Another Loyola Professor Named to Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force
(New Orleans, La. – April 28, 2020) An adjunct nursing professor in the Loyola University New Orleans College of Health has been named to the Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force launched April 10 by La. Gov. John Bel Edwards. The task force will explore how health inequities are affecting communities that are most impacted by the coronavirus.
“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.”
Tavell L. Kindall, APRN, FNP-BC, DNP, an adjunct nursing professor at Loyola, is a board-certified family nurse practitioner and director of the HIV Prevention and Treatment Center at St. Thomas Community Health Center. He provides primary and specialty care; and education and prevention services to adolescents and adults at risk for and/or living with a wide array of infectious diseases and is active locally and nationally in numerous professional organizations in nursing. He will serve on the task force’s nursing subcommittee, which will provide input from the largest percentage of health professionals in the healthcare workforce.
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 taskforce will help examine the causes and possible solutions to the high rate of deaths from the coronavirus within Louisiana’s African-American community and other impacted populations.
"The disparity in deaths is especially worrisome, and we need to do everything we can to determine why this is happening,” said Governor Edwards. “African-Americans make up approximately 33 percent of our population yet account for nearly 60 percent of the deaths from this virus. We have an obligation to look for answers and this task force will provide recommendations for addressing the health inequities affecting all communities that are most impacted by this virus. Funding is essential for that work to begin as soon as possible. One death is one too many in any community, and I am committed to helping everyone in our state live healthier lives.”
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.
“When we talk about health equity, we mean everyone has the opportunity to attain their highest level of health. The great thing is that the findings and recommendations made by this Task Force will help everyone better access quality care and improve health outcomes." Governor Edwards said.