Dr. Joe Kanter recently shared his insights and experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic in the "Q&A with the RMDs" series on the LDH Blog.

"Early on, our elected leaders made difficult decisions to cancel public events, order aggressive but necessary social distancing measures, and issue calls for the public to stay at home to limit the virus’s spread. Most notably, the people of the greater New Orleans area heeded those calls. ... By embracing these recommendations, we were able to flatten the curve and keep hospitals from becoming overwhelmed, Dr. Kanter writes of the greater New Orleans region. This approach is now a national best-practice model.

Dr. Kanter is the regional medical director for Region 1, which includes the parishes of Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines and St. Bernard.

Louisiana’s nine regional medical directors (RMDs) or administrators oversee the parish health units that serve the daily public health needs of their communities. These public health leaders are in constant contact with state health leadership and local leaders to help guide residents through the COVID-19 public health emergency, particularly among key demographics.