Blue Cross, Louisiana Colorectal Cancer Roundtable Recognize Primary Care Doctors for Optimal Screening Rates

Jan. 11, 2019

BATON ROUGE, La. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and the Louisiana Colorectal Cancer Roundtable gave special recognition to 25 primary care doctors who screened 80 percent or more of their eligible patients for colorectal cancer in the past year.

According to the Louisiana Tumor Registry, Louisiana has the country’s fourth-highest death rate from colorectal cancer among the states. Colorectal cancer screening can catch the disease in early stages, when it is easier to treat. Screening through colonoscopy and other methods can detect cancer and can also pick up on pre-cancerous polyps, which doctors can remove before they turn into cancer. 

Earlier this year, the American Cancer Society updated its guidelines to include colon cancer testing via colonoscopy or other acceptable methods for everyone starting at age 45. People who have certain risk factors or family histories may need to start this screening at an even younger age.

Unfortunately, Louisiana’s overall colorectal cancer screening rate for people age 50 and older is only 64 percent. The National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable has set a goal of 80 percent screening. Blue Cross and the Roundtable announced a competition among Louisiana healthcare providers in 2016 aimed at boosting colorectal cancer screening rates up to 80 percent by 2018. 

“There are tests to effectively identify colorectal cancer early and save lives, but people need to get routine screenings,” said Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Chief Medical Officer Dr. Vindell Washington. “We applaud the primary care doctors who have worked with us to bring Louisiana’s screening rates up and raise awareness about why this and other preventive health screenings are so important.”

Louisiana primary care doctors recognized for achieving an 80 percent or higher screening rate from 2017-2018 are:

1. Leandro Area Ochsner Health Network
2. Sally Ball Willis-Knighton Physician Network
3. Jennifer Bertsch WJPQA-Touro-Crescent City Physicians
4. Leslie Blake Ochsner Health Network


5. Joseph Breault Ochsner Health Network


6. Clyde Elliott Health Leaders Network
7. Caroline Flint Ochsner Health Network


8. Brad Gaspard Baton Rouge General Physicians


9. Dwight Green  Ochsner Health Network
10. Richard Haynie Shreveport Internal Medicine


11. Brandi Jones Ochsner Health Network


12. John Kokemor WJPQA-Touro-Louapre; Kokemor, Sarrat & Braedt
13. David Lanson Ochsner Health Network
14. Gloria Leary Ochsner Health Network


15. Christopher Lege LCMC- Touro: Crescent City Physicians


16. Craig Miller Shreveport Internal Medicine


17. Laura Nicosia Ochsner Health Network


18. Aarti Pais LCMC-Touro: Crescent City Physicians
19. JoEllen Kasparek Plunkett Ochsner Health Network


20. Wanda Robinson Ochsner Health Network


21. Stephanie Sarrat LCMC-Touro: Louapre, Kokemor, Sarrat & Braedt


22. Edward Sledge, Jr. Ochsner Health Network


23. Vasanthi Vinayagam Baton Rouge General Physicians


24. Darakhshan Wahid Baton Rouge General Physicians


25. Jacob Wood   Baton Rouge General Physicians


These doctors who were recognized are part of Quality Blue Primary Care, Blue Cross’ program for patient-focused care that improves health outcomes and keeps costs in line. The recognitions were presented at the fifth annual Quality Blue Primary Care Statewide Collaborative on Nov. 1, 2018.

For more information on the Quality Blue Primary Care program, visit Learn more about the ways Blue Cross is using Quality Blue to help our customers get better health results and combat rising healthcare costs at

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to our mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianians. We invest both time and money in the communities we serve, supporting the health and wellbeing of Louisianians through more than 200 charitable organizations.

With our subsidiaries, HMO Louisiana and Southern National Life, we provide group and individual health insurance plans, life and disability insurance, group voluntary products and administrative services to one out of four Louisiana residents. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana also provides Medicare supplement and Medicare Advantage plans and is a partner in offering the Healthy Blue Medicaid Managed care plan. Louisiana is the only state where we operate, with offices in every major region to serve our customers.

Founded in New Orleans in 1934, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is a tax-paying non-profit health insurer. We are a private mutual company, owned by our policyholders, with an independent Louisiana Board of Directors and no shareholders. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

To learn more, visit our website at