linked in pixel

Two Ochsner Academics Physicians Honored

Two Ochsner Academics physicians have been recognized for excellence in their fields.

USDA & HSS 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee

Lydia Bazzano, MD, PhD (internal medicine physician and Chair of the Ochsner Health Institutional Review Board) has been appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar to serve on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and HHS 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee– an independent advisory committee formed to ensure America’s dietary guidelines reflect the latest scientific findings.

The committee will review scientific evidence on key nutrition topics and provide the USDA and HHS secretaries a report to help inform the development of the 2020 - 2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Dr. Bazzano is one of 20 nationally recognized scientists selected for this independent advisory committee. To view the full list of committee members click here.  

Dr. Bazzano holds more than 13 years of experience in internal medicine with a research focus on cardiovascular disease and the role of risk factors – diet, obesity, lipids and glucose, etc. – in the development of vascular disease. In addition to her role as an internal medicine physician and Chair of the Ochsner Health Institutional Review Board, Dr. Bazzano is an associate professor of epidemiology at Tulane University.

Hailing from Metairie, Louisiana, Dr. Bazzano attended Tulane University for her undergraduate degree and medical school degree. She also holds a PhD in Epidemiology from Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Dr. Bazzano completed her residency in internal medicine at Beth-Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA and is a Fellow of both the American College of Medicine and the American College of Nutrition.

Emergency Medicine Distinguished Educator Award

Michael Smith, MD (Medical Director, Clinical Simulation and Patient Safety Center, Ochsner Health System) has been recognized by the College of Residency Directors (CORD) with the Emergency Medicine Distinguished Educator Award. This honor recognizes emergency medicine faculty who meet or exceed designated standards of academic excellence within the last five years. To qualify, a candidate must be nominated and submit a mini-portfolio to a peer review panel for judging. Dr. Smith was recognized at the 2019 CORD Academic Assembly in Seattle, Washington. For a list of past recipients, click here.

Dr. Smith has more than 16 years of experience in emergency medicine. Currently, he serves as director for the Ochsner Clinical Simulation and Patient Center and an associate professor at the University of Queensland Ochsner Clinical School. Dr. Smith is a past president of the Ohio chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and is currently on the board of the Louisiana Chapter of ACEP.

Originally from Ohio, Dr. Smith holds an undergraduate and medical school degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. He completed his residency at MetroHealth Medical Center/Cleveland Clinic/Case Western Reserve University and earned his MBA from Cleveland State University. Dr. Smith is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine.

“We are very  proud of Dr. Bazzano and Dr. Smith for their recent recognitions and are honored to work side by side with these dedicated and nationally recognized physicians,” said Leonardo Seoane, M.D., Chief Academic Officer, Ochsner Health System.

For more information on Ochsner Academics, visit


Ochsner Health is Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic, healthcare system. Driven by a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate, coordinated clinical and hospital patient care is provided across the region by Ochsner's 40 owned, managed and affiliated hospitals and specialty hospitals, and more than 100 health centers and urgent care centers. Ochsner is the only Louisiana hospital recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a “Best Hospital” across three specialty categories caring for patients from all 50 states and more than 70 countries worldwide each year. Ochsner employs nearly 25,000 employees and over 4,500 employed and affiliated physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties and conducts more than 700 clinical research studies. Ochsner Health is proud to be a tobacco-free environment. For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.