Gov. John Bel Edwards Appoints LSU Vice Provost for Diversity to the Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force

Dereck Rovaris05/04/2020
BATON ROUGE – Gov. John Bel Edwards has announced two co-chairs and appointed members to the Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force. LSU Vice Provost for Diversity Dereck J. Rovaris Sr., is among those appointed and will serve on the Community Outreach and Engagement sub-committee. The Community Outreach and Engagement sub-committee provides input on community outreach and extension activities, especially in lower socioeconomic parishes with high incidence rates.

“This is indeed important and necessary work,” Rovaris said. “The health disparities experienced prior to COVID-19 by people of color and certainly African Americans has been further exacerbated as we witness the percentages of COVID-19 deaths by race in Louisiana. We must make overdue improvements to health outcomes for all of our citizens.”

Several faculty and staff at LSU campuses across the state are involved in this effort to improve health outcomes and equity in Louisiana. In addition to Rovaris, they include: 

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

Alma C. Stewart, R.N., M.S
Louisiana Center for Health Equity
President and Founder
LSU Innovation Park tenant

Rebekah E. Gee, M.D.
LSU Health Care Services
Chief Executive Officer

Demetrius Porche, DNS, PhD, APRN, ANEF, FACHE, FAANP, FAAN
LSUHSC School of Nursing – Dean and Professor
President, Louisiana Council of Administration of Nursing Education

LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing
Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing
Director of NP Programs, Coordinator of AGACNP Concentration

Christopher J. Tyson, J.D.
LSU Law Center
Newman Trowbridge Distinguished Professor of Law

Kristi L. Anderson, Ph.D.
Director, Graduate Medical Education

Robert Maupin, M.D.
LSUHSC-New Orleans
Associate Dean of Diversity and Community Engagement

Connie Arnold, Ph.D.
LSUHSC- Shreveport/Feist-Weiller Cancer Center
Professor of Medicine

Terry C. Davis, Ph.D.
LSUHSC-Shreveport/Feist-Weiller Cancer Center
Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics

All of the members of the Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force and subcommittees can be found here:


About the LSU Office of Diversity

The LSU Office of Diversity is a division of the Office of Academic Affairs and provides support, referral and information to students, faculty and staff on issues and concerns related to diversity, equity and inclusion. For more information, please visit



Contact Emmy Hicks
LSU Office of Diversity