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    Jade Brown-Russell named to Resilient Louisiana Commission.

    Urban League of Louisiana Board Chair Jade Brown-Russell was named to Governor John Bel Edward’s Resilient Louisiana Commission. Ms. Brown-Russell is also principal of J.D. Russell Consulting.
    Resilient Louisiana is a state commission, made up of an 18 member panel, that is charged with examining Louisiana’s economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic and making recommendations for more resilient business-related activities and commerce in the coming months. The 18-member panel includes Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, and will be co-chaired by Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson and health care leader Terrie Sterling, a Baton Rouge consultant and retired Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System executive.

    The commission will include a task force structure dedicated to strengthening specific sectors of Louisiana’s economy. Task forces will be focused on solutions for such critical sectors as Energy and Manufacturing; Health Care, including improved delivery of medical care, health equity and enhanced facilities; Tourism, including hotels, gaming and related hospitality entities; Rural Development; Education and Workforce, with attention given to the training needs of displaced workers; and Economic and Community Development, including strategies for making regions and communities more resilient in the face of future health care threats and other risks.

    Joining the commission will be:

    • State Sen. Ronnie Johns, Senate Commerce chair, designee of Louisiana Senate President Page Cortez.
    • State Rep. Paula Davis, House Commerce chair, designee of Louisiana House Speaker Clay Schexnayder.
    • Scott Hensgens, PAR chairman; managing partner, Breazeala, Sachse & Wilson.
    • Tyron Picard, CABL chairman; founding principal, The Picard Group.
    • Tim Temple, C100 Louisiana vice chair; president and CEO, Temptan LLC.
    • Bill Hogan, representing Louisiana bankers; president and CEO, Century Next Bank.
    • Louis Reine, representing labor unions; Louisiana AFL-CIO president.
    • Michael R. LaFitte II, representing small businesses; owner, Shreveport Haberdashery.
    • Walt Leger III, representing tourism; senior vice president, general counsel, New Orleans & Company.
    • Ti Martin, representing restaurants; co-proprietor, Commander’s Palace.
    • Jade Brown-Russell, Urban League of Louisiana chair; principal, J.D. Russell Consulting.
    • Sonia Perez, representing Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency-essential industry; president, AT&T Louisiana.
    • Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne (ex-officio member).
    • Secretary Kimberly Robinson, Louisiana Department of Revenue (ex-officio member).
    • Dr. Jim Richardson, John Rhea Alumni Professor of Economics, LSU (ex-officio member).

    Leaders who are named later to chair the task forces also will serve as ex-officio members of Resilient Louisiana. For more information about the commission and updates about its work, visitOpportunityLouisiana.com/ResilientLouisiana. Additional details about commission plans and meetings will be forthcoming in the near future.

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    Doctor explains use of RA, lupus drug to treat coronavirus

    Dr. Rosalind Ramsey Goldman, research professor at Northwestern Medical in Chicag, has written the following article in response to published reports like the one on Newsweek here.

    There are no studies that have looked at whether or not using hydroxychloroquine will prevent the infection with the COVID-19 virus. However, doctors are recommending that patients continue their medications for their rheumatic diseases, and this includes hydroxychloroquine for patients with lupus. If patients become symptomatic and they are worried about this or other infections, they should seek guidance from their rheumatologists and/or other treating physicians.

    Because there is a biologic basis for considering the use of an anti-malarial such as hydroxychloroquine, in the treatment of COVID-19, this drug was tried in France in hospitalized patients to see if the virus was cleared faster than those who did not receive this treatment. In addition, some patients also received an antibiotic. Patients treated with either hydroxychloroquine alone or with antibiotic did clear the infection faster than those who did not receive these medications. This was a very small study, both patients and physicians knew what they were getting because this was an open label study, and this study has yet to be peer reviewed by scientific journals. Therefore, one would ideally want more information before this is an accepted treatment. There is some confusion over whether or not the FDA has approved hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 so this too needs to be confirmed.

    Since hydroxychloroquine has been used for many years, its safety profile is well known, as opposed to experimental medications with limited use in humans or with those medication used for other conditions. This information from France is encouraging, but it needs to be studied further. This is one of the treatments being used in the US and there are disease registries being set up to get as much information as possible to understand the role of hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of COVID-19.

    For patients with lupus, they should continue their medication, but there may be difficulties getting long term or even new prescriptions filled. There are plans to work together with multiple advocacy groups supporting patients with rheumatic diseases such as lupus to ensure that our patients get the medications they need for their underlying disease while also working with those who are treating patients with the current COVID-19 infection. This is an unprecedented time where stakeholders are collaborating world-wide to control and treat this new viral infection.

    Dr. Rosalind Ramsey-Goldman, MD is a rheumatology specialist in Chicago, IL and has been practicing for 34 years. She specializes in rheumatology.

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