February 14, 2018

Baton Rouge Health District Welcomes New Board Member

The Baton Rouge Health District recently welcomed Dr. John Kirwan, Executive Director of LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center, to its Board of Directors. Kirwan joined Pennington Biomedical on January 1, 2018, and has nearly 30 years of research, teaching and service experience in diabetes and obesity.

He most recently served as the Director of the Metabolic Translational Research Center and professor of molecular medicine at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio.  In addition, he is a professor of physiology and nutrition at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland.  Dr. Kirwan has won two National Institutes of Health (NIH) awards during his career, the National Research Training Award (1989) and the National Research Service FIRST Award (1995). He is an active member of the American Diabetes Association, the Obesity Society, and the American College of Sports Medicine.
Over its 30-year history, Pennington Biomedical’s central focus has been discovering the triggers of and new treatments for chronic diseases including diabetes, obesity, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. “We believe biomedical research will deliver the breakthrough answers needed to solve one of the biggest health care challenges of our time – the chronic disease epidemic,” Kirwan said.

“I look forward to working with the Baton Rouge Health District and its membership, and to sharing our scientific discoveries with the Board, so that together we can continue to build a healthier environment for the entire Baton Rouge community,” Kirwan added.

Other members of the Baton Rouge Health District Board of Directors include:

  • Teri Fontenot, Woman’s Hospital president and CEO
  • Eric McMillen, Ochsner Medical Center-Baton Rouge CEO
  • John Spain, executive vice president of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation; Chair
  • Todd Stevens, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center CEO
  • Edgardo Tenreiro, General Health System president and CEO
  • Dr. I. Steve Udvarhelyi, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana president and CEO
  • Scott Wester, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center CEO; Secretary / Treasurer

For more information about the Baton Rouge Health District go to

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.
About Pennington Biomedical:  The Pennington Biomedical Research Center is at the forefront of medical discovery as it relates to understanding the triggers of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia. It is a campus of Louisiana State University and conducts basic, clinical and population research. The research enterprise at Pennington Biomedical includes approximately 57 faculty and more than post-doctoral fellows who comprise a network of 40 laboratories supported by lab technicians, nurses, dietitians, and support personnel, and 13 highly specialized core service facilities. Pennington Biomedical’s more than 450 employees perform research activities in state-of-the-art facilities on the 222-acre campus located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.