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Dr. Laurence Dennis joins Medicaid as Chief Medical Officer

The Mississippi Division of Medicaid has named Dr. Laurence Dennis, an internal medicine physician from Booneville, to serve as the agency’s Chief Medical Officer.

Dr. Laurence Dennis, Chief Medical Officer

In his new role, Dr. Dennis will be responsible for medical policy and the clinical strategy for the Medicaid and CHIP programs. Dr. Dennis will be charged with providing clinical expertise and guidance to daily operations and administration, including activities such as appropriate utilization of health care service, care management oversight, quality improvement, clinician experience, affordability, and ensuring clinical initiatives are successfully implemented.

He will be part of Medicaid’s senior leadership team and will report directly to Executive Director Drew Snyder. Dr. Dennis started August 21.

“Dr. Dennis has extensive experience serving Medicaid members and a deep commitment to improving the health and lives of Mississippians,” Snyder said. “He will be instrumental in our ongoing effort to deliver high-quality services that advance health and contain costs.”

Originally from Covington, Tenn., Dr. Dennis has practiced internal medicine in Northeast Mississippi for the past 30 years. He has been a staff physician at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Booneville since 1993 and previously served on staff with Magnolia Regional Health Center. Dr. Dennis has excelled in numerous clinical and administrative roles, including as medical director of a geriatric psychiatric hospital unit, and serving as medical director for over a half dozen long-term care facilities and home-health agencies.

Dr. Dennis earned his medical degree from the University of Tennessee, Memphis, where he also completed his internship and residency training in internal medicine in 1993. A longtime member of the Mississippi State Medical Association, Dr. Dennis and his wife, Mona, have four adult children and three grandchildren.

“As a clinician, the agency’s current focus on finding innovative solutions to drive quality and improve outcomes for Mississippians resonated with me,” Dr. Dennis said. “With new technologies and key partnerships, we have a real opportunity to tackle health disparities, and I’m excited to be part of the Medicaid team.”

Published Aug. 24, 2023