In April, Ala Stanford noticed a gaping hole: Black Philadelphians were being hit hardest by coronavirus hospitalizations and deaths, but didn’t have a good way to get tested.
In response, she founded the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium. The organization works with churches to drive doctors and other healthcare providers to hard-hit neighborhoods in Philadelphia to conduct free coronavirus testing.
Stanford initially started BDCC with tests from her medical practice and those of other doctors. She then sought to raise funding, and in June the organization won a $1 million contract from the city.
Stanford has long worked to address the deep-rooted racial inequities in healthcare that have been capturing the attention of the media and policymakers. From 2007 to 2010 she was director of the Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities at Temple University, in Philadelphia. In 2012, she founded It Takes Philly Inc., an outreach program for young people with limited resources. With her church she leads mission trips to Haiti.
Stanford is from Philadelphia and specializes in pediatric surgery. Eight years ago, she founded Real Concierge Medicine Co., a boutique medical provider that treats Hollywood actors and business executives.
As for her next undertaking, she says she plans to open a center where people in low-income communities “can receive top-notch care coupled with cultural literacy.”