The Department of Health and Hospitals’ Bureau of Primary Care and Rural Health (Bureau) will host its third annual meeting and education event on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2006 at the West Baton Rouge Conference Center at 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The focus of the meeting will be reform, recovery and rebuilding health care services in rural and medically underserved areas of Louisiana. The meeting will serve as a time for the Bureau to report the progress of Hurricane Katrina and Rita health services recovery process.  Department of Health Secretary Frederick P. Cerise, M.D., M.P.H., will be in attendance.

A luncheon will honor health services recovery leaders and members of the Health Care Services Recovery Council from Cameron Parish, the Capital Area, Jefferson Parish, Orleans Parish, Plaquemines Parish, St. Bernard Parish and St. Tammany Parish.

Breakout sessions offered at the meeting will focus on the Bureau's technical assistance services including community-based health care planning, small rural hospital performance improvement, recruitment strategies for addressing primary care workforce shortages, practice management consulting and community health data collection. In the afternoon the Bureau will unveil the framework of the Louisiana Pharmacy Access Program, a new initiative to provide prescription drug coverage to Louisiana residents.

The Bureau will provide copies of the annual report and other published materials, as well as program information from health care partner agencies.

Media are invited to attend the event and take pictures, as well as interview members of the LDH staff.

WHAT: LDH Bureau of Primary Care and Rural Health

WHEN: Thursday, August 31, 2006 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

WHERE:  West Baton Rouge Conference Center

                   2750 North Westport Drive

                   Port Allen, Louisiana