Dr. Rebekah Gee resigns as secretary of Louisiana’s health department

Dr. Rebekah Gee resigns as secretary of Louisiana’s health department
Dr. Rebekah Gee was secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health for four years. (Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - After serving four years in her position, Dr. Rebekah Gee announced Monday, Jan. 6 her resignation as secretary of the state’s health department, effective Jan. 31.

Dr. Gee has taken a new job that will be announced by her employer at a later date, according to a Jan. 6 announcement from Governor John Bel Edwards.

She tweeted out her resignation letter to Gov. Edwards Monday morning, saying she looks forward to “her next role working to improve healthcare” in Louisiana.

Dr. Gee announced her resignation in a Tweet on Monday, Jan. 6.
Dr. Gee announced her resignation in a Tweet on Monday, Jan. 6. (Source: Twitter)

“It has been a tremendous honor to serve the people of Louisiana as the secretary of health. I am thankful to Governor Edwards and to the people of our state for trusting me to serve," Dr. Gee said in a statement. "The policies we advanced will continue to move the needle -- policies that will result in more children growing up healthy, and mothers who can watch them grow, more individuals with disabilities living independently, and more families thriving.”

Dr. Gee, an obstetrician/gynecologist, was involved in spearheading Medicaid expansion to allow access for more than 460,000 Louisiana residents, as well as the development of the hepatitis C elimination campaign.

She also led efforts to reform drug pricing, which resulted in affordable hepatitis C medications for Louisiana. One of these efforts included setting up a new payment model for hepatitis C treatment.

“I am thankful for her partnership on this issue and on her life-changing – and saving – work to eliminate Hepatitis C in Louisiana, to fight opioid addiction and to lower the rate of HIV in our state,” Edwards said in a statement. "She is a champion for improved health outcomes for all the people of our state, especially mothers and children. I wish her well in the future.”

Republicans and Democrats have both released statements in regards to Gee’s departure.

“We at the Republican Party of Louisiana are pleased to learn that after four years of ruinous mismanagement, Dr. Rebecca Gee has resigned from her post as Louisiana‘s Secretary of the Department of Health. We urge the Governor to appoint in her place an official who actually shares his purported pro-life beliefs, beliefs that are deeply held by the vast majority of Louisianans. This time, the people of Louisiana deserve a full-time leader for the department which spends nearly half of the state’s entire budget. Only a capable and hard-working full-time administrator who will improve our quality of life, create a healthcare system that is sustainable over the long-term, and enforce the right to life for our unborn children, will be acceptable. Throughout her four years as Secretary, Dr. Gee failed to accomplish or even to attempt to implement any of these goals. Moving forward, we hope Governor Edwards recognizes his previous failure and fills this supremely important position with the right person for the job.”
Louis Gurvich, chairman of the Republican Party of Louisiana
“In her time as Secretary of the Department of Health, Dr. Rebekah Gee championed the innovative campaigns and ideas that have made Louisiana a healthier, better place to live and thrive. Although she began her work at a time when the department had been gutted by years of cuts from the Jindal administration, she tackled these challenges head on and worked to transform the state of health care in Louisiana. In short, Dr. Gee’s time leading the Department of Health has made Louisiana a healthier place to live and work. One thing is for certain, she is leaving exceptionally big shoes to fill.”
Stephen Handwerk, executive director of the Louisiana Democratic Party

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