State Health Officer
Dr. Joseph Kanter
As State Health Officer and Medical Director Dr. Joseph Kanter serves as the top medical official of Louisiana Department of Health, consulting on issues relating to policy, programmatic implementation, quality and accessibility of care, health equity, emergency preparedness and infection control, and bearing responsibility for enforcing the state’s Sanitary Code. His previous state roles have included Assistant State Health Officer, Interim Assistant Secretary, and Regional Medical Director.
Prior to joining the Louisiana Department of Health Dr. Kanter served as Director of Health for the City of New Orleans and led Mayor Mitch Landrieu’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. A practicing and board-certified Emergency Physician, prior medical director of the Health Care for the Homeless clinic, and Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at both LSU Health Sciences Center and Tulane School of Medicine, Dr. Kanter cares for a diverse spectrum of patients in the New Orleans area, including some of the most vulnerable in our community. He is a committed academic and works closely with residents, students, and other learners. His primary interests are expanding access to patient-centered care, promoting health equity, and creating efficiencies in systems of health while protecting vulnerable populations.