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Thursday, September 20, 2018
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Panelist Bio


Drake Bellanger, M.D.
Weight Loss Surgical Centers of Louisiana

Dr. Drake Bellanger was born in Galliano, La., and was reared in Cut Off, both small communities along Bayou Lafourche in southeastern Louisiana. He attended the University of Southwestern Louisiana where he received his undergraduate degree in Biology/Chemistry. Dr. Bellanger was then accepted to L.S.U. Medical School in New Orleans and graduated in 1992 receiving his M.D. degree.

The next five years were spent training in the Surgical Residency Program at the University of South Alabama Hospitals. During his residency in the mid 1990’s, Dr. Bellanger trained in Bariatric Surgery under the tutelage of Dr. Charles B. Rodning, MD, PhD, FICS, FACS. It was during this time that he developed his love and skill for weight loss surgery.

Arriving in Baton Rouge in 1997, Dr. Bellanger was the first surgeon in the area to perform laparoscopic (key-hole surgery) weight loss surgery. He performed the first laparoscopic gastric bypass in 2000 and the first gastric banding in 2002. Currently, Dr. Bellanger has performed over 2000 weight loss surgical procedures and his practice is dedicated solely to the field of bariatric (weight loss) surgery.

Dr. Bellanger enjoys the many outdoor activities of Baton Rouge with his wife Tiffany and their three children.

Since dedicating his practice to bariatric surgery, Dr. Bellanger has authored and co-authored numerous articles in bariatric surgery and has been published in several prestigious journals. Additionally, he is considered an expert in the field of laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy with the following notable accomplishments:
• One of only ten U.S. surgeons to sit on the International Sleeve Gastrectomy Consensus Conference
• Travels to other cities to teach the sleeve gastrectomy technique
• Has lectured around the United States and has been an invited lecturer at the Annual meeting of Obesity Surgery Society of Australia & New Zealand, in Sydney, Australia

Dr. Bellanger has been a Center of Excellence Bariatric Surgery surgeon since 2006 and is a Fellow of The American College of Surgeons. He is a current member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and is a Past President of the Capital Area Medical Society. He is also the current Bariatric Medical Director at both Woman’s Hospital and St. Elizabeth Hospital.

Current Topic


     09/18 - Revisiting Reform

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended?
In 2017, Louisiana’s legislature passed the Justice Reinvestment Act, which sought to reduce the state’s highest-in-the-nation incarceration rate. The bill was championed by Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards and received bipartisan support including from community and business leaders. Now, just over a year later, the legislation has become a political football. State Attorney General Jeff Landry and Senator John Kennedy, both Republicans considering a run against Edwards in 2019, suggest that the reform package is a failure. They cite murders committed by two inmates released since the Act’s implementation.

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended? Has the legislation put more residents in harm’s way or are plea deals part of the problem?

Louisiana Public Square looks for answers to these questions and more on “Revisiting Reform” Wednesday, September 26 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE.

Our panelists are:
• E. Pete Adams, Executive Director, La. District Attorneys Association
• Alanah Hebert, ACLU of Louisiana & Justice Reinvestment Task Force
• Andrew Hundley, Louisiana Parole Project
• Sec. Jimmy LeBlanc, La. Department of Corrections

The program features interviews with Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry; Rep. Terry Landry, D- New Iberia, with the Justice Reinvestment Oversight Council; Deputy Assistant Secretary Natalie Laborde, with the Louisiana Department of Corrections; and Stephanie Riegel, editor of the Baton Rouge Business Report.

LPB CEO, Beth Courtney and professor Robert Mann with the LSU Manship School of Mass Communication 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.

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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     10/18 - Louisiana Veterans Back Home

What are the programs and initiatives helping our veterans successfully transition to civilian life?

Recent Topics


     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?

     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?
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