Created with input from health care and legal professionals across the state and approved in 2010 by the Louisiana Legislature as Act 954, the Louisiana Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (LaPOST) document is a best-practice model for patients with serious, advanced illnesses to state their preferences for end-of-life treatment in a physician's order.
Modeled after Oregon's Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Paradigm document, LaPOST was endorsed in 2006 by the Louisiana State Medical Society and in July 2012 by the National Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Paradigm Task Force. It was also recommended by the Louisiana Health Care Redesign Collaborative's End-of-Life workgroup.
The LaPOST document improves communication between patients and doctors by providing the mechanism for those with serious, advanced illnesses to express their preferences about medical care, and because the document travels with them across health care settings, it ensures that those wishes are honored, regardless of their location.
Since its approval by the state legislature, the LaPOST document has continued to integrate into Louisiana's health care system, assisting patients and families and health care professionals in developing care plans that meet patients' specific needs and goals of care. To learn more about Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum, visit lhcqf.org.
To improve end-of-life care in Louisiana by honoring the health care wishes and goals of care of those with serious, advanced illnesses.
To empower consumers and health care professionals with information, education and resources necessary to make educated decisions about end-of-life care.
Coalition Members & Advisors
The LaPOST Serious Illness Coalition was developed to support the improvement of care for those with serious illnesses in the state of Louisiana. The Coalition believes that the continuum of care should reflect patient and family needs, goals, values, and preferences instead of following a model that best suits insurance reimbursement. The following individuals are leaders from across the state with vast experience in all aspects of serious illness care.
Jamey Boudreaux, MSW, is Adjunct Faculty at Tulane School of Social Work. He has served as Executive Director of LMHPCO for more than two decades. He received his Master of Social Work in Clinical/Medical Social Work at Tulane School of Social Work, and his Master of Divinity in Theology/Theological Studies from Notre Dame Seminary Graduate School of Theology.
Kristen Grimes, DO, is a pediatric physician at Our Lady of the Lake Medical Center. Kristin Lynch Grimes, DO, received her doctorate degree in osteopathic medicine from the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans and is a member of the American Medical Association, National Medical Association, and the American College of Physicians.
Mark Kantrow, MD, is a hospice and palliative medicine physician in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He received his medical degree from Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans and has been in practice for more than 20 years. Dr. Kantrow currently serves on the colorectal, head & neck and lung multidisciplinary care teams (MDC) at Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center.
Alexandra Leigh, MD, is Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at Tulane University. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University and completed her MD in 2005 at the University of Alabama, her home state. She completed her internal medicine residency, a chief resident year, and her fellowship in hospice and palliative medicine at UAB in Birmingham Alabama. From 2010 to 2012, Dr. Leigh worked as an assistant professor at UAB and the Birmingham VA Medical Center practicing inpatient palliative medicine and internal medicine, educating residents and fellows, and performing research on hospice emergency kits. She received her board certification in Internal Medicine in 2008 and in Hospice and Palliative Care in 2010.
Kelly Letsinger, MD, is an internal medicine physician, specializing in hospice and palliative care. She attended medical school at Virginia Commonwealth University and Louisiana State University School of Medicine, and is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of IM/Hospice & Palliative Medicine.
Sonia Malhotra, MD, MS, FAAP, is Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at Tulane University. She completed Med-Peds residency training and a year as Pediatrics Chief Resident at Tulane. And a year of Adult and Pediatric Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh where she also did a Master’s in Medical Education. Dr. Malhotra is board certified in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Hospice and Palliative medicine. She previously served as Medical Director of the Ochsner Palliative Medicine program where she created the first Pediatric Palliative Medicine program in the state of Louisiana. Currently she is the Director of Palliative Medicine services at University Medical Center in New Orleans, Louisiana and holds faculty appointments at Tulane University School of Medicine, LSU School of Medicine, and the joint program between University of Queensland/Ochsner Clinical School. She is Chair of the Early Career Professionals’ Group through the Academy of Hospice & Palliative Medicine.
Susan Nelson, MD, is board-certified in internal medicine, geriatrics and hospice and palliative medicine. Over the last 30 years, she has advocated for systems to improve care for those with serious advanced illness. She serves as Medical Director of Post-Acute Care for the Ochsner Health Network and is System Chair, Palliative Medicine and Supportive Care as well as Bioethics with Ochsner Health. Dr. Nelson is a fellow of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and the American College of Physicians. She is chair of the LaPOST Coalition, as well as on the Leadership Council of National POLST-initiatives to develop and use a set of portable medical orders for patients with life limiting illness.
Rene Ragas, FACHE, is Senior Vice President of Ambulatory Operations, and President of the Northshore Region, for Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System in Baton Rouge. He received his master’s degree in healthcare administration from Tulane University, and has served as CEO of Our Lady of the Angels Hospital. Rene is considered an expert in the field of managed care.
Dr. Floyd Roberts is the vice president of clinical affairs for the Louisiana Hospital Association. Dr. Roberts previously served as the chief medical officer of Baton Rouge General Medical Center. He has earned numerous awards and honors, including the AHA/HRET Fellowship in Patient Safety Leadership; the “Resident’s Choice” award in 2000, which is awarded by graduating family medicine residents for outstanding support, teaching and role modeling; and the Physicians’ Recognition Award from the American Medical Association. He is a graduate of LSU and received his medical degree from the LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans. He completed an internship, a residency and a fellowship in the Division of Pulmonary Medicine at the Department of Medicine of the University of Alabama. Dr. Roberts is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, with special qualifications in critical care medicine and pulmonary diseases. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians; a member of the American Thoracic Society; a fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians; a member of the Louisiana State Medical Society; and a member of the American College of Physician Executives.