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Frances Arledge, MPH
Emergency Preparedness Program Manager
Louisiana Hospital Association Research & Education Foundation

Frances Arledge currently serves as the Project Manager for ASPR’s Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) Grant with the Louisiana Hospital Association Research and Education Foundation. The HPP Grant directs federal money to hospitals and EMS providers to assist with acquiring resources, provide training, and planning to advance preparedness for emergency events in which health systems are impacted. Additionally in this role, she provides state level Emergency Support Function 8 (ESF8) health and medical support during disaster response. During her time with the HPP grant, she has assisted in the advancement of state plans including the Medical Institution Evacuation Plan, Ebola Patient Transport Plan, and the Neo-natal Evacuation Plan.

Arledge’s prior hospital experience includes human resources coordination, involvement in quality assurance and performance improvement programs, and emergency preparedness. She holds a Master’s Degree of Public Administration with a post-graduate focus in community preparedness and disaster management among multiple other professional emergency management certifications.

Gerald Bryant, BSN
Executive Vice President
and Chief Nursing Officer
Lake Charles Memorial Hospital

Gerald Bryant serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer for Memorial. He previously served as Vice President of Patient Care Services at Memorial in the early 2000s.

He received his Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Louisiana Monroe. His post-graduate training includes a Masters of Science in Nursing from McNeese State University and a Doctorate of Nursing from Texas Tech Health Science Center.

Bryant has more than 15 years of operational and clinical senior executive leadership experience. Before returning to Memorial in 2019, he served as the Chief Nursing Officer for Baylor Scott & White Medical Center and Clinics in Temple, TX. He was named the Texas Hospital Association/Texas Organization Nurse Executive of the Year in 2019. Bryant is a board certified nurse executives and a member of American College of Healthcare Executive and American Organization of Nurse Executives.

Lacey Cavanaugh, MD
Region 5 Medical Director/Administrator
Louisiana Office of Public Health

Dr. Lacey Cavanaugh is a family medicine physician who is a native of Lutcher, Louisiana. She graduated from Lutcher High School and attended college at Centenary College of Louisiana in Shreveport, where she graduated in 2005 with majors in Biochemistry and Neuroscience. She then attended Louisiana State University Medical School in New Orleans where she graduated in 2009 as part of the Rural Scholars Program. She completed her residency training in Family Medicine from 2009-2012 at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Cavanaugh has worked in private practice in Sulphur as well as in the Rural Health Clinic in Vinton. She has expertise in Wound Care and was part of the Wound Healing Center at West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital from 2012-2016.

Dr. Cavanaugh is the regional medical director for Region 5, which includes the parishes of Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jefferson Davis. Louisiana’s nine regional medical directors (RMDs) oversee the parish health units that serve the daily public health needs of their communities. The RMDs are in constant contact with state health leadership and local leaders to help guide residents through the COVID-19 public health emergency, particularly among key demographics.

Dr. Cavanaugh lives in Carlyss with her husband, Jake, and her 2 children, Lyla and Jordyn Cavanaugh. She is an active member of Henning Memorial United Methodist Church and is an athlete who loves to swim competitively as well as participate in triathlons.

Kenneth Alexander, MS, RRT
VP Member Services & Quality Improvement
Louisiana Hospital Association

Ken Alexander is vice president of member services and quality improvement for the Louisiana Hospital Association (LHA). His responsibilities include leading the LHA’s quality, emergency preparedness, and education departments, and he leads several of LHA’s member groups, including rural, rehab, LTAC, human resources, and quality. He also serves as a registered lobbyist and supports the LHA’s advocacy agenda, assisting in state and national healthcare policy development.

Alexander has served as an adjunct faculty member for the LSU Health Science Center Graduate School of Public Health, Health Policy and Systems Management department. Additionally, he co-authored a chapter for All In, a nationally recognized book on using healthcare collaboratives in patient safety and quality improvement activities. He also serves on several boards for a variety of healthcare related organizations, including the Louisiana State Board of Nursing, and the Respiratory Therapy Advisory Committee of the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners. Alexander is a member of the national selection committee for the prestigious American Hospital Association Quest for Quality Award. He speaks extensively on both statewide and national platforms on topics related to healthcare, quality and patient safety, organizational culture, leadership, and teamwork.

Starting his career as a medical specialist in the U.S. Army, Alexander became a registered respiratory therapist, working in a variety of staff, supervisory, and management roles. Alexander holds a Master’s of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University, a Bachelor’s of Science from Thomas Edison State College and a diploma in Respiratory Therapy from Northwestern University School of Medicine. As a hospital senior executive, Alexander served as CEO in both acute and post-acute hospitals prior to joining the LHA.


Representatives from Louisiana will discuss the impacts of a major hurricane on an already vulnerable healthcare system. Presenters will review the complexity of the response associated with wide-spread infrastructure outages impacting a region. They will also share lessons learned pertaining to clinical management and decisions-making in the hospital setting and the community recovery challenges exacerbated by the pandemic.

Hosted by: Louisiana Hospital Association

Presentation: 59:47