Health equity task force to create dashboard to provide COVID-19 data


    The Louisiana Covid-19 Health Equity Task Force is creating a dashboard that will allow Louisiana residents to access information related to racial inequities in the state’s health care system.

    That dashboard, which was discussed at a Friday afternoon meeting of the task force, is meant for residents, policymakers and community leaders and will, its members say, “provide information about effective strategies and policies to address health inequities described by the data, to inform community action.”

    The dashboard is expected to be operational within three months and include most of the data and information within a year.

    Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the formation of the health equity task force in April after the state’s numbers revealed that Black people accounted for 70 percent of the state’s COVID-19 fatalities.

    Demetrius Porche, co-chair of the task force subcommittee in charge of developing the dashboard, said of that April finding, “It was definitely disproportionate and inequitable, so we were worried about that. And that’s why we’re calling on this dashboard — to look at multiple factors that may be impacting that.” Porsche is a professor and Dean of Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, Louisiana School of Nursing.

    Porche said that the subcommittee will identify several factors ranging from personal lifestyle to economic and political factors that impact health equity in Louisiana. He said the dashboard will include data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Louisiana Department of Health and others.

    The task force also plans for that dashboard to provide COVID-19 data at the parish level, he said.