2020: Thomas A. LaVeist, PhD

The 32nd Annual J. Warren Perry Lecture, My Journey to Discover Why Health Disparities Exist, and What to do about It.

Thomas A. LaVeist.

Thomas A. LaVeist, PhD, a national expert on equity and health issues, is dean and Weatherhead Presidential Chair in Health Equity at Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. His scientific scholarship has focused on social and behavioral factors influencing racial differences in health outcomes and quality of life for African Americans. Related to that work, he was executive producer of the documentary The Skin You’re In, which explores the disparities between the health of Black and white Americans.

LaVeist has been dean at Tulane since 2018.  Before that, he was chair and professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management, at George Washing University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health. He also spent 25 years on the faculty of the 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.

LaVeist's research and writing has examined three key questions:

  • What are the social and behavioral factors that predict the timing of various related health outcomes?
  • What are the social and behavioral factors that explain race differences in health outcomes?
  • What has been the impact of social policy on the health and quality of life of African Americans?

His specific areas of expertise include United States health and social policy, the role of race in health research, social factors contributing to mortality, longevity and life expectancy, quantitative and demographic analysis and access, and utilization of health services.