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Villanova University Presents 2022 Praxis Award in Professional Ethics to Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium Founder Dr. Ala Stanford

VILLANOVA, Pa—The Villanova University Ethics Program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has named pediatric surgeon, healthcare advocate and the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium (BDCC) founder Ala Stanford, MD, FACS, FAAP the recipient of the 2022 Praxis Award in Professional Ethics. This year’s award will be presented on Thursday, April 7 at 4:30 p.m. in the Villanova Room, Connelly Center, followed by brief comments from Dr. Stanford.

Since its inaugural year in 2007, the Praxis Award is given to a professional or academic who exemplifies the highest ethical ideals of their profession or who has contributed to professional ethics scholarship. A practicing physician for over 24 years, Dr. Stanford founded BDCC in response to the disproportionate number of African Americans being diagnosed with and dying from coronavirus in Philadelphia and the lack of swift intervention to mitigate the disease. The mission of the consortium is to educate, provide advocacy and barrier-free coronavirus testing and vaccination to decrease the morbidity and mortality associated with the disease. To date, BDCC has vaccinated more than 53,000 patients and tested over 25,000.

A Philadelphia native, Dr. Stanford became the first African American female pediatric surgeon to be trained entirely in the U.S. She is board certified by the American Board of Surgery in both pediatric and adult general surgery. In November 2021 she opened the Dr. Ala Stanford Center for Health Equity to continue offering quality health care, education, and behavioral health sciences to the city of Philadelphia. She received her medical degree from the Pennsylvania State University.

“The Ethics Program of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences recognizes Dr. Stanford for her professional courage and her focus on preventative health for African Americans in Philadelphia and on inequities that had previously gone unaddressed,” said Mark Doorley, PhD, director of the Ethics Program. “Her visionary leadership of the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium has shifted the paradigm of the delivery of medical services. She sprang into action at a critical time in the City of Philadelphia. Dr. Stanford is a true COVID-19 healthcare hero.”

The Praxis Selection Committee reviews nominations annually, selecting a recipient who has accomplished one or more of the following achievements:

  • Excellence in fulfilling and embodying the ethical ideals of a profession;
  • Excellence in connecting professional work to a broader understanding of the common good;
  • Excellence in promoting and embodying ethical integrity in a professional field;
  • Excellence with respect to research in the field of professional ethics;
  • Excellence in terms of influence on the field of professional ethics through writing, teaching, consulting and/or professional leadership.

The event is free and open to the public.

About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenging and changing world. With more than 40 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.