On December 6, 2013, the Office of Public Health announced that Mr. Donald Woodyard, Jr. has been selected to serve as the new BEMS Director, overseeing OPH’s efforts in the overall planning, coordination, licensing and regulation of the State of Louisiana’s EMS system.

Mr. Woodyard has more than 15 years of advanced level national and international EMS experience. He holds a certificate in Paramedic Science, an Associate of Arts and Science degree, and a Bachelor's degree from Indiana Univeristy. Mr. Woodyard has been an EMT since 1994 and a paramedic since 1997; certified as a critical care paramedic (UMBC) since 1999; and holds national EMS certification as a paramedic. In addition, he is certified as a paramedic in Ohio, and an EMT/P in Virginia along with being an ACLS/PALS/BCLS - CPR Instructor/Trainer with American Safety & Health Institute, and the American Heart Association.

Mr. Woodyard has worked in various capacities, including with the World Health Organization, building relationships with government officials in the United States, Sri Lanka and Haiti, managing multi-million dollar budgets, writing and administering grants, managing international disaster response programs, and developing EMS protocols. His experience and established relationships with national and international organizations, developing and improving local, national, and international EMS systems, providing EMS education and training classes, and establishing field medical units will assist the department in implementing goals and objectives that focus on rebranding and transforming the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services for the Office of Public Health and the State of Louisiana.