The Louisiana Department of Health (DHH) and the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum announced today the formation of the Health Information Technology (IT) Advisory Council, which will support the development of health-IT related strategies in the state.

The Health IT Advisory Council, which consists of 17 health care stakeholders from across the state, will serve on behalf of Louisiana's health care providers, payers and purchasers, offering their professional expertise to help drive innovation and advancements in the state's health IT infrastructure.

"The Health IT Advisory Council will help improve the quality of care Louisianans receive. Health IT improvements such as electronic health records enable patients to track their own health and make smarter decisions based on their history of care," said LDH Sec. Kathy Kliebert. "Our state has been one of the nation's leaders in health IT, and I'm confident the council members will help us continue leveraging technology for the benefit of all Louisiana residents."

"We are pleased to have such a distinguished group of professionals assembled and committed to our goal of improving the quality of health care through the use of health IT," said Quality Forum CEO Cindy Munn. "Louisiana has received national recognition for the significant progress it's made towards integrating health IT in the state's health care system. We're looking forward to working with providers across the state to broaden health IT adoption and integration, and we are confident the Advisory Council will guide us even closer to that goal."

Council members are: Ann Kay Logarbo, MD, Medical Director/United Healthcare Community Plan of Louisiana; Bernie Clement, Chief Information Officer/Thibodaux Regional Medical Center; Beverly Hardy-Decuir, Section Chief/Medicaid Quality Management, Statistics & Reporting/Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals; Brian Richmond, Chief Technology Officer/Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum; Cheryl Tolbert, CHRS, President & CEO/Louisiana Business Group on Health and Member/Louisiana Health Care Commission; Cian Robinson, Executive Director/Lafayette General Foundation; Hank Fanberg, Associate Vice Chancellor/South Louisiana Community College and President-Elect/Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society - Louisiana Chapter; Jinger Greer, Chief Financial Officer/Richland Parish Hospital
and Executive Director/North Louisiana Regional Health Alliance; Joseph Foxhood, Director, Center for Population Health Informatics, Office of Public Health; Juzar Ali, MD, FRCP(C) FCCP, Chief Medical Officer, LSU Health
and Member, Board of Directors/Greater New Orleans Health Information Exchange; Lemar Marshall, Chief Operating Officer/North Oaks Obstetrics and Gynecology, LLC; Linda Holyfield, RN, MSN, President & CEO/P&S Surgical Hospital
and Specialty Management Services of Ouachita; Marcia Blanchard, Vice President of Operations/Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum; and Mary Ellen Pratt, FACHE, CEO, St. James Parish Hospital.

Contributing members include: Jamie Martin, Marketing & Communications Manager/Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum; Nadine Robin, HIT Program Director/Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum; and Rosalyn Christopher, EHR Medicaid Program Manager/Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.

About the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals

The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about LDH, visit For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow LDH's Twitter account and Facebook.

About the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum

The Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum is a private, not-for-profit organization, dedicated to advancing evidence-based, collaborative initiatives to improve the health of Louisiana residents. Its focus areas include quality measurement and analytics, clinical quality improvement, the patient-centered medical home/care coordination model, an advanced care planning/Louisiana Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (LaPOST) education program, health information technology (IT) and community outreach. With regard to health IT, the Quality Forum supports health care providers and critical access/rural hospitals as they adopt and meaningfully use electronic health records and serves as the State-Designated Entity to administer the state's health information exchange. For more information, visit