Dr. Roxane Townsend has been named Medicaid Medical Director for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.

Dr. Townsend comes to LDH from Earl K. Long Medical Center, where she served as interim chief executive officer since this past January.  At LDH, she will work closely with State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry.

Dr. Townsend has held a variety of positions in the health care field.  The Pennsylvania native earned her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and her medical degree from LSU New Orleans Medical School.  Dr. Townsend has worked as an ICU nurse, served as a director of education and associate executive director of nursing at Humana Hospital, then worked as an internal medicine physician at Earl K. Long Hospital while maintaining a private practice and serving on the faculty for five years. In 2003, she became chief operating officer, the position she held before becoming interim CEO. 

At LDH, Dr. Townsend will coordinate disease management programs that focus on chronic illnesses such as asthma and diabetes.  Disease management helps patients achieve better outcomes by concentrating efforts on standardized treatments and disease control measures.  Disease management is also a strategy that has been adopted by LDH to control costs in the Medicaid program.

Another function of Dr. Townsend’s job is to serve as clinical consultant for the state’s Medicaid program, where she will work with CommunityCARE and pharmacy issues.  She will also chair DHH’s medical practices committee.

“I am extremely pleased that Roxane has joined our team at DHH,” said Dr. Fred Cerise, LDH secretary.  “Her skills and talent will allow us to achieve better clinical outcomes in our Medicaid program, while helping to manage costs as well.  With Gov. Blanco’s commitment to health care reform taking priority, we have a team that can move quickly to implement key improvement and efficiency initiatives.”