The Black Doctors COVID-19 consortium was recognized with Philadelphia's top award for service to the community for the group’s work to help underserved communities of color during the pandemic.
Dr. Ala Stanford, who founded the consortium in 2020 in response to the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on Black and brown communities, accepted the Magis Award on behalf of the group during the 'Celebration of Freedom' ceremony on Sunday.
“The Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium identified the need for advocacy and action for Black and Brown communities who were contracting COVID and dying at greater rates than other Philadelphians,” Mayor Jim Kenney said in a press release.
The group provides free testing and vaccination clinics, focusing its efforts on the hardest-hit parts of southeast Pennsylvania. It also offers home vaccinations for people who can’t access clinics.
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The consortium has received national praise, as well. Earlier this year, Assistant U.S. Secretary of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine, presented the BDCC’s accomplishments to President Joe Biden’s administration’s COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force.
Levine touted it as an example of a model that can be used to reduce health care inequality throughout the country. She said the BDCC demonstrated the importance of having trusted messengers convey the safety and effectiveness of vaccines to communities.
The BDCC’s success has also led to calls for Stanford to be appointed Philadelphia’s next health commissioner. Stanford has expressed her desire to fill the post and said she would move to Philadelphia from her home in Montgomery County to do so.