WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), introduced Dr. Reynold Verret, President of Xavier University, at today’s Senate HELP Subcommittee Hearing on “Recruiting, Revitalizing & Diversifying: Examining the Health Care Workforce Shortage”. Dr. Verret has been called as a witness to discuss the lack of diversity in the medical and health sciences workforce. Before Xavier University, Dr. Verret served in various leadership roles at high-level academic institutions across the country, and is an accomplished biochemist and immunologist
“With his background, Dr. Verret is someone who clearly understands the challenges facing many HBCUs in today’s environment and also the urgent need to address the issues of underrepresentation of racial minorities in the medical and health sciences fields,” said Dr. Cassidy. “We need more leaders like Dr. Verret who are charting the way forward on these important issues and can speak to the challenges – and solutions – in recruiting a larger and more diverse health care workforce.”
A full transcript of Cassidy’s remarks is below.
Thank you, Chairman Hickenlooper and Ranking Member Braun. It is my honor to introduce, Dr. Reynold Verret, the sixth president of Louisiana’s Xavier University, one of our state’s many Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Dr. Verret has been a proven leader in higher education and has fostered an innovative university environment to address underrepresentation in medicine and respond to the workforce needs we have today.
Dr. Verret is also an accomplished biochemist and immunologist by trade. He participated in the COVID-19 Vaccine trials and has been a vocal advocate in Louisiana for the vaccine. From the start of the pandemic, Dr. Verret and Xavier University have worked with local health agencies and hospitals to host mobile testing centers and set up a fully operational COVID-19 testing lab to serve local communities and his campus.
Before taking his current role at Xavier University, Dr. Verret served as provost at Savannah State and Wilkes Universities, as a dean at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, as faculty and Department Chair at the Chemistry departments of Tulane University and Clark Atlanta University, as an adjunct professor of Immunology at the Tulane and Morehouse Schools of Medicine, and has even conducted cancer research at MIT.
His resume is impressive—but his leadership throughout the pandemic has been even more impressive.
With his background, Dr. Verret is someone who clearly understands the challenges facing many HBCUs in today’s environment and also the urgent need to address the issues of underrepresentation of racial minorities in the medical and health sciences fields. I am pleased to have worked with him on my bill with Sen. Schatz, the John Lewis National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Endowment Revitalization Act that would provide additional funding to minority-serving institutions to increase research into health disparities and promote the diversity and strength of the scientific workforce. We need more leaders like Dr. Verret who are charting the way forward on these important issues and can speak to the challenges – and solutions – in recruiting a larger and more diverse health care workforce.
I look forward to hearing Dr. Verret’s testimony.
Cassidy later questioned Dr. Verret during the hearing. Click here to watch Cassidy question Dr. Verret.