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Dr. Orlando McMeans Named to Governor’s COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force

Baton Rouge, La. – Dr. Orlando F. McMeans, Chancellor-Dean of the Southern University Ag Center and the College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences, has been named to Governor John Bel Edwards Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force.

"It is indeed an honor to be named to such a tremendously important and talented working group,” said Dr. McMeans. “As an African American growing up in southern Alabama under similar conditions to those most disproportionately and adversely affected by COVID-19, it affords me an opportunity to lend my life experiences and expertise to addressing this national issue," he added.

The task force will focus on research and actions to improve health outcomes and equity for the state’s residents. The group’s progress will be monitored by a statewide Health Equity Dashboard.

McMeans was appointed with several other leaders from within the Southern University System. These leaders include Dr. Sandra Brown, dean of the Southern University Baton Rouge campus’ College of Nursing and Allied Health, who will serve as co-chair of the task force and Dr. Rani G. Whitfield, Southern University System Board Member and family practice physician.

Deleso A. Alford, professor of law at the Southern University Law Center; and Dr. Damien Ejigiri, dean and professor of the Nelson Mandela School of Government and Social Sciences will serve on the task force’s Public and Regulatory Policy subcommittee, which will focus on policies and laws that impact health disparities.

Southern University System President-Chancellor Dr. Ray L. Belton and Chief of Staff Dr. Katara Williams, were also appointed as part of the task force’s administration along with SU alum and Commissioner of the Louisiana Board of Regents, Dr. Kim Hunter-Reed.

The task force is scheduled to hold its first meeting on Friday, April 24.

For additional information about the Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force and a complete list of members, visit

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