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Panelist Bio


U.S. Congressman Bill Cassidy, M.D.
(R), Baton Rouge

Congressman Bill Cassidy is a lifelong public servant. He is a physician, a teacher, a community leader, father, and husband.

As an associate professor of medicine with Louisiana State University, Bill has provided care for uninsured patients and taught doctors in training at Earl K. Long Hospital in Baton Rouge for the last twenty years.

In addition to his work at Earl K. Long, Bill co-founded the Greater Baton Rouge Community Clinic, a clinic providing free health care to the working uninsured through an innovative virtual approach that partners needy patients with doctors who provide care free of charge. Bill has also pioneered school-based public health programs to vaccinate children against Hepatitis B. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Bill led a group of health care volunteers to convert an abandoned K-Mart building into an emergency health care facility, providing basic health care to hurricane evacuees.

Raised in Baton Rouge, Bill is the fourth son of Jim and Betty Cassidy. He attended Tara High School, LSU, and LSU Medical School. His father sold life insurance. His brothers are Jim, David, and Steve.

He met his wife, Laura Layden Cassidy, during his medical training. Laura is also a physician. She was formerly the Chief of Surgery at Earl K. Long Hospital and later entered private practice treating breast cancer. Bill and Laura attend church at Chapel On The Campus. They have three children, Will, Meg, and Kate.

Before his election to serve Louisiana’s Sixth District in the House Representatives, Bill served in the Louisiana State Senate. In the Louisiana Senate, Bill helped pass a sweeping ethics reform package, opposed efforts to give state lawmakers a pay raise, and sponsored legislation to ensure an equitable distribution of health care resources for uninsured Louisiana patients statewide.

In the U.S. House, Bill serves on the Energy & Commerce Committee and its subcommittees on Health; Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade; and Environment and the Economy. He is a member of the Republican Study Committee and serves as an Assistant Whip for the House Republican Conference.

Current Topic


08/16 - Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference (encore)

What difference has a decade made?

Due to severe flooding in Baton Rouge and the surrounding communities, the recording of “Black & The Blue,” which was to be the August episode of Louisiana Public Square, was cancelled. Instead we will be broadcasting an encore presentation of “Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference.” More information, including broadcast dates and times, is below.

“Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference”
Eleven years ago, Hurricane Katrina swept through Southeast Louisiana, triggering what would become the nation’s costliest disaster. Less than a month later, Hurricane Rita inundated Southwest Louisiana forever altering the landscape. The storms uprooted residents, while the rest of Louisiana and its neighboring states welcomed them with open arms.
What affect did the storms have on economic development along the I-10 corridor? Just over a decade later, how have public services changed? How prepared is Louisiana to handle hurricane evacuees? And how did the hurricanes change the demographics of the state?
This month Louisiana Public Square takes a look at where the state is now on an encore presentation of “Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference” airing Wednesday, August 17 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, August 21 at 11 a.m. on LPB HD.

The panelists are:
· Andy Kopplin, Office of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu
· Paul Rainwater, Rainwater Consulting, LLC
· Stephanie Riegel, Greater Baton Rouge Business Report
· Nihal Shrinath, The Data Center

The program includes interviews with Jason El Koubi, One Acadiana; Chris Guilbeaux, Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP); Kathy Kliebert, Secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals; Allison Plyer, Executive Director of the Data Center; John White, State Superintendent of Education; and Christopher Bohnstengel and “Byrdie” Lane, owners of Byrdie’s Gallery and Café in New Orleans.

LPB CEO, Beth Courtney, and Kim Hunter Reed,Ph.D., who served in the Blanco administration during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, moderate the discussion.
“Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference” will also air in New Orleans, on WLAE. It can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

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