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LSUHSC's Gee honored for improving health of women, children and families

New Orleans, LA Rebekah E. Gee MD MPH FACOG, Assistant Professor, LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans' Schools of Public Health and Medicine, has been chosen to receive a Recognition of Distinction for Excellence in State Maternal Child Health Leadership Award from the Association of Maternal & Child Health (MCH) Programs. The award honors Dr. Gee's leadership, vision, and contributions to the health of women, children, and families in Louisiana.

The award, which was established this year, recognizes outstanding state MCH professionals whose careers have made significant contributions to their state's MCH program, state maternal and child health outcomes, and who have made other significant contributions to promoting and protecting the health of women, children, and families in their state. Dr. Gee is one of three people chosen nationally as the inaugural recipients of this prestigious award.

The award is being presented to Dr. Gee today, February 14, 2012, in Washington, DC.

Dr. Gee, who also serves as Director of the Louisiana Birth Outcomes Initiative, completed a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars program at the University of Pennsylvania and there received a Master of Science in Health Policy Research. She studied history and obtained an M.P.H. at Columbia University in Health Policy and Management, obtained her medical degree at Cornell, and trained in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Harvard at the Brigham and Women's and Massachusetts General Hospitals.

Since moving to Louisiana in 2009, she served as the medical director for the maternity program of Title V, the state's maternal health federal block grant program. In 2010, Dr. Gee was named Director of the Birth Outcomes Initiative, an Assistant Secretary level position in Louisiana's Department of Health and Hospitals aimed at improving the health of Louisiana's women and children. In that role Dr. Gee works directly with the Secretary of Health and Hospitals on initiatives to improve the quality of care for mothers and infants and to reduce the risk of poor pregnancy outcomes in high risk women.

Dr. Gee has served at both state and national leadership roles in public health policy. She has advised the public health departments of several states including Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Massachusetts. She served in a leadership capacity developing health policy for the campaign of President Barack Obama and on his transition team at the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Dr. Gee has also held many leadership roles in organized medicine and women's health including local and national leadership roles in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the National Quality Forum, the National Association of Public Hospitals and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. Dr. Gee is on the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) Board of Health Care Services and is the inaugural recipient of a two-year Gant fellowship at the IOM. Dr. Gee is clinically active and is caring for patients at LSU. Her life passion is to improve the health and health care for women at the patient, state and national level.

Contact: Leslie Capo
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center

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