On May 26, Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the first bill into law from the 2017 Regular Session, HB 185 by State Representative James Armes who chairs the Special Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs. The new law establishes the Louisiana Military Medics and Corpsmen Pilot Program.
“This is a great opportunity to help the men and women who protect our country and are trained medical professionals to transfer their professional skill sets into civilian life,” said Gov. Edwards. “It gives me great pleasure to sign this bill into law, knowing that it will create job opportunities for our dedicated veterans who have an ongoing desire to serve Louisiana. We will all benefit by helping these outstanding men and women to serve in their chosen profession outside of their military careers.”
The bill directs the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs (LDVA), in cooperation with state agencies and professional or occupational licensing boards that license health care professionals, to create a pilot program that will recognize the medical military certifications of Louisiana veterans and allow them to go to work under the supervision of a Louisiana-licensed physician upon departing their branch of service.
"I'm proud that we have passed this important piece of legislation that will directly benefit our veterans,” said Rep. Armes. “I am also proud that our governor values our veterans and supports helping our Louisiana military medics find good-paying jobs right here at home," said Rep. James Armes.
According to the LDVA, thousands of service members living in Louisiana and current members of the Louisiana National Guard who have medical backgrounds could potentially benefit from this program.
“Our military-trained combat medics and corpsmen are highly trained and carefully selected for these occupational specialties,” said Joey Strickland, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs. “They spend months undergoing intensive medical training that, in many cases, exceeds the requirements of many of our civilian programs. These service members are ready now to use that training to help our Louisiana citizens.”