public health data
    • Ensures access to vital records for births, deaths, fetal deaths and Orleans Parish marriage records
    • Offers preventive health services
  • Office of Behavioral Health
    • Manages and delivers supports and services for citizens with mental illness and addictive disorders
    • Delivers direct care through hospitalization
    • Oversees behavioral health community-based treatment programs through the human services districts and authorities
  • Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities
    • Single point of entry into the developmental disabilities services system
    • Oversees public and private residential services and other services for people with developmental disabilities
  • Office of Aging and Adult Services
    • Manages and delivers supports and services for senior citizens and people with adult-onset disabilities
    • Provides and enhances services for people in need of long-term care
  • Healthy Louisiana (Medicaid)
    • Provides medical benefits to low-income individuals and families
    • Expanded under Gov. John Bel Edwards in 2016[7] through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
    • Medicaid expansion has provided nearly 480,000 previously uninsured residents with coverage, dropping the state's uninsured rate to 8.4% in 2017[8]

LDH also plays a role in the State of Louisiana's emergency preparedness network.

Geographic Structure[edit]

The Louisiana Department of Health provides public health services and oversight across Louisiana in nine regions.[9]

Region Headquarters Area (Parishes)
1* New Orleans Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard
2 Baton Rouge Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Pointe Coupee, West Baton Rouge, West Feliciana
3 Houma Assumption, Lafourche, St. Charles, St. James, St. John, St. Mary, Terrebonne
4 Lafayette Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Landry, St. Martin, Vermilion
5 Lake Charles Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis
6 Pineville Avoyelles, Catahoula, Concordia, Grant, LaSalle, Rapides, Vernon, Winn
7 Shreveport Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Claiborne, DeSoto, Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine, Webster
8 Monroe Caldwell, East Carroll, Franklin, Jackson, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, Tensas, Union, West Carroll
9 Hammond Livingston, St. Helena, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Washington

*Within the Office of Behavioral Health, Region 1 comprises Orleans, Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes. An additional Region 10, based in Metairie, serves Jefferson Parish exclusively.


  1. ^ "[1]." Louisiana Department of Health. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  2. ^ Litten, Kevin (January 27, 2016). "New Louisiana health secretary Rebekah Gee knows about tragedy". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  3. ^ Times-Picayune, NOLA com | The. "John Bel Edwards names Dr. Rebekah Gee DHH secretary". NOLA.com. Retrieved 2019-01-31.
  4. ^ "Secretary of Louisiana Department of Health Elected to National Academy of Medicine". News15 | Lafayette, LA. 2017-10-16. Retrieved 2019-02-13.
  5. ^ "Top 25 Women - 2019". www.modernhealthcare.com. Retrieved 2019-02-18.
  6. ^ Woodruff, Emily (January 31, 2020). "Supreme Court case on abortion looms as Russo is named Louisiana's interim health secretary". The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate. Retrieved February 14, 2020.
  7. ^ mballard@theadvocate.com, mark ballard. "Gov. John Bel Edwards issues executive order to expand Medicaid". The Advocate. Retrieved 2019-02-18.
  8. ^ "Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2017" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. September 2018.
  9. ^ "Local Government Entities | Department of Health | State of Louisiana". ldh.la.gov. Retrieved 2019-02-13.

External links[edit]