Secretary of Louisiana Department of Health Elected to National Academy of Medicine

Published: Oct. 16, 2017 at 3:29 PM CDT
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On Monday, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that Dr. Rebekah Gee, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine.

Election to the National Academy of Medicine is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.

Dr. Gee was appointed to the Governor’s executive Cabinet in January of 2016. Under Dr. Gee’s leadership, over 439,000 Louisianans are newly insured under Louisiana’s Medicaid Expansion, and for the first time, many are receiving much-needed primary and preventive health care.

Dr. Gee is an obstetrician/gynecologist and brings a caregivers’ perspective to the people she serves. Prior to her role as Secretary at the Louisiana Department of Health, she was the Medicaid Medical Director, working to improve health care quality for Medicaid patients. Before that, Dr. Gee served as the director for the Birth Outcomes Initiative where she led the charge to decrease infant mortality and prematurity statewide – an effort that in part led to a 25 percent reduction in infant mortality, an 85 percent drop in elective deliveries before 39 weeks and a 10 percent drop in NICU admissions statewide.

“The passion Rebekah brings to her job and to meeting the healthcare needs of Louisiana residents is unmatched. Her leadership to improve overall health and health outcomes in our state has been critical to the success of Medicaid Expansion. She’s been instrumental in cutting Louisiana’s uninsured rate in half to nearly 12 percent, and we have seen significant decrease in infant mortality under her watch, among many other accomplishments,” said Gov. Edwards. “I’m incredibly proud of Rebekah for earning this prestigious honor so early in her career, and I couldn’t be happier to have her on our team here in Louisiana.”

Election to membership in the National Academy of Medicine is based upon distinguished professional achievement in a field related to medicine and health; and demonstrated and continued involvement with the issues of health care, prevention of disease, education, or research.

“Dr. Rebekah Gee is an extraordinarily accomplished physician whose leadership has already improved health at the local, state and federal levels,” notes Larry Hollier, MD, Chancellor of LSU Health New Orleans. “The inaugural National Academy of Medicine Fellowship will only strengthen her contributions to national health strategy and policy. We are so proud that as an adjunct professor now, Dr. Gee remains one of our own and that our students continue to benefit from her considerable knowledge, experience and vision.”

The NAM elects no more than 70 regular members and 10 international members annually.