Roundup: New Medicaid director / US vaccine testing / BRAF board  

First day: Louisiana’s new state Medicaid director Ruth Johnson started today. Johnson has worked in state government agencies across Louisiana, South Carolina and Texas for the past three decades. Most recently, Johnson was the chief operating officer for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. More than 1.5 million Louisiana residents are on Medicaid, about one-third of the state’s population. Jen Steele, who previously worked as Louisiana’s Medicaid director, left the department earlier this year. Read the full story. 

40-person study: A second U.S. company is poised to begin a small safety test of a vaccine against the new coronavirus. Inovio Pharmaceuticals says it has Food and Drug Administration permission for the study in 40 healthy volunteers in Philadelphia and Kansas City, Missouri. Read the full story. 

New members: The Baton Rouge Area Foundation today announced the appointments of four new members to the board of directors. Thomas Adamek, Beverly Haydel, Jeffrey Koonce and Linda Posner will replace Mark Drennen, Perry Franklin, Kevin Knobloch and Jeffrey Zehnder; each served two, three-year terms. Rodney Braxton was elected to a second term and Neva Butkus is the Forum 225 representative to the board.   

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