Howard’s College of Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine, Meharry Medical College, and the Charles R. Drew University Medicine and Science and now XULA is the latest HBCU medical school.

By Wynton Jackson

Xavier University of Louisiana and Ochsner Health are teaming up to create the fifth HBCU medical school in the United States

Xavier University of Louisiana and Ochsner Health System are partnering to create the nation’s fifth HBCU medical school. The newly-minted Xavier Ochsner College of Medicine will reportedly “mitigate disparities that kill Black people with some diseases two times more often than others,” according to physicians in an article by Lottie L. Joiner of The Grio. The new medical school hopes to boost the number of Black doctors in the United States.

HBCUs are the nation’s largest supplier of Black medical professionals. While only six percent of doctors in the United States are Black, 70 percent of them come from HBCUs, per a report from The White House. Increasing representation within the medical field is crucial in eliminating incongruity between white and Black health. For example, The Grio’s article cites a CDC report stating Black women are 40 percent more likely to die from breast cancer than white women. Black men are twice as likely to die from prostate cancer than other men, and in general, Black people are 20 percent more likely to die from colon cancer within the first five years of diagnosis.

“This is a pathway to reduce and hopefully, ultimately eliminate health care disparities,” said Dr. Yolando Lawson, the president of the National Medical Association. “Just having a Black physician in the county prolonged the lives of not just Black folks, but white folks too.”

“Xavier Ochsner College of Medicine was born from a truly collaborative vision between the Xavier University of Louisiana and Ochsner Health,” said Dr. Leo Seoane, the Dean of Xavier Ochsner College of Medicine and executive vice president and chief academic officer at Ochsner. “By addressing the critical shortage of physicians in standing up this hBCU medical school in the Gulf South, XOCOM will pursue diversity in medicine and ensure equitable representation in healthcare to better serve our communities for generations to come.”

Representatives from both Xavier University of Louisiana and Ochsner Health came together to ratify the creation of the new medical school. Both organizations created a new board of directors which includes university President C. Reynold Verret and Ochsner Health CEO Pete November. It also includes Matthew Block, the executive vice president and chief administrative officer of Oschner Health, and Trevonne M. Thompson, the associate dean of admissions a the University of Illinois College of Medicine.

“Ochsner Health is committed to meeting the needs of the diverse communities we serve, and we are honored to continue our work with Xavier University of Louisiana to improve the health of wellbeing of New Orleans, our state and region,” said CEO Pete November. “By providing excellent training to more diverse physicians so they may better serve our communities, we are not only investing in the future of healthcare, but also in the long-term prosperity and wellness for our many neighbors, friends and family members throughout the Gulf South.”

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