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Saturday, January 20, 2018
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Louisiana Public Square
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Panelist Bio


Dr. Rebekah Gee
La. Dept. of Health & Hospitals

Dr. Rebekah Gee is the Secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals for the state of Louisiana. She is an Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management and Obstetrics and Gynecology at Louisiana State University. Dr. Gee has served as chair or co-chair of several national committees on maternity quality and prematurity reduction for CMS, HRSA and ACOG. Dr. Gee is the health policy resident expert for the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology and serves on the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) Board of Health Care Services.

She is the recipient of the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs 2012 State Leadership in Maternal and Child Health award for her work on improving birth outcomes. In 2014, Dr. Gee received the Woman of the Year award from New Orleans City Business, was recognized as a "40 under 40" leader for New Orleans, a Louisiana "Healthcare Hero", and received the American Medical Student Association "Women in Leadership" award. Dr. Gee is clinically active and is caring for patients at LSU. She lives in New Orleans and is the mother of five energetic children.

The Secretary provides leadership and technical support services, while maximizing resources, in order to fulfill the mission of the Department.

Current Topic


     01/18 - Early Education Matters

Should early childhood education be a priority?
It’s estimated that issues with early childhood education cost the state economy more than $1 billion per year. Business professionals and politicians agree that there is a severe lack of access to high-quality child care in the state. But with the state facing a $1 billion budget shortfall, can funds be found to make this a priority?

Louisiana School Finder, a first-of-its-kind performance guide on early care and education centers is a useful tool for parents seeking care for their children. Can it also be a mechanism to improve performance? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers to these questions and more on “Early Education Matters” January 24th at 7 p.m. on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE.

Our panelists are:

· Melanie Bronfin, La. Policy Institute for Children

· Rep. Stephen Carter, R-Baton Rouge; Education Committee

· Stephen Waguespack, La. Assoc. of Business & Industry

· Supt. John White, La. Dept. of Education

Barry Erwin, CEO of the Council for a Better Louisiana (CABL) moderates the discussion.

The program includes interviews with Belinda Creel Davis, Ph.D., with the LSU Reilly Center for Media and Public Affairs and co-author of the Losing Ground study of childcare issues and workforce productivity in Louisiana; Melinda George, Child Care Assistance Manager with the La. Dept. of Education; Brigitte Nieland, V.P. for Workforce and Education for the La. Assoc. of Business & Industry: and Shawanda Jefferson, a mother whose improved employment status has put her Child Care Assistance Program benefits in jeopardy.
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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     02/18 - Drawing the Line: Sexual Harassment in Louisiana

How widespread is the problem in our state?

Recent Topics


     12/17 - Healthy New Year! (Encore)

What is the best approach to shedding pounds in a state where cuisine is part of its culture?

     10/17 - HIV/AIDS in Louisiana

How many people are living with HIV/AIDS in Louisiana and what resources are available to them?

     09/17 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges face our returning veterans?

     08/17 - Studying TOPS

Is TOPS a worthwhile incentive or a middle-class tax break?
»»» View all Topics!
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