Dr. Connie Gistand, is a native of Winnfield, Louisiana. She is a Magna cum Laude graduate of Grambling State University and later received her Doctorate of Medicine Degree from the University of Iowa School of Medicine. Dr. Gistand completed her Internal Medicine training at Ochsner Foundation Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana and is a Board Certified Internist and Hypertension Specialist. In October 2001, she joined the faculty at Tulane School of Medicine. In June 2003, she was promoted to the rank of Assistant Professor and still serves as adjunct faculty in the Tulane School of Medicine. During her appointment at Tulane, Dr. Gistand served as the Medical Director of the Tulane Medicine Clinic at the Medical Center of Louisiana where she devoted a significant portion of her time to resident supervision and teaching.
In 2007, she was one of 5 recipients of the Harvard University/ Commonwealth Fund Fellowship and later received her Master’s Degree in Public Health from Harvard University. As a Harvard University Fellow, Dr. Gistand had the privilege to study and collaborate with physicians from all over the world from Canada to Nigeria to Japan regarding national and international health care systems; race related health care outcomes; and the development of universal healthcare systems.
Dr. Gistand is actively involved in her local community where she frequently serves as a columnist on health related matters for the New Orleans Tribune Newspaper. In addition, she has served as a member of the Advisory Board of the Reach 2010 National Black Women’s Health Project, a member of the 2003 Louisiana Governor’s Health Care Reform Panel, a physician volunteer and consultant for the Essence Health and Fitness Panel, and member of the Louisiana State Medical Society and New Orleans Medical Association. She has been invited by local medical groups, universities, and community organizations to lecture at college campuses, health workshops and other various community events.
In November of 2009, Dr. Gistand joined the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) as the Medical Director for the Region 3 Office of Public Health (OPH). Region 3 is a seven parish public health region in southeast Louisiana. In her role as Medical Director for the Office of Public Health, she oversaw a wide array of public health programs including tuberculosis, STDs/HIV, immunizations, tobacco cessation, injury prevention, etc.
In the role of public health Medical Director for Region 3, Dr. Gistand served as the Chief Executive Officer for the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Public Health in directing the execution of public health programs and all matters impacting the administrative operations of the Office of Public in Region 3. Dr. Gistand was also the designated Public Information Officer (PIO) for the Office of Public Health for this region of the state. She was responsible for relaying information to public, media, and elected officials on relevant public health issues and concerns.
Dr. Gistand served as the medical consultant for the seven regional parish health clinics, OPH nurse practitioners, and represents DHH/OPH on environmental health issues in the region. The Office of Public Health is one of the principal agencies in emergency preparedness for the state of Louisiana. As a result, Dr. Gistand served as the DHH/OPH lead over all emergency preparedness activities in Region 3 in consultation with the Assistant Secretary, State Health Officer, Community and Preventive Health Center Director/OPH Medical Director, and the Center for Community Preparedness. As the Region 3 Incident Commander, she was responsible to help maintain 24-hour response capabilities for public health emergency operations, coordinate medical and/or sanitation services in the region during disaster-related emergencies, and coordinate the delivery of health and medical services for evacuees in regional medical special needs shelters during a declared disaster. Moreover, she worked with local and state officials in partnership with the CDC and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness to ensure that mass vaccination plans were fully operational in the event of a large scale medical emergency or natural disaster and that medical special needs shelters were operational for this region of the state.
Her clinical and research interests are in the areas of Hypertension, Health Care Disparities, and Social Determinants of Health.