Dr. Townsend was appointed by Governor Blanco as Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals in September 2007. Until that time, Dr. Townsend had been serving as the Deputy Secretary for the department acting as the Chief Operating Officer with oversight of the major program offices that include the Offices of Mental Health, Addictive Disorders, Public Health, Citizens with Developmental Disabilities, and Aging and Adult Services. In July of 2004 she initially joined the Department as the Medicaid Medical Director. Throughout her tenure at DHH, Dr. Townsend has been involved in quality initiatives in the Medicaid program, efforts to improve the safety and efficiency of health care delivery throughout the state as well as projects to increase the use of health information technology.
In 1979, Dr. Townsend graduated from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. After 10 years in nursing, Dr. Townsend attended medical school at LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans, graduating in 1992 as a Doctor of Medicine. She is Board Certified in Internal Medicine.
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