Special to The Dallas Examiner
Mayor Eric Johnson named Dr. Kelvin Baggett as the new city of Dallas COVID-19 health and health care access czar, Tuesday.
Baggett, a seasoned health care executive, will take on the role of assessing and leading efforts to increase testing and contact tracing and promoting health measures, especially in underserved communities.
“We are all doing what we can to respond to the daunting and unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Johnson said. “But it has become clear to me that we need someone to focus on helping those most in need and increasing their access to testing and health care. These steps are critical for our ongoing public health response and for our reopening and recovery efforts. I am confident that Dr. Baggett has the skills, experience, and background to help all of our communities stay healthy.”
National data has shown broad disparities – by race, ethnicity, income and other factors – in COVID-19 hospitalization and death rates.
“While this disease has pushed us away from each other physically, we cannot let it tear us apart and deepen the divide in our city between the haves and have-nots,” Johnson insisted.
To help promote health and health care access in Dallas for all and to minimize the impact of this pandemic, Baggett will do the following:
- Recommend measures to save lives and slow the spread of COVID-19 in Dallas by improving access to health care, testing and other essential services.
- Recommend the collection and reporting of data by the city of Dallas regarding COVID-19 risks, cases, hospitalizations and deaths to determine if certain populations are disproportionately impacted by the disease.
- Evaluate and analyze the data collected by the city of Dallas and Dallas County.
- Engage with health care and scientific leaders across the country to bring innovative best practices to the city of Dallas.
- Direct outreach about COVID-19’s risks, spread, symptoms and the resources available to inform all stakeholder groups on how to protect their health and the health of others.
- Provide other advice and take additional actions as requested by Mayor Johnson.
Baggett is a physician trained in public health and business. Currently, he serves as managing director of Posterity Capital Group, a firm committed to investing in companies that improve health care delivery and health outcomes. He also serves as a senior advisor to Pharos Capital Group.
He previously served as the chief clinical officer for Tenet Healthcare and as chief operating officer for HCA, Clinical Services Group. Most recently, he was the chief operating officer for Health Care Navigator.
“I am honored that Mayor Johnson has asked me to fill this vital role, and I am gratified that I have this opportunity to use my skills and background to serve my community during this difficult time,” Baggett said. “This integrated and collaborative approach to how we deliver care and services will help Dallas rebound quicker economically and maintain our public health for the future.”