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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

     03/18 - Making Schools Safe

Where does Louisiana stand in this national discussion?
The school shooting in Broward County Florida that took the lives of 17 people has reignited the debate over how to make our schools safe. Energized students nationwide are calling for restricted access to certain guns. Congress is considering broader background checks and age limits on gun purchases. President Donald Trump is most enthusiastic about training school staff members to carry concealed weapons.

Where does Louisiana stand in this national discussion? How would gun control proposals affect the 45% of Louisianans who own guns? What mental health services are available to prevent teenagers from acting out violently? What increased security measures should schools take and how much will they cost? Louisiana Public Square looks for answers to these questions and more on “Making Schools Safe” airing Wednesday, March 28 at 7 p.m. on LPB and WLAE in New Orleans. (Taping Tuesday, March 27.)

Our panelists are:
• Sheriff Jason Ard, Livingston Parish
• Betty Muller, M.D., Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist
• Scott Richard, Louisiana School Boards Association
• Sen. Neil Riser, R-Columbia

The program features interviews with Bossier Parish School Superintendent Scott Smith; Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington; Director of Security for Bossier Parish Schools, Lt. Adam Johnson; and Meagan Medley, Ph.D., a nationally-certified school psychologist and assistant professor at Nicholls State University. LPB CEO, Beth Courtney, and LPB news anchor, Andre’ Moreau, will moderate the discussion.

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!

     04/18 - Balancing Eldercare

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

Recent Topics

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

How widespread is the problem in our state? Take the survey!

     01/18 - Early Education Matters

Should early childhood education be a priority?

     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?
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