The Louisiana Department of Health is pleased to announce Dr. Joseph Kanter as the interim assistant secretary of the Office of Public Health.

Dr. Kanter currently serves as the assistant state health officer and region one medical director of the Department’s Office of Public Health. In these roles, Dr. Kanter has served as principal deputy to the state health officer and lead public health official for the Greater New Orleans area for the last two years, coordinating regional clinical services, emergency preparedness, infectious disease control, and strategic health initiatives.

In his former role as the director of the New Orleans Department of Health, Dr. Kanter led the city's comprehensive opioid mitigation strategy which included issuing a first-in-the-state standing order for naloxone, equipping the New Orleans Police Department with the reversal medication, increasing availability of medication-assisted treatment, promoting harm reduction services, and initiating a city-wide effort to reduce the stigma of addictive disorders.

Dr. Kanter is a board-certified emergency medicine physician, former medical director of the Health Care for the Homeless clinic in New Orleans, and assistant professor of medicine at both LSU Health Sciences Center and Tulane School of Medicine. Clinically, Dr. Kanter cares for a broad and extremely diverse spectrum of patients in the New Orleans area, including some of the most vulnerable in our community.