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PAR Names David W. Hood to Lead Its Healthcare Research Agenda

Former Cabinet Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals David W. Hood has been named the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana (PAR) senior healthcare policy analyst. Hood will lead PAR’s new endeavor to study and propose solutions to problems with Louisiana’s healthcare funding and delivery models.

As an independent voice of reform in statewide public policy debates, PAR will develop a series of issue briefs and in-depth analyses to help policymakers and the public understand the state’s healthcare problems and potential solutions. Prior to the hurricane disasters, healthcare funding in Louisiana was growing at an alarming pace, and most indicators suggested that better outcomes were not following this higher investment. Louisiana’s unique healthcare delivery system, with a state-funded charity hospital system (now partially in ruins) and heavy emphasis on institutionalized care, must seek new efficiencies. However, political challenges stand in the way of the development and promotion of meaningful, realistic proposals for change. In the post-Katrina environment, new opportunities for reform are developing.

Some of the issues on PAR’s healthcare research agenda include: healthcare for the uninsured, Medicaid financing, the state-funded charity hospital system, long-term care, prescription drug costs, primary and preventative care, physician recruitment, boutique hospitals and the new hospital provider tax. With the long-term goals of greater efficiency and effectiveness, PAR will conduct an analysis of Louisiana’s policies, the state’s comparison to other states and national best practices in each of these areas. PAR will take a fresh look at each issue, challenging current assumptions and making recommendations for improvement that will be clearly stated and widely disseminated.

“PAR extends a warm welcome to David Hood and looks forward to contributing independent research to this important policy area,” said PAR President Jim Brandt. “Following a 26-year career in Louisiana public healthcare administration, he brings to PAR the high level of expertise required to hit the ground running in the state’s healthcare policy reform debate.”

Hood’s retirement from state government and move to PAR offers this unique opportunity for study of the issues in this area from a non-political perspective, but with the benefit of a career of inside political knowledge. Well-respected as a reform-minded government administrator, Hood developed strategies for more efficient use of tax dollars by minimizing waste and fraud, deploying new technologies and utilizing private sector solutions wherever possible. He proposed and successfully implemented major system changes to improve primary and preventative care that emphasized early diagnosis and treatment, health education and lifestyle changes to avoid expensive diseases and chronic conditions.

His success in public service has been recognized by several national awards. In 2004, he was honored with the Nathan Davis Award for careers in public service in the advancement of public health, a national award from the American Medical Association. In 2002, he won the Child Health Advocate Award by the American Academy of Pediatrics for his significant progress toward improving the lives of children. In 1995, he won the John Bragg Award for Excellence in Legislative Service by the Southern Legislative Conference.

Hood is an alumnus of Louisiana State University. He also served in the U.S. Air Force officer corps.



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