BATON ROUGE - Gov. John Bel Edwards on Friday announced Stephen Russo as the interim secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health, replacing Dr. Rebekah Gee, who resigned in early January.
Russo currently serves as LDH's executive counsel. He is a graduate of Louisiana State University's Paul M. Hebert Law Center who joined the department in 1996. He has served as executive counsel since 2008.
The Governor hopes to name a permanent LDH secretary in the coming weeks.
Gov. Edwards said:
I appreciate Stephen Russo stepping up to lead the department during this time of transition and for his 24 years of service at the agency. Louisiana's health department is responsible for everything from promoting better health outcomes to ensuring coverage for working Louisianans and some of our most vulnerable populations. It is responsible for keeping drinking water safe for our communities, monitoring and preventing infectious illness, and many, many things in between. As Dr. Rebekah Gee moves on from the Department today, I am appreciative of her partnership over the last four years, which led to more than 460,000 working Louisianans getting health coverage and better health outcomes for many in our state. I wish her well. We will name a permanent secretary who brings to the job a strong vision for improving health outcomes in the state, while also focusing on the administration of Louisiana's largest and most complex state agency.