EXECUTIVE ORDER
JBE 16-59

Emergency Suspension of Licensure Requirements for Medical Professionals
and Personnel Licensed Out-of-State


WHEREAS,               pursuant to the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act, La. R.S. 29:721, et seq., the Governor declared a state of emergency in Proclamation No. 111 JBE 2016;

WHEREAS,               pursuant to the Louisiana Health Emergency Powers Act, La. R.S. 29:760 et seq., a state of public health emergency was declared to exist in the entire State of Louisiana by Executive Order Number JBE 2016-52;

WHEREAS,               due to the unprecedented rainfall, portions of southern Louisiana are currently experiencing a flood of historical proportions, with thousands of homes flooded and thousands of people being rescued from flooded homes;

WHEREAS,               many of the rescued persons, together with others able to evacuate on their own, are utilizing emergency shelters, including medical special needs shelters, set-up in the area to accommodate those who cannot remain in their homes;

WHEREAS,               flooding is currently straining medical infrastructure in LDH Regions 2, 4, and 9, with the potential threat of further storms likely straining medical infrastructure in Region 5; 

WHEREAS,               the flooding poses a threat to citizens and communities across southern Louisiana and creates conditions which place lives and property in a state in jeopardy;

WHEREAS,               although scores of people have been rescued, there are many more persons waiting for rescue, evacuation, and medical assistance, and many citizens have suffered or will suffer injury and/or illness;

WHEREAS,               the number of medical professionals and personnel currently available to the state to respond to this emergency are insufficient and there is a need to immediately supplement their number in order to serve those affected by this disaster;

WHEREAS,               Louisiana Revised Statute 29:724 authorizes the Governor, during a declared state of emergency, to suspend the provisions of any state regulatory statute prescribing procedures for conducting state business, or the orders, rules or regulations of any state agency, if strict compliance with the provision of any statute, order, rule, or regulation would in any way prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with the emergency;

WHEREAS,               Louisiana Revised Statute 29:766 authorizes the Governor, during a declared state of public health emergency, to suspend the provisions of any regulatory statute prescribing procedures for the conducting of state business, or the orders, rules, or regulations of any state agency, if strict compliance with the provisions of any statute, order, rule, or regulation would in any way prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with the emergency; and

WHEREAS,               the secretary of the Department of Health and the State Health Officer have requested that the Louisiana state statutes, laws, rules, and regulations related to the licensing of medical professionals and personnel be temporarily suspended for those such persons duly licensed to practice in other states who wish to provide their services in Louisiana to those persons needing medical services as a result of this emergency.
 
NOW THEREFORE, I, JOHN BEL EDWARDS, Governor of the State of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and the laws of the State of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:

SECTION 1:              Louisiana state licensure laws, rules, and regulations for medical professionals and personnel are hereby suspended for those medical professionals and personnel from other states or other countries offering medical services in Louisiana to those needing medical services as a result of this disaster provided that said out-of-state or out-of-country medical professionals and personnel possess a current medical license in good standing in their respective state or country of licensure and that they practice in good faith and within the reasonable scope of his or her skills, training, or ability.

SECTION 2:              All out-of-state or out-of-country medical professionals and personnel offering services in the state of Louisiana by authority of this Order shall submit to the State Health Officer, or his designee at the Office of Public Health within the Louisiana Department of Health, a copy of their respective professional license and photo identification, together with any other forms or documents the State Health Officer may require, by contacting the Office of Public Health, Louisiana Volunteers in Action (LAVA) program  (https://www.lava.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.php) at 225-354-3569, 225-354-3573, 225-354-3566, or dhhvol@la.gov.

SECTION 3:              This Order is effective upon signature and shall apply retroactively from August 13, 2016, until amended, modified, terminated, or rescinded by the Governor, or terminated by operation of law.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana in the City of Baton Rouge, on this 17th day of August, 2016.

 

John Bel Edwards
Governor

ATTEST BY
THE GOVERNOR
Tom Schedler
Secretary of State