Press Releases

December 20, 2023

Governor-Elect Jeff Landry Announces Appointments to the Louisiana Health Department, Wildlife & Fisheries, and Children & Family Services

Monroe, La­– Today, Governor-elect Jeff Landry announced appointments to the Louisiana Department of Health, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and the Department of Children and Family Services.

Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health—Dr. Ralph Abraham

Deputy Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health —Dr. Pete Croughan

Undersecretary of the Louisiana Department of Health —Michael Harrington

Chief of Staff of the Louisiana Department of Health —Drew Maranto

Executive Counsel to the Louisiana Department of Health —Nick Gachassin, III

Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries—Madison Sheahan

Deputy Secretary/Assistant Secretary of Wildlife—Stephen Clark

Assistant Secretary of Fisheries—Ryan Montegut

Chief of Staff of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries—Tyler Bosworth

Secretary of the Department of Children and Family Services— David Matlock

“I am proud to announce these important appointments today.  Each of these individuals has the leadership, knowledge, and skills that our state needs to put us on the right path forward. I look forward to the great work they will do for folks across Louisiana,” said Governor-elect Jeff Landry.

“I am honored that the Governor-elect has asked me to head the Louisiana Department of Health. As a practicing physician, I look forward to ensuring our rural communities are well represented, the mental health crisis is properly addressed, and the Louisiana Health Department serves all of Louisiana’s health needs, no matter where you live,” said Dr. Ralph Abraham.

“Louisiana has always been the sportsman’s paradise. It’s time for us to build a Department of Wildlife and Fisheries that upholds the same level of excellence. I am dedicated to developing a team that will bring the bold and innovative leadership that this state deserves. And I’m thankful that Governor-Elect Landry trusts me to lead this department in a new direction — to create a department that truly serves the people of Louisiana,” said Madison Sheahan.

“I am honored to serve the people of Louisiana as the Secretary of the Department of Children and Family Services. I look forward to working closely with Governor-elect Landry to ensure we give our children and families the proper resources and support to live a successful life,” said David Matlock.





Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health, Dr. Ralph Abraham

Dr. Ralph Abraham is a practicing family medicine physician in Richland Parish and a former three term Congressman for Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District. Throughout his almost 30 year career in medicine, Dr. Abraham has seen firsthand the many healthcare challenges facing Louisiana. Dr. Abraham graduated from Mangham High School before earning his degree at Louisiana State University. He graduated from the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine and practiced for 10 years before eventually seeking his Medical Doctor degree, which he earned at the LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport. Dr. Abraham was a First Lieutenant in the  Army National Guard. He has served on humanitarian missions for Free Burma Rangers in Burma, Syria, Iraq and Ukraine. He has also volunteered on humanitarian missions in Afghanistan and the Amazon for other organizations.  Additionally, he is a fixed-wing and helicopter pilot who currently flies reconnaissance missions for the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and he is a mission pilot for the Air Force’s Civil Air Patrol Green Flag Program. He’s a certified flight instructor and actively works with Pilots for Patients – an organization that provides free air transportation to patients needing treatment at medical facilities not available to them locally. Dr. Abraham has been married to his wife Dianne for 46 years and they reside in Richland Parish. They have three children and ten grandchildren.

Deputy Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health, Dr. Pete Croughan

Pete Croughan is an Internal Medicine physician with a background in health policy and state-level administration. He grew up in Crowley, Louisiana before heading to Yale University, where he majored in History of Science and Medicine. He then worked in health policy research at PolicyLab at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, before heading to UCSF for medical school, where he served as president of the student body. In 2017, he took time away to work as Policy Director for the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), where he spearheaded a statewide cancer strategy, analyzed state funding of graduate medical education, and led development of the Hepatitis C pharmaceutical payment subscription model. In 2018, he became Chief of Staff for Dr Rebekah Gee and LDH, where he was responsible for policy development, quality improvement, communications, external affairs, and legislative strategy. In 2020, he returned to clinical practice to complete his Internal Medicine residency, with a concentration in Primary Care, at Massachusetts General Hospital. Since completing his training, he has worked as an addiction medicine physician at the Acadiana Area Human Services District in Lafayette and his hometown of Crowley, where he cares for patients with substance use disorders.


Under-Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health, Michael Harrington

Michael Harrington is a former CEO/COO of adult/pediatric tertiary and community health services, including post-acute services. With over 25 years of service in for-profit and not-for-profit health systems, his passion is developing reliable processes that engage people, process, technology and culture to maintain and grow patient safety and margins.


Chief of Staff of the Louisiana Department of Health, Drew Maranto

Drew Maranto is a former congressional staffer, campaign advisor and small business owner based in Baton Rouge. He has worked with three of Louisiana’s U.S. Senators, serving in a number roles including Deputy Chief of Staff, Campaign Manager and Senior Advisor. Drew has visited all 64 of Louisiana’s parishes and has worked to earn the trust and respect of many Louisianans. He has consistently fought for resources and solutions while working side by side with leaders in the public and private sector. Maranto has a history of working alongside federal, state and local officials to make sure our communities are heard. He graduated from Catholic High School and went on to attend LSU. He earned a B.A. – Dual Degree in History and Political Science and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.


Executive Counsel to the Louisiana Department of Health, Nick Gachassin III

Nicholas Gachassin, III started with Gachassin Law Firm after receiving his LL.M in Health Care Law from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. For the past 29 years, Nicholas has provided counsel and guidance to health care providers and health care businesses, including hospitals, physicians, home health and hospice agencies, Federally Qualified Health Centers, and ambulatory surgery centers. He has also advised community hospitals and service district hospitals on the purchase and lease of facilities, advised physicians on the sale of the practice and employment with hospitals, and advised physician investors on the development of new health care real estate ventures. He has served as outside general counsel to several hospitals in Louisiana and as Executive Vice President and General Counsel for LHC Group, Inc. Nichlas currently serves as GLF’s Managing Partner and as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Sanara MedTech, Inc., a publicly traded medical technology company (Nasdaq: SMTI). Mr. Gachassin is a graduate of Tulane University, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law and Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Madison Sheahan

Madison Sheahan was Team Captain for the Ohio State rowing team and worked directly with coach Urban Meyer to develop leadership programs for other Ohio State team captains. Over the last three years she has been working directly and indirectly with the Governor of South Dakota, Kristi Noem, in leadership positions where she worked on legislation relating to wildlife, agriculture, and natural resources. She also played a major role in passing one of the strongest bills in the nation protecting women’s sports. Madison has a bachelor’s degree in public affairs, public management, leadership, and policy and agri-business. She served as an Ohio FFA State Officer. She is an avid hunter and loves the outdoors.

Deputy Secretary/Assistant Secretary of Wildlife, Stephen Clark

Stephen Clark started his law enforcement career as a “Game Warden” with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in 1994.   Stephen has served in multiple positions for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service including Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Resident Agent in Charge, and Special Agent.  He has over 29 years of natural resource conservation experience. In addition to his duties as a Special Agent, Stephen was an airplane pilot for the government where he was assigned to pilot different U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service airplanes on law enforcement operations across the country. Stephen was most recently a Special Agent in Charge with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement. In this position, Stephen was responsible for all U.S. Fish and Wildlife law enforcement operations for the southeastern United States.  Stephen graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in economics and a minor in management. While attending college, Stephen enlisted in the Louisiana Army National Guard where he served for 6 years. As a veteran who served in Operation Desert Storm, Stephen was awarded the Army Service Ribbon, Army Lapel Button, the National Defense Service Medal, the Louisiana War Cross, and the Humanitarian Service Medal.


Assistant Secretary of Fisheries, Ryan Montegut

After graduating with a B.S. in Zoology from Louisiana State University and a J.D. from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, Ryan began his career managing wetlands restoration projects along the Louisiana coast, while pursuing post-graduate studies in wetlands ecology and environmental biology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Ryan maintained a private law practice for approximately 15 years and served as lawyer inside the criminal justice system where he handled numerous environmental cases.


Chief of Staff of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Tyler Bosworth

Tyler M. Bosworth, is the former Advocacy Director for the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL). As Advocacy Director, Tyler was charged with executing the organization’s state and federal policy efforts and managing its community outreach department. Prior to his role with CRCL, Tyler was a legislative staffer with the Louisiana House of Representatives where he served the House Committee on Retirement and the House Committee on Natural Resources and Environment. He specializes in Louisiana’s natural resources law with a focus on coastal issues and wildlife resources management and has extensive knowledge of the state’s legislative process. Tyler is a graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University and the Southern University Law Center. Tyler is an avid recreational fisherman and enjoys spending weekends with his wife and two children at his family’s camp in Chauvin, Louisiana.


Secretary of the Department of Children and Family Services, David Matlock

David Matlock is a Shreveport native who received his B.A. from Louisiana State University in Shreveport and his J.D. from Baylor University. He served as Chief Judge of the Juvenile Court for Caddo Parish from 1999-2023 and served as Judge since 1994. His juvenile court programs during tenure include Juvenile Drug Court, Family Drug Court, Juvenile Mental Health Court, Truancy Court, Sex trafficking Community Response Team, Specialized Victims Intensive Unit, onsite drug treatment clinic for children, S.T.A.R education program, teen court program, Red River Marine