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Panelist Bio


Kenneth J. Phenow, MD, MPH
Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana

Dr. Ken Phenow bridges the wide gap among health policy, healthcare reform and family medicine. Dr. Phenow, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, has been charged with leading the state’s largest private insurer into new arenas of innovation and best practices as both private and public sectors prepare for pending healthcare reforms.

As both a practitioner and policy thought leader, he strongly advocates the tenets of the Patient-centered Medical Home (PCMH). The healthcare delivery model is based on strong, collaborative primary care that focuses on solid doctor-patient relationships and a holistic (whole-person) approach to wellness and healing. Dr. Phenow helped establish the first private payer-supported medical home in Texas while serving as the senior medical executive of Cigna Healthcare of North Texas and Oklahoma. The first Blue Cross-supported PCMH pilot in Louisiana was initiated in early 2012 with the Baton Rouge General Physicians group.

Since coming to Louisiana, Dr. Phenow has worked with industry and community leaders to promote proactive wellness initiatives and bold public health efforts that seek to improve the quality of life of both the Blue Cross subscriber base and Louisiana as a whole. He spearheads Tackling Diabetes, a public health campaign engaging a broad spectrum of stakeholders that intends to use aggressive screening, education and healthcare innovation to strike a decisive blow against obesity and preventable chronic disease.

Dr. Phenow is board certified in Family Medicine. He attended the University of California at San Diego (Biochemistry and Political Science) and earned a master’s degree (Health Services Administration and Policy Analysis) from the University of California at Los Angeles School of Public Health. He received his medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin through the U.S. Navy Health Professions Scholarship Program.

Dr. Phenow has published in the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of Family Practice and has co-authored Preventive Medicine textbook chapters. He contributed to preventive guidelines publications, including Healthy People 2000 and Healthy People 2010, Putting Prevention into Practice, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Prevention Guidelines, an education series on the health effects of smoking published by the American Cancer Society, and most recently, work on the Patient-centered Medical Home delivery model.

Dr. Phenow currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative in Washington, D.C., is a member of the Texas Medical Home Initiative Board of Directors and serves on the Academy of Family Practice’s Health Services and Managed Care Committee. Dr. Phenow is a Commander in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps Reserves. He lives with his wife and children in St. Gabriel, Louisiana.

Current Topic


09/14 - Varsity, Inc.: The Business of College Sports

How big a business is college sports in Louisiana?

Special Presentation


Breaking Away:  A Louisiana Public Square Special Presentation

Would the breakaway City of St. George quash Baton Rouge’s school desegregation progress?

Coming Soon!


10/14 - Louisiana’s Congressional Priorities

Should the focus be on job creation or tax relief?

Recent Topics


08/14 - Down the Road: Our Transportation Future

What should the state’s transportation priorities be?


07/14 - Defining “Dangerous”

How does Louisiana determine if someone is a danger to themselves or others?


06/14 - Pot or Not? The Decriminalization Debate (Encore Presentation)

Would a reduction in penalties encourage more usage and lead the state down a path to legalization?


05/14 - Job Market 2014

What does Louisiana’s employment market look like for job hunters in 2014?

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