On Tuesday, President Biden appointed Dr. Ala Stanford as the new regional director for the Department of Health and Human Services.
The appointment comes six months after Stanford withdrew her name from consideration to be Philadelphia’s next health commissioner, WHYY reports. Stanford is credited with founding the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium during the earliest days of the pandemic.
Stanford will lead the department’s Region 3 office, covering all of Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.
The White House says Stanford’s new position, along with three other appointments, are “consistent with the President’s commitment to building an administration that looks like America, these regional appointees represent the diversity of America and the communities they serve.”
“These regional appointees will be critical to the President’s efforts to rebuild communities most impacted by the pandemic, the economic recovery, and climate change,” the White House said.
“They bring deep expertise in their issue areas as well as critical relationships with federal, state, tribal, and local leaders. And, consistent with the President’s commitment to building an administration that looks like America, these regional appointees represent the diversity of America and the communities they serve,” the statement said.
Stanford holds accreditations from the American Board of Surgery in pediatric and adult general surgery. She is the former director of the Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities of Temple University School of Medicine. She sits on the CDC Philadelphia Department of Public Health COVID19 Vaccine Advisory Committee.
Since founding the Consortium, Stanford has received numerous accolades, including being named a 2021 Top 10 CNN Hero and 2021 George H.W. Bush Points of Light Award recipient, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
A 10,000-square-foot clinic that opened last fall in the Swampoodle section of Philadelphia was also named in her honor.
Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey applauded Stanford’s appointment on Twitter.
“As founder of the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium, she has saved lives & improved health outcomes across Philadelphia,” Casey wrote. “I know she will lead with distinction as the nation continues to recover.”
I applaud @POTUS for appointing Dr. @alastanford to serve as Director of @hhsregion3. As founder of the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium, she has saved lives & improved health outcomes across Philadelphia. I know she will lead with distinction as the Nation continues to recover.
— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) April 26, 2022