Dr. Gina Lagarde, regional medical director for the Louisiana Department of Health’s (LDH) Office of Public Health for the Northshore region, and members of her emergency preparedness (EP) staff were recently recognized by the Louisiana National Guard (LANG) with its Distinguished Civilian Service Award.
Dr. Lagarde was recognized for her work in coordinating the Region 9 COVID-19 response over the past two years during a recent ceremony at the Hammond Parish Health Unit. “I want to thank Dr. Lagarde for her leadership in this community and her passion,” Brig. Gen. Cindy Haygood said. “You can always hear that she is very passionate about what she’s doing — about her team and her community — and it makes a world of difference.”
Dr. Lagarde is responsible for overall daily public health needs in Region 9, which encompasses Livingston, St. Helena, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Washington parishes. For the past two years, Dr. Lagarde was charged with coordinating a comprehensive response to COVID-19.
Also honored with the Distinguished Civilian Service Award were LANG Brig. Gen. Patrick Bossetta for his role as COVID-19 coordinator, Region 9 Hospital Nurse Coordinator Rhonda Baham, Region 9 Public Health Emergency Response Coordinator (PHERC) Heather Gagliano and PHERC Thomas Jordan (retired).
Dr. Lagarde and her EP staff presented awards to Region 9 LANG troops as well as Brig. Generals Bossetta and Haygood in recognition of their service during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I was impressed by how quickly we were able to progress along with the demands; it took a village and a team to be able to do that, and I could not have asked for better leadership from all of you,” Dr. Lagarde said.
Since May 2020, LANG has conducted or supported more than 40,000 COVID-19 tests, administered more than 17,000 vaccines in the five parishes and supported food bank operations. LANG also completed more than 700 Hot Shot missions, which allow for rapid response to a host of urgent needs statewide including moving supplies and equipment.