September 28,2016

Baton Rouge Health District Leadership Travels to Washington D.C. to Strengthen Federal Partnerships

(BATON ROUGE, LA) - Members of the Baton Rouge Health District are on their way to Washington D.C. this afternoon to introduce the Health District to federal partners and congressional staff while raising awareness of the many healthcare challenges and opportunities facing the area after recent flooding. 
“The Baton Rouge Health District is a coalition of health leaders that represent the largest health providers, payors and research institutions in our area," said Health District Executive Director Suzy Sonnier. “Recent flooding and the anticipated impact on the health and wellness of our community elevated our urgency to work with federal partners to ensure we are leveraging resources and implementing best practices."

During the trip, the group will meet with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and Louisiana delegation staff as they seek additional collaboration, resources, funding and technical assistance to address Health District priorities. Current priorities include the implementation of a Diabetes and Obesity Center, strengthened access to integrated primary and preventive care through a strong network of community-based healthcare, resources to address escalating behavioral health needs, and a comprehensive assessment of access to healthcare throughout the community, with support to implement identified strategies.
In addition, the group will meet with MedStar Health Tuesday morning. MedStar has developed a robust diabetes and obesity program that may provide cutting edge strategies and lessons learned as the Health District continues its development of the Baton Rouge Diabetes and Obesity Center.

Baton Rouge Health District representatives traveling to D.C. are:

  • Coletta Barrett, RN, FACHE - Vice President, Mission, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center
  • Mark Beckstrom, Governmental Affairs, Ochsner Health System
  • Michael Bertaut - Senior Healthcare Economist, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
  • Lauren Crapenzano - Project Manager, Civic Leadership Initiative, Baton Rouge Area Foundation
  • Edgardo Tenriero - Acting President and CEO, Baton Rouge General
  • John Spain - Executive Vice President, Baton Rouge Area Foundation and Chair of the Baton Rouge Health District Board of Directors
  • Suzy Sonnier - Executive Director, Baton Rouge Health District
  • David Winnwood, PhD, RTTP - Associate Executive Director for Business Development, Pennington Biomedical Research Center

About the Baton Rouge Health District: The Baton Rouge Health District is a coalition of patient-focused, innovative healthcare organizations committed the vision of a world-class, high performing health destination at the heart of a healthy and vibrant community. The district promotes collaboration among healthcare providers, government officials, payors, higher education institutions and others to implement a master plan that will enhance healthcare and economic development in Baton Rouge.