Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced his appointments to several Louisiana boards and commissions.

Board of Pardons and Committee on Parole
The Board of Pardons considers applications for pardon, sentence commutation, and restoration of rights and privileges of citizenship. All of the Board’s recommendations for clemency are forwarded to the Governor for final action. The Committee on Parole conducts parole hearings and determines if and when an offender may be released from incarceration to safely return to the community under supervision by the Division of Probation and Parole.
 
Keith D. Jones, of Baton Rouge, was appointed to the Board of Pardons and the Committee on Parole. Jones is an attorney and the owner of Keith D. Jones, Attorney at Law.
 
Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners
The Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners (LSBME) protects the health, welfare, and safety of Louisiana citizens against the unprofessional, improper, and unauthorized practice of medicine by ensuring that those who practice medicine and other allied health professions under its jurisdiction are qualified and competent to do so.   In addition, the Board serves in an advisory capacity to the public and the state with respect to the practice of medicine.
 
Rita Y. Horton, M.D., of Benton, was appointed to the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners. Horton is a Clinical Associate Professor and the Department Head/Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) School of Medicine in Shreveport. She is a graduate of LSUHSC School of Medicine in Shreveport and completed her training at St. Louis University. As required by statute, she will serve as the representative of LSUHSC at Shreveport.
 
Terrie R. Thomas, M.D., of Baton Rouge, was appointed to the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners. Thomas is an Obstetrician and Gynecologist with Associates in Women’s Health. She is a Clinical Professor at Tulane University’s Obstetrics and Gynecology Department and an Associate Professor for the LSU-Earl K. Long Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Program. She is a graduate of and completed her residency at LSUHSC School of Medicine in New Orleans. As required by statute, she will serve as the representative of the Louisiana Hospital Association.
 
James A. “Jim” Taylor Jr., M.D., of Zachary, was appointed to the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners. Taylor is a family physician in private practice. He is a graduate of LSUHSC School of Medicine in New Orleans and completed his residency at the Baton Rouge General Family Medicine Residency Program. As required by statute, he will serve as the representative of the Louisiana Academy of Family Practice Physicians.
 
Louisiana State Board of Nursing
The Louisiana State Board of Nursing is responsible for safeguarding the life and health of Louisiana residents through the regulation of persons practicing or offering to practice as a registered nurse. The board also establishes minimum curriculum requirements and approves nursing schools.
 
Susan M. Saunders, of Ville Platte, was appointed to the Louisiana State Board of Nursing. Saunders is the founder of Susan’s on Court. She will serve as a consumer member on the board.
 
Louisiana Board of Veterinary Medicine
The Louisiana Board of Veterinary Medicine is responsible for examining and determining the qualifications and fitness of applicants for licenses to practice veterinary medicine in the state. The Board investigates complaints against licensees and disciplines licenses.
 
Joseph B. “Jody” Bondurant Jr., of Ponchatoula, was appointed to the Louisiana Board of Veterinary Medicine. Bondurant is a veterinarian and the owner of Hammond Veterinary Services. As required by statute, he was nominated by the Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association.
 
State Licensing Board for Contractors
The purpose of the State Licensing Board for Contractors is the protection of the health, safety, and general welfare of citizens dealing with persons engaged in the contracting vocation, and affording citizens an effective and practical protection against incompetent, inexperienced, unlawful, and fraudulent acts of contractors with whom they contract. The Board also monitors construction projects to ensure compliance with the statutory and regulatory licensure requirements.
 
Christopher N. Stuart, of Baton Rouge, was appointed to the State Licensing Board for Contractors. Stuart is a licensed contractor and the founder of Stuart and Company General Contractor, LLC. He is a veteran of the United States Army. As required by statute, he was nominated by Louisiana Associated General Contractors.
 
Louisiana Women’s Incarceration Task Force
The Louisiana Women’s Incarceration Task Force was established by House Concurrent Resolution 27 of the 2018 Regular Session to study, evaluate, analyze, and undertake a comprehensive review of the state's criminal justice system as it relates to women.
 
Carole S. Turner, of Prairieville, was appointed to the Louisiana Women’s Incarceration Task Force. Turner is an executive assistant at Mattress Direct and formerly worked for the Capital Area Reentry Program. She will serve as a community member with significant and relevant experience or expertise.
 
Allison Miller Rutzen, of Prairieville, was appointed to the Louisiana Women’s Incarceration Task Force. Rutzen is an Assistant District Attorney with the East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney’s Office. She will serve as a representative of criminal justice agencies.
 
Andrea H. Buttross, of St. Gabriel, was appointed to the Louisiana Women’s Incarceration Task Force. Buttross is the Education Director for the Department of Public Safety and Corrections. She will serve as a representative of criminal justice agencies.
 
Louisiana Genetic Counselor Advisory Committee
The Louisiana Genetic Counselor Advisory Committee was established is to advise and make recommendations to the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners regarding genetic counseling and genetic counselor licensure.
 
Alix R. D’Angelo, of New Orleans, was appointed to the Louisiana Genetic Counselor Advisory Committee. D’Angelo is a genetic counselor and instructor at LSUHSC in New Orleans. She holds a master’s in genetic counseling and is certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling.
 
Christopher T. Dvorak, of New Orleans, was appointed to the Louisiana Genetic Counselor Advisory Committee. Dvorak is a genetic counselor with the Hayward Genetics Center and an instructor in the Department of Pediatrics at Tulane University School of Medicine. He holds a master’s in genetic counseling and is certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling.
 
Emily A. Nazar, of Baton Rouge, was appointed to the Louisiana Genetic Counselor Advisory Committee. Nazar is a genetic counselor with Counsyl, Inc. She holds a master’s in genetic counseling and is certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling.
 
Nicolotte K. “Nikki” Walano, of New Orleans, was appointed to the Louisiana Genetic Counselor Advisory Committee. Walano is a genetic counselor and instructor at Tulane University Hayward Genetics Center. She holds a master’s in genetic counseling and is certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling.
 
Hillary M. Wienpahl, of Baton Rouge, was appointed to the Louisiana Genetic Counselor Advisory Committee. Wienpahl is a clinical genetic counselor with Woman’s Hospital and a research genetic counselor with SouthSeq Whole Genome Sequencing. She holds a master’s in genetic counseling and is certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling.
 
Louisiana State Board of Optometry Examiners
The Louisiana State Board of Optometry Examiners is responsible for licensing and regulating optometrists in the state.
 
James Sandefur, O.D., of Oakdale, was reappointed to the Louisiana State Board of Optometry Examiners. Sandefur is an optometrist and the founder of Vision Clinic. As required by statute, he was nominated by the Louisiana State Board of Optometry Examiners.