The LSU School of Public Health Epidemiology Department is saddened to announce the passing of State Epidemiologist and Epidemiology adjunct faculty member Dr. Raoult Ratard. Dr. Ratard developed our first Infectious Disease Epidemiology course in the Fall of 2005 while he was still working in the State’s Emergency Operation Center due to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and taught the course online. Dr. Ratard approached teaching MPH students seriously with dedication and a passion for showing students the importance of the control and spread of infectious diseases. Dr. Susanne Straif-Bourgeois, current SPH Associate Professor of Epidemiology and former Assistant State Epidemiologist under Dr. Ratard, recalls him stressing the point, “You cannot be an effective state epidemiologist sitting behind your office desk all the time if there is any suspicion of an outbreak you have to be quick and decisive. Go directly to the site of the suspected outbreak to see with your eyes and listen with your ears”. Dr. Ratard was a mentor to many LSU SPH faculty and students and a valued member of the School and State’s Epidemiology Department.
Read the announcement and article from the Louisiana Department of Health here.