Community Conversation Series Connects Community Members with Local COVID-19 Experts

The American Heart Association, Richmond Councilwoman Cynthia Newbille, and the VCU Health Hub at 25th hosted the first interactive virtual “Community Conversation” May 7 as part of a four-part series on COVID-19.

Featuring an expert panel and open dialogue with more than 145 community members, the first conversation was held via Zoom and covered topics including understanding COVID-19, testing navigation, hospital protocol for both COVID and non-COVID emergencies, managing mental health and general resources in our community.

May 7 panelists included:

  • Kevin Harris, VCU associate vice president for strategic initiatives and engagement
  • Danny TK Avula, director, Richmond and Henrico Health Districts
  • Arline Bohannon, associate professor, VCU Dept. of Internal Medicine
  • Erica Davis, neurology clinic, St. Mary’s Hospital
  • Torino Jennings, chief medical officer, Capital Area Health Network
  • John Lindstrom, CEO, Richmond Behavioral Health Authority
  • Delores McQuinn, delegate, 70th District Virginia House of Delegates
  • Cynthia Newbile, councilwoman and president, East End 7th District, Richmond City Council
  • Sam Schwartzkopf, communications and policy analyst, Office of the Press Secretary, Mayor Levar Stoney

The panel responded to questions during the live discussion. Many questions centered around the availability and expansion of testing and the coordination of care among the organizations that operate in the 7th district.

Watch the full conversation recording, along with question and answer session.

“These conversations allow us to create space for experts to talk with our community members, providing a forum for people to have their questions answered,” said Natalie Pennywell, director of the VCU Health Hub at 25th. “It’s been a great way to collaborate with the American Heart Association and the 7th District to continue - virtually - what the health hub already does, which is to listen to our community members, connect them with resources and work together to change health outcomes.”

The next conversations will be held May 14, 21 and 28 and will focus on identifying educational resources for students and families; the economic impact of COVID-19 for both individuals and businesses; and discussing the devastating effects of COVID-19 on the black community by focusing on the root causes of these disparities and recovery post-COVID.

Participate via the health hub’s Facebook page.

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