Dr. Rebekah Gee is an Obstetrician/Gynecologist and CEO of Health Care Services for Louisiana State University. In this role, she provides strategic direction for health services, medical education, and informatics. She also helped lead LSU’s response to COVID-19. She previously served as Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health, the state’s largest agency with a budget of $14 billion. In this cabinet role, her oversight responsibilities included Medicaid, Public Health, Disability Services, Behavioral Health, Aging and Adult Services, and disaster preparedness and response. Dr. Gee led the healthcare response to a variety of significant weather events as well as the response to infectious disease outbreaks such as Zika and Hepatitis A. Dr. Gee is a champion for healthcare coverage and was responsible for implementing the Medicaid expansion which extended coverage to over 500,000 Louisianans. She has led national policy discussions on the creation of affordable pharmaceuticals and developed a first in the nation elimination campaign for Hepatitis C spearheaded by her successful drug-pricing negotiations. As a result of this subscription model for individuals in Medicaid or who are incarcerated, more than ten times the number of Louisianans have been treated for Hepatitis C this year than in her first year as Secretary. She successfully eliminated a decades-long waitlist for individuals and families needing disability services by tailoring waiver services to recipient needs. Dr. Gee implemented an aggressive statewide opioid response plan, along with her statewide standing order for Naloxone, which has saved lives and been used by thousands of Louisianans. Dr. Gee led the charge to reduce maternal mortality and her efforts have resulted in a 39% reduction in complications due to heavy bleeding—the leading preventable cause of maternal death, and a 60% reduction in severe complications of pregnancy. Dr. Gee is a champion for health equity and created the South’s first Office of Health Equity in a state department of health.
Dr. Gee is a full professor of Public Health and an expert in quality improvement. She has been a consistent voice for quality and patient safety. She has served on the boards of NCQA and NQF, taught quality improvement, implemented a number of successful quality improvement projects at the state level, and led national discussions on quality in a variety of areas. Before her time as Secretary, Dr. Gee served as the Chief Medical Officer for Louisiana Medicaid and Directed Louisiana’s Birth Outcomes Initiative that led to tangible statewide reductions in infant mortality, non-medically indicated elective deliveries, neonatal intensive care unit admissions, and prematurity.
Dr. Gee is a policy expert and widely published health services researcher who has served in numerous additional state and national policy roles. In 2017 Dr. Gee was elected to the National Academy of Medicine. She is the parent of five energetic children and lives in New Orleans, where she continues to see patients.