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Photo: Jared Piper/PHL Council
Photo: Jared Piper/PHL Council

Dr. Ala Stanford withdraws from Philly health commissioner consideration, pours efforts into new primary care clinic

Dr. Stanford has removed her own name for consideration for Philly’s health commissioner role.

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Dr. Ala Stanford withdrew her name from consideration of Philadelphia health commissioner last Friday, Oct. 29.

Stanford was a previous finalist for the role. She is now moving forward with the opening of her new primary care clinic, the Dr. Ala Stanford Center for Health Equity (ASHE).

ASHE will begin receiving patients on Wednesday, Nov. 3. ASHE is located at Deliverance Evangelistic Church in North Philly, and will operate similarly to how city health centers do.

The previous finalist cites her clinic’s opening and potential conflict of interest as reasons behind her withdrawal. 

Stanford fears — if she were health commissioner — funds may be blocked from people who need it, due to the aforementioned conflicts of interest.

Dr. Thomas Farley was Philly’s health commissioner until May of this year. 

He resigned after admitting to the 2017 non-consensual cremation of MOVE bombing victims. 

Farley had never notified the victim's family members of the discovery of remains before ordering the cremation.

Dr. Cheryl Bettigole has been the acting health commissioner since Farley’s departure.

Beyond ASHE, Stanford is known for founding the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium during the height of the pandemic in Philadelphia. The consortium first provided free testing and then vaccinations to vulnerable residents that were disproportionately affected.

Stanford believes it is a priority to oversee the consortium’s new health center. 

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium have tested over 25,000 people, and vaccinated over 50,000. ASHE will accept all forms of insurance, and offers a sliding scale system for the uninsured.

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