Dr. Courtney N. Phillips has joined the Louisiana Department of Health as the secretary. Dr. Phillips most recently served as executive commissioner of Texas Health and Human Services (HHS) where she was committed to improving the health, safety and well-being for millions of Texans. She was responsible for more than 40,000 team members, a $78.5 billion biennium budget and more than 220 programs ranging from healthcare, food safety and benefits to public health tracking and regulation of childcare, nursing and healthcare facilities.

Under her leadership, Texas HHS developed its inaugural business plan, Blueprint for a Healthy Texas, which served as the agency’s guide to transform into a more efficient, effective and responsive system. In addition, the agency continued to transform inpatient psychiatric care through the construction and renovation of state hospitals across Texas, expanded its newborn screenings, eliminated the waitlist for outpatient mental health treatment through local mental health authorities, and improved access to women’s health and family planning services in Texas, including a 30% increase in the number of women served in the Healthy Texas Women program.

Before joining Texas HHS, Dr. Phillips served for three years as the chief executive officer of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and spent 12 years with the Louisiana Department of Health in a variety of roles, giving her keen insight into all health and human services operations.

Dr. Phillips earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and a Master of Public Administration from Louisiana State University, and a Ph.D. in public policy from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She continued honing her process improvement skills by earning an Executive Green Belt in Lean Six Sigma.