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Episode Info

Episode Info:

Dr. Rebekah Gee is the secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health. Dr. Gee is an OB-GYN and brings a caregiver's perspective to the people she serves. She is also a trained policy expert who has served in numerous state and national policy roles, and in 2017, she was elected to the National Academy of Medicine. Prior to her role as secretary, Dr. Gee served as the director for the Birth Outcomes Initiative, where she led the charge to decrease infant mortality and prematurity statewide. 

In this episode, Dr. Gee shares her inspiring path to becoming the secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health, and how she is working to fight health challenges such as Hepatitis C in Louisiana. 

For more information and full episode transcription go to Contagious Conversations (

Key Takeaways: 

[1:21] What inspired Dr. Gee to become a physician? 

[2:50] The caregiver perspective. 

[4:00] Nothing about me, without me. 

[4:31] What led Dr. Gee to her current position at the Louisiana Department of Health. 

[5:50] Prioritizing the safety of the public. 

[7:25] Hepatitis C in Louisiana. 

[10:05] Understanding and preventing Hepatitis C. 

[13:25] Infant mortality and protecting babies and mothers. 

[14:45] Maternal mortality and implicit bias. 

[16:06] Medicaid expansion. 

[18:22] The most complicated part of Dr. Gee’s role as Secretary of the Department of Health. 

[20:23] The greatest public health challenges in Louisiana. 

[21:23] Dr. Gee’s career advice for the future public health leaders of America. 

[22:43] Delivery system and public health need to be married for optimal results. 

[22:52] Advice for women who want to be public health leaders. 


Mentioned in This Episode: 

CDC Foundation 

Answer this episode’s question: What is the best career advice you have ever received? Email your answer to and win some CDC Foundation merchandise.

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