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Maureen Lichtveld, MD, MPH - Tulane University. New Orleans, LA, US

Maureen Lichtveld, MD, MPH Maureen Lichtveld, MD, MPH

Professor and Chair, Freeport McMoRan Chair of Environment Policy | Tulane University


Prof. Maureen Lichtveld is an expert in the field of environmental public health, with over 35 years of experience.





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Maureen Lichtveld, a member of the National Academy of Medicine, has more than 35 years environmental public health experience and is chair of the Department of Global Environmental Health Sciences at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. She is the Freeport McMoran Endowed Chair in environmental policy and director of the Center for Gulf Coast Environmental Health Research, Leadership, and Strategic Initiatives. Her national and global environmental health research examines the cumulative impact of chemical and non-chemical stressors on communities facing environmental health threats, disasters, and health disparities. Lichtveld is a member of the National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council of the NIH/ NIEHS; the EPA Scientific Advisory Board; NAS Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine; the Health Disparities Subcommittee of the CDC; chair of the editorial board for the American Journal of Public Health; and president of the Hispanic Serving Health Professions Schools. Other recognitions include Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars, CDC’s Environmental Health Scientist of the Year, Woman of the Year for New Orleans CityBusiness. She teaches graduate and undergraduate health and environmental policy.

Areas of Expertise (8)


Disease Control and Prevention

Disaster and Public Health Preparedness


Environmental Health

Health Disparities

Disaster Management


Education (3)

University of Suriname: M.D.

Johns Hopkins University: M.P.H.

De Miranday Lyceum: B.S., Biology

Affiliations (3)

  • National Academy of Medicine
  • National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council
  • Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars

Media Appearances (5)

Survey To Gauge Butte's Perceptions Of Cleanup Progress, Health Risks

Montana Public Radio  online


And if that ends up being true, Dr. Maureen Lichtveld says that could be tough to overcome. Dr. Lichtveld is an environmental health scientist at Tulane University with over 35 years of experience in the field, including studying the effect of the BP oil spill in the Gulf on vulnerable communities.

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Is It Safe To Eat Fish From The Mississippi River?

WWNO  online


But Maureen Lichtveld says that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s dangerous. She’s a doctor, professor of public health, and environmental policy chair at Tulane’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. She says it’s all about dosage...

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Hurricane Harvey Is Over, But the Public Health Impact is Just Beginning

Futurism  online


Unfortunately, according to Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine department chair Maureen Lichtveld, mold will be a fact of life for many in Houston: “The amount of water they have had, you can’t avoid the mold. It will happen in homes that will be underwater for a longer period of time,” Lichtveld told The Hill. Residents who can afford to do so may rebuild their homes rather than take the risk, but many won’t be able to do that...

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Mental health providers worry about Harvey's legacy

Modern Healthcare  online


According to Dr. Maureen Lichtveld, professor and chair of environmental health sciences at Tulane University's School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, local access to mental health services was already low before Katrina..

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Did a Building Kill Four Professors at a New Orleans College?

Slate  online


According to Tulane medical professor Maureen Lichtveld, they could have had compromised immune systems that drastically increased the chance of chronic infection. Individuals with prolonged exposure to dust and mold can develop chronic inflammatory response syndrome—which at least one reputable study found increased the chance of a breast cancer recurrence twofold, and another found carried a significant risk of lung clotting...

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Articles (5)

Cumulative effects of the Gulf oil spill and other disasters on mental health among reproductive-aged women: The Gulf Resilience on Women's Health study. Psychological Trauma

2018 To test whether effects of multiple (up to 5) disasters on mental health responses were cumulative (additive effects), or whether an earlier disaster produced sensitization (higher) or habituation (lower) responses to a later one.

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Enterprise Evaluation: A New Opportunity for Public Health Policy Journal of Public Health Management and Practice

2018 Standard evaluation practice in public health remains limited to evaluative measures linked to individual projects, even if multiple interrelated projects are working toward a common impact. Enterprise evaluation seeks to fill this policy gap by focusing on cross-sector coordination and ongoing reflection in evaluation. We provide an overview of the enterprise evaluation framework and its 3 stages: collective creation, individual data collection, and collective analysis. We illustrate the application of enterprise evaluation to the Gulf Region Health Outreach Program, 4 integrated projects that aimed to strengthen health care in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Shared commitment to sustainability and strong leadership were critical to Gulf Region Health Outreach Program's success in enterprise evaluation. Enterprise evaluation provides an important opportunity for funding agencies and public health initiatives to evaluate the impact of interrelated projects in a more holistic and multiscalar manner than traditional siloed approaches to evaluation.This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially without permission from the journal.

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Mercury Levels in Women and Children from Interior Villages in Suriname, South America International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

2018 Natural sources of mercury, historical gold mining, and contemporary artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) activities have led to mercury contamination in Suriname. Our primary objective was to evaluate mercury levels in hair of women and children from interior villages in Suriname where mercury levels in fish are elevated. We also estimated blood levels of mercury using an established mathematical conversion to facilitate comparison with other biomonitoring programs in the United States. Estimated levels of mercury in the blood of participants from Suriname were significantly higher than those in women from a heavy marine fish-consuming population in southeast Louisiana and estimates of the US national average. This includes women from Surinamese villages well upstream of ASGM activities. Since residents in these areas rely heavily on local fish, this is likely the source of their exposure to mercury. The levels in hair are similar to those seen in women from longitudinal studies finding neurological impairments in children exposed pre- and postnatally. Additional biomonitoring and neurodevelopmental assessments are warranted in these areas, as well as other areas of the Suriname. Mercury levels in hair (Suriname) and blood (southeast LA USA) were determined using cold vapor atomic absorption spectroscopy (CVAAS).

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Lung Function in Oil Spill Response Workers 1-3 Years After the Deepwater Horizon Disaster Epidemiology

2018 Little is known about the effects of inhalation exposures on lung function among workers involved in the mitigation of oil spills. Our objective was to determine the relationship between oil spill response work and lung function 1-3 years after the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) disaster.

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Reducing the Risk of Postpartum Depression in a Low-Income Community Through a Community Health Worker Intervention Maternal Child Health Journal

2018 To clarify the effectiveness of perinatal social support interventions in reducing postpartum depression among minority, low-income women. Methods The Transdisciplinary Research Consortium for Gulf Resilience on Women's Health supported a community-based participatory research project to improve perinatal health among low-income, first-time pregnant women living in a vulnerable Gulf Coast region. Community health workers (CHWs) were partnered with recruited women, and used a mix of mobile technology and home visits to develop a supportive relationship during the perinatal period. Results Women enrolled in the CHW-led intervention had lower (F: 2.38, p = 0.04) average postpartum depression scores (EPDS) 6 months postpartum than a comparison population. The difference, however, was not seen among women in the intervention group who reported relatively poor relationships with their CHWs. Conclusions for Practice Results reinforce the evidence that perinatal social support can affect postpartum depression outcomes. CHWs are increasingly utilized by public programs to reach at-risk populations. We discuss the potential efficacy of CHW programs, but also, the need to pair outreach with effective monitoring and evaluation of the relationship development between CHW and clients.

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