His research and writing have focused on three broad thematic research questions:
- What are the social and behavioral factors that predict the timing of various related health outcomes (e.g. access and utilization of health services, mortality, entrance into nursing home)?
- What are the social and behavioral factors that explain race differences in health outcomes?
- What has been the impact of social policy on the health and quality of life of African Americans?
LaVeist’s specific areas of expertise include U.S. health and social policy, the role of race in health research, social factors contributing to mortality, longevity and life expectancy, quantitative and demographic analysis and access, and utilization of health services.
His journey examining why health disparities exist began at the University of Michigan where he earned a doctorate degree in medical sociology and a postdoctoral fellowship in gerontology and Health Management & Policy at the School of Public Health.
He joined GWU after 25 years on the faculty of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where he was the William C. and Nancy F. Richardson Professor in Health Policy and Director of the Hopkins Center for Health Disparities Solutions.
LaVeist has published more than 100 articles in scientific journals and is a highly sought-after lecturer at leading universities, corporations, professional conferences and workshops. The second edition of his edited volume, Race, Ethnicity and Health: A Public Health Reader (Jossey-Bass Publishers) was published fall 2012. His most recent book project, Legacy of the Crossing: Life, Death, and Triumph among Descendants of the World’s Greatest Forced Migration, was published in 2017. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, Center for Disease Control, Department of Defense, Commonwealth Fund, Sage Foundation and the Agency for Healthcare Research. In 2013, LaVeist was elected to membership in the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences (formally Institute of Medicine).
The Nancy Cantor Distinguished Lectureship on Intellectual Diversity lectureship honors Cantor, former U-M provost, for her outstanding contributions to the University community and unwavering commitment to diversity.
The Cantor lecture is sponsored by the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and supported by the School of Public Health, Michigan Medicine, Office of Health Equity & Inclusion, and Institute for Social Research.