Dr. Ala Stanford, MD, FAAP, FACS is an experienced physician with an impeccable record of delivering patient care. With distinctive specialty qualifications, she cares for both children and adults being double boarded and certified by the American Board of Surgery in both general adult and pediatric general and thoracic surgery.
She brings her training and experience to benefit the individual she cares for by attending to a spectrum of patients, from newborns to baby boomers and beyond.
Stanford has cared for and operated on patients in North America and internationally for 20 years. However, over the past six years she embarked on a medical concierge business after being referred to care for an A-List entertainer by one of her surgical mentors from Harvard University.
Her business has blossomed with the founding of R.E.A.L. Concierge Medicine Co. According to realconciergemedicine.com, this boutique concierge medical service has as its clients, A-list Hollywood entertainers and business executives, their families, and friends. All referrals are word of mouth, and care handled with an expected anonymity.
While Stanford has created quite a name and reputation over the last two decades, March 10, 2020, was when she was officially introduced to Philadelphia via WURD-FM radio on The Source, where she was being featured for Women’s History Month. The woman who walked through the doors of the studio was gracious, kind and immediately spoke of her unending love for Philadelphia.
Stanford candidly disclosed that she was born to a teenage mother and about her gratitude for how she was shaped within those circumstances, leading to the woman who saw the inequities in the underserved communities as COVID-19 became a pandemic.
She made herself available to be a regular guest on WURD to inform and educate the skeptical. Then she went even further, to start the Black Doctors Covid-19 Consortium weeks later, to address the inequities in testing for Black and Brown folks.
Stanford gathered together Black doctors, nurses, and community members to volunteer their time, used her own money and was able to sustain the movement with donations from organizations while churches, mosques and community centers opened their doors as testing sites.
This unselfish and bold decision saved many lives and gave the ones who would have been otherwise ignored easy access to testing and support.
Fast forward to the vaccination distribution process in January 2021; the Black community watched in disbelief as the B.D.C.C. was seemingly marginalized while at least one group that was not qualified on any level, received three times the vaccinations to distribute.
Stanford, the consummate professional, continued to be transparent with the media and community regarding her needs and made national headlines in doing so. Most recently, she held a press conference on February 10 to make people aware that her group was shutting off the registration process because people who never lived in the communities were signing up and demanding to be given the vaccine.
“They were pulling up in Teslas and Mercedes in the heart of North Philadelphia and I was not happy,” Stanford said. “No one wanted to be here while we were testing. No one bothered us while we worked with the Black and Brown folks. Now, suddenly we see people who clearly are not qualified to get these shots showing up for them. Since we opened our portal on January 11, 46,000 people signed up, and when we began registering, it was 96% Black, and now it is 50%. When we began vaccinating, it was 89.2% Black and now, it is 50% black, with 67% white people, being vaccinated in North Philadelphia.”
Recognizing that something needed to be done, Stanford decided to shut the portal down and this is the message she has for those who already signed up — “Do not worry, we are going through the list and you will get your email to get vaccinated.” That should be completed by March 1. At that point, we will simply tell people where we are vaccinating, and it will be done on a first come, first serve basis. That way, we will be able to get more of our vulnerable populations to get their vaccines who may not have computers and or internet.”
Stanford is a local hero who personifies Black History beyond what we truly are able to fully grasp yet, and such a champion for her people.
Disclaimer: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the article belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s employer, The Philadelphia Sunday SUN, the author’s organization, committee or other group or individual.