Newswise — Thomas LaVeist, a national expert on issues related to equity and health, has been named dean of Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. He will also hold the position of Presidential Chair in Health Equity, making him the first to hold one of Tulane’s newly endowed presidential chairs, created to support the recruitment of exceptional, internationally recognized scholars whose work transcends and bridges traditional academic disciplines.

LaVeist spent 25 years at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where he was the William C. and Nancy F. Richardson Professor of Health Policy and served as director of the Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions. In 2016, he joined George Washington University, where he is currently a professor and chair of health policy and management at the Milken Institute School of Public Health.

LaVeist received his doctorate degree in medical sociology from the University of Michigan and postdoctoral fellowship in public health from the University of Michigan School of Public Health. In 2013, he was elected to the prestigious National Academy of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

“Thomas LaVeist is the perfect choice to lead Tulane’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine,” Tulane President Mike Fitts said. “He is a recognized leader in the type of interdisciplinary, boundary-crossing research that is a hallmark of some of the most exciting work at Tulane. He will empower discovery that extends far beyond the boundaries of the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.”

Provost Robin Forman added, “We are absolutely thrilled that Thomas LaVeist is joining us as our new dean of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. He brings an exceptional track record of rigorous, impactful scholarship, with an equally strong commitment to connecting that work to clinicians and policymakers with the goal of improving the quality of life in the many communities in which we engage.”

LaVeist has published more than 130 articles in scientific journals, focusing on the social and behavioral factors that impact health outcomes, and has engaged in these issues through lectures and articles in major media. He was also executive producer of the documentary The Skin You’re In, which explores the disparities between black and white health in America.

“New Orleans is a major urban center with all of the health and social problems of other communities in urban America,” LaVeist said. “Louisiana, in many ways, exhibits the health and social problems of rural America. This places the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in an ideal position to work with communities to conduct research to identify solutions to longstanding health problems, working with communities to implement solutions, and training the next generation of leaders who will work to eliminate inequities in health. This work complements perfectly the school’s extraordinary work taking place around the globe, including its historic role as the nation’s leading institution for the study of tropical medicine.”