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Saturday, August 18, 2018
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Panelist Bio


Alan Levine
Secretary, Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals

In January 2008, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal appointed Alan Levine to lead the state’s health agency, the Department of Health and Hospitals. The agency, the state’s largest, has a $7.8 billion annual budget and nearly 12,000 employees and administers programs in mental health, public health, emergency preparedness, Medicaid, health information technology, addictive disorders and aging services.

Levine is nationally recognized for leading efforts to reform Medicaid, creating a more transparent health care system through mandatory public reporting of health provider outcomes, implementing privacy-protected electronic medical records, and being prepared for hurricanes and other natural disasters. In August 2006, Modern Healthcare magazine named Levine one of 30 leaders nationwide likely to have a powerful impact on the future of health care.

Prior to his arrival in Louisiana, Levine served as president and chief executive officer of Florida’s Broward Health, one of the largest non-profit public health care systems in the U.S. In July 2004, he was appointed by Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to serve as secretary of the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, the state’s health financing, regulatory and policy agency. With a budget of more than $16 billion, the Agency oversees and operates the Florida Medicaid program, licenses and regulates more than 25,000 health care facilities and 25 health maintenance organizations, and publishes health care data and statistics. Prior to his appointment, Levine was tapped by Gov. Bush to serve as his deputy chief of staff and senior health policy advisor. At age 29, he was named CEO of Doctors' Memorial Hospital in Perry, Florida, and later served as CEO of South Bay Hospital in Sun City Center, Florida.

He has served on numerous boards of directors, including; Florida Hospital Association, Florida Center for Nursing, Alternative Education Institute, Association of Community Hospitals and Health Systems, Boys and Girls Club, and Junior Achievement. He also has served as a guardian ad-litem within Florida's child welfare system, and participates in the Big Brother and Big Sister program.

Mr. Levine received a bachelor’s degree in health education and two master's degrees in business administration and health services in 1992 from the University of Florida. He is married to Laura, and enjoys spending time with his son, Terry, and daughter, Kathryn. He spends his spare time coaching youth football, snow-skiing, and enjoying University of Florida Gator athletics.

Current Topic


     08/18 - The Power of Reading

How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?
The ability to read sets the foundation of who we are and what we can be. Through reading we expand our world, learn new things and increase our base of knowledge. In fact, a parent’s reading level is the greatest factor in a child’s academic success. Children who can’t read proficiently by the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.

In Louisiana, 20 percent of adults are illiterate – five points higher than the national rate. How is Louisiana combatting its illiteracy problem across generational lines? How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?

Louisiana Public Square: The Power of Reading looks for answers and explores the value of lifelong reading through the lens of the PBS series The Great American Read Wednesday, August 22 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recorded Tuesday, August 14 in the Magnolia Performing Arts Pavilion at Baton Rouge Community College.)

Our panelists are:
- Linda-Marie Barrett, Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA)
- Rebecca Hamilton, MLIS; Louisiana State Librarian
- Danny Heitman; Journalist and Louisiana author
- Miranda Restovic, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH).
- Gary Robertson; Adult Literacy Advocates

The program features interviews with John Cavalier, owner of Cavalier House Books; Gary Robertson, Executive Director of Adult Literacy Advocates; representatives from the LEH PRIME TIME intergenerational reading program, and Superintendent John White with the Louisiana Department of Education.

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and Robyn Merrick, Southern University VP of External Affairs, host the show.

Louisiana Public Square can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

This episode of Louisiana Public Square is underwritten by Community Coffee’s Cash for Schools Program, the Louisiana Forestry Association, LSU Press and the Southern Independent Booksellers’ Authors Round the South.

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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     09/18 - Revisiting Reform

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended?

Recent Topics


     07/18 - Preventing Suicide

How is Louisiana addressing its suicide problem?

     06/18 - Louisiana: Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?  (ENCORE)

Is Louisiana a Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?

     05/18 - News About the News

How can viewers distinguish between fact and fake news and is social media blurring the difference?

     04/18 - Balancing Eldercare

How much does Louisiana spend on nursing homes versus home and community-based care?
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