Louisiana’s medical director retiring; 30 years with state


Dr. Jimmy Guidry

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana’s longtime medical director is retiring and will be replaced by the current interim assistant secretary for public health.

Dr. Jimmy Guidry has worked for the agency for 30 years including 24 as state health officer and medical director — the longest anyone has held the position, the Louisiana Department of Health said Monday.

“Thank you to Dr. Guidry for his tremendous work on the behalf of all Louisianans. He has worked tirelessly for the people of Louisiana through many catastrophes, among them Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Ike, Laura and Delta, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the great floods of 2016 and the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Courtney N. Phillips, secretary of the department.

A news release said Guidry will retire Dec. 31, and will be replaced by Dr. Joseph Kanter.

Kanter, who was named interim assistant health secretary in October, after Dr. Alex Billioux left the agency, will remain interim assistant secretary while the department looks for a permanent one.

Guidry also has been assistant secretary for the Office of Public Health and the Acadiana Region’s medical director.

Kanter, who is medical director for the region including New Orleans, will be replaced in that position by Dr. Shantel Hébert-Magee, a physician, health policy advisor and minority health strategist, the department said.

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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