NATCHITOCHES – The Louisiana Scholars’ College at Northwestern State University named Dr. Alex Billioux the 2021 recipient of the Jimmy D. Long, Sr. Louisiana Scholars’ College Distinguished Alumni Award. The award is presented annually to a graduate of the Louisiana Scholars’ College who has been extraordinarily successful in their career and exemplifies the life of public service and commitment exhibited by the late State Representative Jimmy Long.
In Louisiana, Billioux is best known for his role as assistant secretary of the Office of Public Health in the Louisiana Department of Health. Between March and October of 2020, Billioux served as a special advisor to Gov. John Bell Edwards on public health measures that were enacted to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus from its initial outbreak in New Orleans.
Billioux previously played a central role in developing the nation’s first comprehensive plan for widespread Hepatitis C treatment and set up a long-term program for Hepatitis C control and elimination. He also launched the Louisiana Community Healthways program to address social needs of residents impacted by health issues.
Prior to his service with the LDH, Billioux was senior ddvisor to the director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation where he led programs for Accountable Health Communities and Integrated Care for Kids. He was a 2015-16 White House Fellow, working at the Department of Health and Human Services. Billioux has also served outside the U.S., working on treatment and prevention programs for HIV, tuberculosis and other diseases associated with poverty in Guatemala, Haiti, India, South Africa and Uganda.
Billioux studied biology, chemistry and philosophy in the Louisiana Scholars’ College, received his M.D. from Johns Hopkins University and a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford in England. He currently has a part-time appointment in the Medical School of Johns Hopkins University and is the vice president for Social Determinants of Health at United Health Care Government Programs.
Established by the Louisiana Board of Regents for Higher Education in 1987, the Louisiana Scholars’ College serves as the state’s selective-admission honors college of the liberal arts and sciences. Its mission is to provide highly motivated students with a rigorous, customized honors education firmly grounded in the liberal arts and sciences.
Photo: The Advocate/Travis Spalding