Published 5:30 am Wednesday, June 14, 2023
For over 30 years, Mr. Lerue “Everett” Watson III has dedicated his time to the Bogalusa Heart Study, a groundbreaking research project that has helped shed light on the causes and prevention of heart disease.
But Everett’s journey to becoming a vital member of the Bogalusa Heart Study team was not a direct one. He spent three decades teaching band to Bogalusa City School students as the band director of Bogalusa Junior High School from 1959 to 1989. Upon retiring from the school system, Everett wanted a part time job doing something different than he had ever done before. Someone told him that there was an opening at SCOR-A (Specialized Center Of Research – Atherosclerosis, as the Heart Study was then known) After talking to several people there, they and Everett felt that he would contribute much to the ongoing projects of the study. He knew the people of Bogalusa and had watched the Heart Study grow from its inception to the project it was then, admiring Dr. Berenson and his work in the field of heart disease. Everett’s passion for making a difference in the world eventually led him to join the Heart Study team after retiring from the school system. Watson joined the Bogalusa Heart Study as a research assistant, helping to recruit participants, document informed consent, collect data, and conduct physical examinations. Over the years, he became a key member of the team, working closely with leading scientists and researchers in the field of cardiology. Everett’s dedication to the study and commitment to improving the health of the people of Bogalusa has earned him widespread respect and high regard.
As a member of the Bogalusa Heart Study team, Everett played a crucial role in the collection of data, working closely with community members, helping to educate them about the importance of heart health and the role they could play in preventing heart disease. Everett has thoroughly enjoyed his 31 years with the Heart Study learning much about the heart and different studies that have been done during his time there. With pride has often talked to his doctors about the studies and with the many people he has worked with over the years.
As Mr. Watson prepares to retire after more than 30 years with the Bogalusa Heart Study, he leaves behind a legacy of dedication, hard work, and a commitment to making the world a healthier place. His contributions to the study will continue to inform our understanding of heart disease for generations to come.