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Thursday, September 20, 2018
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Panelist Bio


Kenneth J. Phenow, MD, MPH
Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana

Dr. Ken Phenow bridges the wide gap among health policy, healthcare reform and family medicine. Dr. Phenow, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, has been charged with leading the state’s largest private insurer into new arenas of innovation and best practices as both private and public sectors prepare for pending healthcare reforms.

As both a practitioner and policy thought leader, he strongly advocates the tenets of the Patient-centered Medical Home (PCMH). The healthcare delivery model is based on strong, collaborative primary care that focuses on solid doctor-patient relationships and a holistic (whole-person) approach to wellness and healing. Dr. Phenow helped establish the first private payer-supported medical home in Texas while serving as the senior medical executive of Cigna Healthcare of North Texas and Oklahoma. The first Blue Cross-supported PCMH pilot in Louisiana was initiated in early 2012 with the Baton Rouge General Physicians group.

Since coming to Louisiana, Dr. Phenow has worked with industry and community leaders to promote proactive wellness initiatives and bold public health efforts that seek to improve the quality of life of both the Blue Cross subscriber base and Louisiana as a whole. He spearheads Tackling Diabetes, a public health campaign engaging a broad spectrum of stakeholders that intends to use aggressive screening, education and healthcare innovation to strike a decisive blow against obesity and preventable chronic disease.

Dr. Phenow is board certified in Family Medicine. He attended the University of California at San Diego (Biochemistry and Political Science) and earned a master’s degree (Health Services Administration and Policy Analysis) from the University of California at Los Angeles School of Public Health. He received his medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin through the U.S. Navy Health Professions Scholarship Program.

Dr. Phenow has published in the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of Family Practice and has co-authored Preventive Medicine textbook chapters. He contributed to preventive guidelines publications, including Healthy People 2000 and Healthy People 2010, Putting Prevention into Practice, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Prevention Guidelines, an education series on the health effects of smoking published by the American Cancer Society, and most recently, work on the Patient-centered Medical Home delivery model.

Dr. Phenow currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative in Washington, D.C., is a member of the Texas Medical Home Initiative Board of Directors and serves on the Academy of Family Practice’s Health Services and Managed Care Committee. Dr. Phenow is a Commander in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps Reserves. He lives with his wife and children in St. Gabriel, Louisiana.

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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