Director of pediatric heart transplants leaves state over anti-LGBTQ laws

A swath of anti-LGBTQ bills that have moved through the Louisiana legislature throughout 2023 prompted Jake Kleinmahon, MD — one of only a few pediatric cardiologists in the state who handle heart transplants — to depart the state with his husband, CNN reported Sept. 1.

Four bills in the Louisiana legislature 2023 have targeted LGBTQ rights in some manner, according to the ACLU's tracker. The environment became one that Dr. Kelinmahon decided was no longer suitable for him as a practicing physician or in which to raise his family, he told CNN.

Dr. Kleinmahon was the medical director of pediatric heart transplant, heart failure and ventricular assist device programs at Ochsner Hospital for Children in New Orleans, according to NBC News.

He said he knows his departure "is going to affect care," he told CNN. The absolute hardest part is me saying goodbye to my patients. I don’t know how many families in the last couple [of] weeks have just melted into my arms in tears when I tell them that I’m leaving."

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