The Louisiana Department of Health celebrates Black History Month


Each year during Black History Month, the Louisiana Department of Health reflects on the contributions of black pioneers in medicine and the impact they have left on the industry and the country as a whole. Their work has been instrumental in promoting well-being and improving the lives of many people.

Here are just a handful of black health heroes who have left an indelible mark on the health of Louisianians.

Vivien Thomas

The life of Vivien Thomas is the inspiring story of an African American pioneer who has overcome the barriers imposed by a segregated society. Without formal medical training, he developed techniques and tools that would lead to today’s modern heart surgery. In operating theaters around the world, great surgeons who have received their training from Vivien Thomas perform life-saving surgical procedures.

to know more here (Source: Morehouse School of Medicine).

Dr. Sandra L. Robinson

Dr. Sandra L. Robinson was secretary and state official of public health for the Louisiana Department of Health, then known as the Louisiana Department of Health and Human Resources, from 1984 to 1988. Appointed by Governor Edwin W. Edwards, she was one of the first two black women to serve as a cabinet secretary in Louisiana.

Glennis Gray

Glennis Gray currently serves as the Department’s emergency incidence operations commander, operational program manager and national strategic inventory coordinator for the state. In these roles, he leads the state in all chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive events and coordinates and facilitates inventory planning for all of its components.

She has been a registered nurse for over 26 years, with more than 26 years of experience in emergency nursing and 25 years in case management, education and nursing administration. She is also a part-time emergency room nurse at Baton Rouge General Hospital.

Nikki Honoré

Nikki Honore ‘currently serves as the statewide Nurse Advisor to the Department of Emergency Preparedness. In this role, he provides programmatic supervision and training for health care workers throughout the state of Louisiana who provide medical support for multiple state-run medical operations. Additionally, it develops strategies and identifies training opportunities to build capacity and resilience in Louisiana communities during disasters.

She is a Board Certified Family Nurse with over 12 years of experience as a clinical practitioner, educator, consultant and nursing leader. She is also an adjunct pediatric clinical instructor at Southern University’s School of Nursing.

Dr. Marco Colomb

As director of Jackson State University, Dr. Mark Colomb cultivated the Mississippi Urban Research Center (MURC) development where he served as project director / principal investigator for 13 federally and state funded projects from 1999 to 2003. He obtained more than $ 9 million in funding, founding Jackson State as a leading HIV / AIDS prevention training agency, while serving as the primary entity for four regional organizations providing HIV / AIDS prevention training to organizations based on the African American community in the United States and its territories. Dr. Colomb was also the founder of the National HIV / AIDS Day for Blacks.

Dr. Colomb has played a pivotal role in shaping state and national HIV / AIDS legislation, particularly on behalf of African Americans, working with a variety of constituents, from grassroots advocacy groups to national legislative bodies.


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