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Doctor who helped lead Louisiana's COVID response gets new job with SEC
BATON ROUGE - Catherine O'Neal, a longtime doctor who was one of the faces of Louisiana's coronavirus response through much of the pandemic, has been hired as a consultant by the SEC.
Dr. O'Neal joins the college sports conference as its chief medical advisor, helping author policies related to the health and safety of its student-athletes and coaching staffs.
"In this new role, Dr. O'Neal will continue to be a valuable resource for the SEC Office and our member institutions as we collaborate to provide world-class care for student-athletes and others around our athletics programs," SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement Tuesday. "Dr. O'Neal has been a vital contributor in guiding the SEC through COVID-19 realities and throughout that process has gained the trust and respect of campus leaders."
Named chief medical officer at Our Lady of the Lake around the onset of the pandemic in 2020, Dr. O'Neal regularly joined Governor John Bel Edwards' weekly news conferences where she spoke of the often overwhelming burden on health workers as COVID cases periodically surged throughout the state.
O'Neal, who completed medical school at the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, also helped the SEC and NFL write up rules to help it navigate the pandemic in 2020.
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