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Sunday, August 19, 2018
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Louisiana Public Square
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Panelist Bio


Donna Fraiche
Chair of the Long Term Community Planning Task Force of the Louisiana Recovery Authority

Donna D. Fraiche is a shareholder in the New Orleans and Baton Rouge offices of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz and a member of the Health Law and Public Policy departments. She serves on the Firm's Nominating Committee and chairs its Women's Initiative. Ms. Fraiche serves as the Honorary Consul-General of Japan for New Orleans. She served as the first female President of the organization now known as the American Health Lawyers Association and is currently a Fellow of the Association. She concentrates her practice in the general representation of healthcare organizations, companies and individuals in major regulatory, public policy and litigation efforts.

Chair of the Louisiana Health Care Commission, Ms. Fraiche is a former member of the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) and served as Chair of the Long Term Community Planning Task Force and the Health Care Committee. She was the LRA delegate to the Louisiana Health Care Redesign Collaborative chartered to develop and oversee the blueprint for health care policy in Louisiana.

She has served as Chair of the Board of Trustees of Loyola University and delivered the commencement address at the Law School graduation in 2001. She served as President and Chair of the Board of the World Trade Center, founded the New Orleans Regional Medical Center, and is a diplomate of the American College of Health Care Executives.

Ms. Fraiche has served on the adjunct faculty of Tulane University's School of Public Health and Administration and served as a preceptor for the residency program in health systems management. She participated in the Council for a Better Louisiana’s Leadership Louisiana 2005 program. She has served as a delegate to the Conference, "Governing in the Global Age" at George Washington University, The Elliot School of International Affairs.

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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