Founder, Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium
COVID-19 disproportionately infects and kills Black Americans because they’re more likely to be poor, have chronic conditions, live in crowded spaces, have jobs that expose them to the virus and, especially, because of testing limitations.
Philadelphia-based Dr. Ala Stanford specialized in providing healthcare to Hollywood actors and business executives. But in April, she decided to try to reduce the incidence of disease and death from coronavirus among African-Americans by setting up the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium.
Stanford acquired some testing gear, rented a van and implemented a mobile COVID-19 operation to provide a barrier-free testing alternative in the hardest-hit areas of southeastern Pennsylvania. She teamed up with healthcare volunteers to go where needy patients are, turning up at churches and other community sites to offer free on-the-spot tests and provide access to those who can’t get help elsewhere.
A GoFundMe appeal for the consortium raised in excess of $335,000 and 9,000 people had been tested by the end of August. Stanford’s initiative, energy and perseverance puts mainstream providers who said it was too hard to shame.