Gov. John Bel Edwards Announced Two Co-chairs and Appointed Members to the Louisiana COVID-19

Updated: Apr 23, 2020

“It is an honor to serve the citizens of Louisiana on the COVID-19 Health Equity Taskforce," said Co-Chair Dr. Sandra C. Brown, Dean of Southern University's College of Nursing and Allied Health. "I look forward to working with a distinguished diverse group of experts from across the state that are committed to addressing the health disparities that specifically challenge minorities and vulnerable populations in Louisiana not only in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in advancing health equity for decades to come."

"I am excited to be able to contribute to this important taskforce," said Co-Chair Dr. Thomas LaVeist, Dean of Tulane University's School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. "Louisiana has for many years been among the least healthy states and the racial disparities seen around the country are as evident here as it is elsewhere. I am particularly delighted that Governor Edwards has prioritized health equity and I am hopeful that we will be able to make a difference for our state."

The task force’s work will begin immediately, and its actions and research will result in improved health outcomes and equity in Louisiana. A statewide Health Equity Dashboard will be created to monitor the progress of the task force.

Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force:

Sandra Brown, DNS, APRN, FNP-BC, CNE, ANEF, FAANP, FAAN (Co-Chair)

Southern University and A&M Baton Rouge

Dean and Professor, College of Nursing and Allied Health

Thomas LaVeist, Ph.D. (Co-Chair)

Tulane University

Weatherhead Presidential Chair in Health Equity, Dean of Public

Health and Tropical Medicine

Earl “Nupsius” Benjamin-Robinson, Dr.H.Sc.

Louisiana Department of Health- Office of Health Equity, Community Partnerships

Deputy Director

Takeisha Davis, M.D.

New Orleans East Hospital

Chief Executive Officer

Rebekah E. Gee, M.D.

LSU Health Care Services

Chief Executive Officer

Corey Hebert, M.D.

Dillard University

Chief Medical Officer / Assistant professor - Tulane and LSU

Theron J. Jackson

Morning Star Baptist Church


Raymond A. Jetson


Chief Executive Catalyst

Peter Katzmarzyk, Ph.D

Pennington Biomedical Research Center

Professor and Marie Edana Corcoran Endowed Chair in Pediatric Obesity and Diabetes/Assoc. Exec. Dir. for Population and Public Health Sciences, LSU

Kathleen B. Kennedy, Pharm.D.

Xavier University of Louisiana

Dean and Malcolm Ellington Professor of Health Disparities Research Endowed Professorship in the College of Pharmacy

Michael W. McClanahan


State President

Orlando McMeans, Ph.D.

Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center


Judy Reese Morse

Urban League of Louisiana

President and CEO

Demetrius Porche, DNS, PhD, APRN, ANEF, FACHE, FAANP, FAAN

LSUHSC School of Nursing – Dean and Professor

President, Louisiana Council of Administration of Nursing Education

Rani G. Whitfield, M.D.

Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group

Family Practice Physician

Gary M. Wiltz, M.D.

Teche Action Clinics

Chief Executive Officer

Sen. Regina Barrow

Louisiana State Senate

District 15

Rep. Dustin Miller

Louisiana House of Representatives

District 40

Task Force Subcommittees

Public and Regulatory Policy

(Provides input relative to policies and laws that impacts health disparities)

Deleso A. Alford, J.D., LL.M.

Southern University Law Center

Professor of Law

Damien Ejigiri, Ph.D.

Southern University and A&M College

Dean and Professor - Nelson Mandela School of Government and Social Sciences

Eric van Holm, Ph.D.

University of New Orleans

Assistant Professor, Political Science

Alma C. Stewart, R.N., M.S

Louisiana Center for Health Equity

President and Founder

Christopher J. Tyson, J.D.

LSU Law Center

Newman Trowbridge Distinguished Professor of Law