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National Advisor and Judge, New Orleans
National Advisor and Judge, New Orleans

Thomas LaVeist, Ph.D.

Dean of the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University

Dr. Thomas LaVeist is the Dean of the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at Tulane University. He is also a leading researcher on the topic of health disparities and the social determinants of health, including areas such as U.S. health and social policy, the role of race in health research, social factors contributing to mortality, longevity, and life expectancy, and the utilization of health services in the United States. Aside from his role at the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Dr. LaVeist also serves as the Weatherhead Presidential Chair in Health Equity and is the director of Tulane’s Institute for Health Equity.

The dean’s considerable experience in health disparities has been instrumental in the advent of COVID-19, which has been disproportionately impacting minority communities. Since the pandemic, Dr. LaVeist has been a fervent voice in national media calling attention to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color racial impact and was named as a co-chair of the Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards.

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This program will access the incredible innovation of local organizations and individuals who know best how to address health programs in their community. I look forward to seeing their plans come to fruition.

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Additionally, Dr. LaVeist led a task force among Black members of the National Academy of Medicine to urge Black Americans to get the vaccine when it is available to them. Through the task force and through his own social marketing campaign called The Skin You’re In: Coronavirus and Black America, he has sought to dispel myths and raise awareness in the Black community about staying healthy in the midst of pandemic, while also working to significantly reduce health disparities in the state and the region.

Dr. LaVeist holds a doctorate in medical sociology from the University of Michigan and has published more than 130 articles in scientific journals, focusing on the social and behavioral factors that impact health outcomes, and numerous awards and honors, including the ICON Award from Associated Black Charities; the Article of the Year in the American Journal of Public Health; being named a Health Disparities Research W. Montague Cobb/National Medical Association Health Institute Senior Fellow; and the Innovation Award from the National Institutes of Health – National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities.

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