Loyola Faculty Member Named to Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force
(New Orleans, La. – April 23, 2020) A Loyola University New Orleans professor has been named to the Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force announced Monday by La. Gov. John Bel Edwards. The task force will explore how health inequities are affecting communities that are most impacted by the coronavirus.
Simone Rambotti, Ph.D., assistant professor of sociology at Loyola New Orleans, will serve on the task force’s Data and Analytics subcommittee. In his research at Loyola, he is currently examining the effect of social inequalities on health-related outcomes using a broad variety of methodological approaches, including longitudinal analysis, multilevel modeling, and a case-oriented approach to regression analysis. Dr. Rambotti also analyzes end-of-life crises by looking at their media representations and conducting online experiments. His work has been published in Social Science & Medicine, Socius, and Sociological Focus.
“Our mission at Loyola New Orleans calls us to be of service to others and to provide a voice for the vulnerable,” said Loyola President Tania Tetlow. “We have an incredible opportunity at this time to serve our state and greater New Orleans community by helping fight the terrible impact of this pandemic.”
She added: “As an expert in data analytics and network analysis I have no doubt that Dr. Rambotti will bring great skill and insight to this work.”
In announcing the Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force, Gov. Edwards said that “right now 70 percent of our deaths in Louisiana from coronavirus are African Americans. This is a disturbing trend and one that deserves our attention, which is why we are engaging a group of leaders right now while the crisis is still ongoing.”
The governor defined “health equity” as a state in which “everyone has the opportunity to attain their highest level of health.” Findings and recommendations made by the Task Force will help everyone better access quality care and improve health outcomes and help Louisiana “to leverage our research capabilities and intellectual brainpower in a collective manner to tackle this daunting issue,” he said.
The governor has asked major universities and research institutions to lead this effort. Institutions that will participate in the task force include:
• Loyola University New Orleans
• Southern University’s Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy
• Xavier University’s Department of Public Health Sciences
• Health Science Centers at LSU and Tulane
• LDH Office of Public Health
• LDH Bureau of Minority Health Access
• Pennington Biomedical Research Center
• Schools of Nursing at all of Louisiana’s universities, including Loyola New Orleans’ College of Nursing and Health
According to Gov. Edwards, the task force’s immediate assignment is to make sure communities with health disparities are blanketed with good information on COVID-19 safety and prevention; provide the medical community with best practices and protocols for treating communities with underlying medical conditions and health disparities; and ensure testing availability and ease of access for all communities.
The Task Force will begin its work immediately. Its research and work will culminate in the creation of an official Dashboard on Health Equity.