President, Chief Executive Officer, Executive Medical Director
Professional Assistance Program of New Jersey
Princeton, NJ, USA
Industry: Business Services
Field: Health Care Professional Assistance
According to the National Institute of Mental Health’s Epidemiologic Catchment Area Survey of 1991, health care professional impairment is a serious issue that affects 10-15 percent of the population. As the president, chief executive officer and executive medical director of the Professional Assistance Program of New Jersey, Dr. Louis E. Baxter Sr. has dedicated his life to assisting and improving conditions for afflicted health care professionals in the state of New Jersey. He does so by diagnosing individuals with impairing conditions and establishing treatment plans for them.
The PAPNJ provides several crucial services to help improve the situation for health care professionals. From education and identification, to evaluation, treatment and monitoring, the organization truly impacts the bottom line for a healthy hospital setting. “Health care professionals have issues involved with themselves getting diseases, diagnosing themselves and — certainly — with [prescribing] ongoing treatment,” Dr. Baxter Sr. explains. “There are a lot of factors including licensing boards, malpractice insurance issues and hospital privileges that have to be identified and addressed.” To further their positive impact, the PAPNJ also provides assistance to hospitals to help them maintain their JCAHO certification. Each hospital is required to have a committee dedicated to identifying impairment. The PAPNJ provides those services through a contract as a “hospital authorized party.”
Substance addiction is a serious issue that affects the brain and behavior, negatively affecting millions of Americans in their daily lives. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, alcohol, nicotine and addictive substances “cost Americans upwards of half a trillion dollars per year,” factoring in the medical, criminal, economic and social consequences. Dr. Baxter Sr. has demonstrated an extraordinary degree of care and concern for those health care professionals (and the general public) who are beset with some kind of addiction. He considers these people to be impaired by a medical disease, much like any other, and considers them a high priority for the PAPNJ.
Dr. Baxter Sr. completed a fellowship in addiction medicine at Portsmouth Hospital, and a residency and internship in internal medicine in 1981 at Cooper University Hospital. He received an MD in 1978 from the Temple University School of Medicine. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in American Civilization and a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 1973 from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Baxter Sr. holds board certification from the American Board of Addiction Medicine. He is a certified medical review officer by the Medical Review Officer Certification Council and a certification candidate of the American Board of Internal Medicine. Continue reading