Board of Advisors

Here are the experts leading our crusade to bring health equity through innovative messaging.


Dr. thomas Laveist, Phd, ma

Dean Thomas LaVeist is a leading researcher on the topic of health disparities and the social determinants of health, including areas such as U.S. health and social policy, the role of race in health research, social factors contributing to mortality, longevity, and life expectancy, and the utilization of health services in the U.S.

Dr. LaVeist came to Tulane from the Milken Institute of Public Health at George Washington University, where he was the chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management. He also spent 25 years at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, where he was the William C. and Nancy F. Richards Professor in Health Policy and the director of the Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions. In addition to being dean at Tulane SPHTM, he is also the Weatherhead Presidential Chair in Health Equity. 

He holds a doctorate in medical sociology from the University of Michigan and is an elected member of the prestigious National Academy of Medicine. In addition to more than 130 scientific articles, Dr. LaVeist has written for Newsweek, Black Enterprise Magazine, and the Baltimore Sun. He has also published several books and is a documentary filmmaker for the series The Skin You're In. 

After spending the majority of his career in the northeast, he's excited about the opportunity to be at Tulane SPHTM where he hopes the school - one of the foundational schools of public health in the country - can make a difference by helping to make both New Orleans and Louisiana healthier places to live.



Dr. Castro, is Samuel Z. Stone Chair of Public Health in Latin America and Director of the Collaborative Group for Health Equity in Latin America at Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Her major interests are how social inequalities are embodied as differential risk for pathologies common among the poor and how health policies may alter the course of epidemic disease and other pathologies afflicting populations living in poverty.


Julie Holman, AA Television & MP Production, CHPLN, 200 RYT

Julie is an award winning, Emmy nominated producer/director/writer, nurse/wellness educator, and Yoga Instructor. Never one to fit into a box, Julie fuses her career and life-path as a storyteller, cultural bearer and wellness rights advocate. Circa 1980’s Julie met a boy from New Orleans and followed him to the “Big Easy” and fell in love with the city, the people, and the culture. Katrina era brought Julie to Phoenix, Ariz., where she served as the president of First Friday’s Artwalk and as co-executive director of IFP Phoenix. She was also a liaison to the Phoenix Film Festival. Julie has worked on hundreds of film/TV projects, crafted PR campaigns, PSA’s, and trailers, and developed TV shows such as “Living it up in Arizona.” She has also worked on a variety of arts and cultural awareness campaigns and programs receiving local and national accolades. Julie returned home to New Orleans in 2015 and began producing events and PSA campaigns, contributing stories to magazines, and serving as a cultural ambassador promoting New Orleans and Louisiana culture. Julie also serves on several film and art related boards including WIFT Louisiana, (Woman in Film TV). When not working with film, Julie creates balance by soaking up the local culture with friends and family, traveling, practicing yoga, and contributing to wellness programs such as WRBH 88.3 FM’s “Weekend Workout.”



Emilia provides leadership for the pursuit of ambitious collective health goals. They currently serve as the Viral Hepatitis Coordinator at the Louisiana Department of Health, where their primary focus is on operationalizing the state’s Hepatitis C Elimination Strategy. In addition to this work, Emilia consults with national health systems to optimize their programs and help build management capacity; their clients have included NASTAD Global and USAID. Earlier in their career, Emilia supported the implementation of regional projects which achieved ambitious goals towards malaria elimination and Guinea worm disease eradication in East Africa. Emilia is driven to help governmental public health systems around the world grow and learn from each other! They are a Tulane SPHTM alum and live by the mantra ‘give before you get.’