Biden Appoints Dr. Ala Stanford as Department of Health and Human Services Regional Director

Dr. Ala Stanford administers a COVID-19 swab test on Wade Jeffries in the parking lot of Pinn Memorial Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Wednesday, April 22, 2020. Stanford and other doctors formed the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium to offer testing and help address heath disparities in the African American community. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

By Ashley Adams

April 27, 2022

Stanford founded the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium in Philadelphia at the outset of the pandemic and has since been named one of USA Today’s Women of the Year.

Dr. Ala Stanford has been appointed by President Joe Biden as regional director for Region 3 of the Department of Health and Human Services, which includes Pennsylvania.

In her new role, Stanford will work with state and local organizations to ensure the needs of the communities are addressed through HHS programs and policies. In addition to Pennsylvania, Region 3 covers Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Stanford is a pediatric surgeon at Jefferson Abington Hospital in Montgomery County. She founded the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, aiming to serve Philadelphia neighborhoods disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus. Armed with PPE from her office, Stanford acquired testing kits, rented a van, and offered free testing to Philadelphia neighborhoods where positivity rates were the highest.

As vaccines became available, Stanford pivoted and began to provide vaccinations on street corners, at community centers, places of worship, and even in homes throughout the city.

In total, more than 50,000 people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 through Stanford’s efforts, 82% of them people of color.

Last fall, Stanford opened the Dr. Ala Stanford Center for Health Equality in North Philadelphia, providing underserved neighborhoods with routine examinations, vaccinations, x-rays, mammographies, behavioral health services, pediatric care, and more.

She was recently named one of USA Today’s Women of the Year and was honored as one of CNN’s Top 10 Heroes of 2021.


  • Ashley Adams

    In her 16 years in the communications industry, Ashley Adams has worn many hats, including news reporter, public relations writer, marketing specialist, copy editor and technical writer. Ashley grew up in Berks County and has since returned to her roots to raise her three children.

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