The Tangipahoa Parish Council appointed long-time Ponchatoula resident,
Robert E. Barsley, DDS, JD, to the
North Oaks Health System Board of Commissioners for a 6-year term in December 2015.
Barsley fills the post vacated by retired educator A.J. Bodker of Ponchatoula
in February 2016.
“I have been an interested observer of North Oaks Health System for
many years,” Barsley shares. “About 15 years ago, I was fortunate
to be able to spend a year in Washington, DC, as a Robert Wood Johnson
Congressional Health Policy Fellow, which provided me with a broad foundation
in health care policy in this country.”
A renowned and well-published expert consultant and sought-after lecturer
in the field of forensics, Barsley has been a Professor and Division Head
at the LSUHSC School of Dentistry in New Orleans since 1982. In addition,
he serves as Director of Hospital and Community Dentistry for the LSUHSC
Department of Oral Health Services. Prior to joining the LSUHSC faculty,
he operated a private dental practice in Ponchatoula for 5 years.
In the recovery phases of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Barsley supervised
teams of dentists charged with the sensitive and detailed process of identifying
victims of each storm. With his leadership, positive identifications were
achieved for most cases. In 1983, he was instrumental in the identification
of victims of the Pan Am Flight 759 crash in Kenner. He is a Deputy Coroner
in Orleans and Jefferson Parishes and consultant for others across the
region, including that of Tangipahoa Parish.
Locally, he belongs to the Ponchatoula Rotary Club and Ponchatoula Chamber
of Commerce for which he served as president in the early 1980s. From
2004-2012, he was a Magistrate for the City of Ponchatoula Mayor's
Court, and from 1981-1993, he served in the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's
Office Deputy Reserves.
Barsley currently serves as the President-elect for the Louisiana Dental
Association. In 2010, he became Co-Chair of the Odontology Section of
the SWGDVI (Scientific Working Group: Disaster Victim Identification)
and is now the chair of the successor of the SWG—the National Institute
of Standards and Technology (NIST) Sub-committee on Forensic Odontology.
From 1995-2009, he was Chief Dental Consultant for the Louisiana Dental
Medicaid Program. He served on Governor Kathleen Blanco's Health Care
Commission from 2004-2008 and with the Louisiana Department of Insurance
Healthcare Commission from 2008-2015.
He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Odontology and American
Board of Oral Medicine, as well as a Fellow of the American College of
Dentists, International College of Dentists and the American Academy of
Forensic Sciences through which he received the Reidar Sognnaes Award
for Excellence in Forensic Dentistry.
Barsley attended Rhodes College in Memphis and Louisiana State University
in Baton Rouge. He graduated from the LSUHSC School of Dentistry in New
Orleans and from the Loyola University School of Law, also in New Orleans.