April 17 Virtual Transform Westside Summit: The Collective Response to COVID-19 on the Westside

The April 17th Transform Westside Summit was the second 100% virtual occurrence of the event following executive orders issued by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and later Governor Brian Kemp to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The summit, which is usually held at The Gathering Spot in front of a live audience made up of hundreds of Westside community members and stakeholders, drew close to two thousand online viewers who watched via live stream as leaders of key institutions shared important information regarding the most recent updates from their respective organizations.

Breanna Lathrop, Chief Operating Officer, Good Samaritan Health Center, provides updates on treating Westside residents with COVID-19 symptoms.

Breanna Lathrop, Chief Operating Officer at Good Samaritan Health Center, helped kick things off with updates from the Georgia Department of Public Health regarding treating patients experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. “Due to an increased ability to screen,” said Lathrop, “now anyone with potential symptoms of COVID-19 can get testing.” Lathrop then specified, “you still do need to have a referral. You can’t just go up to a drive-by site and get tested.” She continued, “but we are doing that by phone. Folks can call us. We can do the whole process online and help you get testing.” Lathrop also emphasized that through Good Sam’s process, patients would only be asked to leave home to go to their appointment after receiving a referral. Good Sam encourages Westside residents seeking care to call its Coronavirus Hotline at 404-523-6571 ext. 4928. Click here to read more about the services Good Samaritan Health Center offers.

Good Samaritan Health Center encourages Westside residents in need of telemedicine or COVID-19 referrals to call the Coronavirus Hotline.

Makeda Johnson, Vine City Resident and Founder of Sister’s Action Team, joins the April 17 Virtual Transform Westside Summit.

Makeda Johnson, Vine City Resident and Founder of Sister’s Action Team, made a brief appearance at the virtual summit via a prerecorded video in which John Ahmann, President & CEO of Westside Future Fund showcased a face mask made by Sister’s Action Team. Johnson and her colleagues continue to distribute the masks made of batik, an African fabric, in an effort to help community members stay safe when away from home. Johnson also continues to urge seniors suffering from loneliness due to social distancing to call 888-524-7143 to speak to a Sister’s Action Team team member.

Calvin Rouse, Owner & Chef, EDC Kitchen gets set to deliver freshly cooked meals to Atlanta first responders.

Calvin Rouse, Owner & Chef at EDC Kitchen, teamed up with AT&T to provide freshly cooked meals to Atlanta first responders. Chef Rouse personally delivered hot meals to Atlanta Fire Station 8, where Darrel Mason serves as Battalion Chief. Appreciative of the opportunity to give back to some of Atlanta’s heroes, Chef Rouse took time to thank AT&T and Westside Future Fund “for letting me do what I do, which is cook, and giving them a lunch as a thank you for what they do on an ongoing basis.”

Darrel Mason, Battalion Chief, Atlanta Fire Station 8 is greeted with fresh cooked meals for his staff prepared by Chef Calvin Rouse of EDC Kitchen.

Top left to bottom right: John Ahmann, President & CEO, Westside Future Fund; Craig Lucie, Owner of Lucie Content and former News Anchor at WSB-TV; Dr. Gregory Antoine, Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs, Morehouse School of Medicine and Chief Medical Officer, Morehouse Healthcare; Dr. Diamond Ford, Principal, Hollis Innovation Academy

John Ahmann, President & CEO of Westside Future Fund moderated the featured panel discussion which included: Dr. Gregory Antoine, Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs at Morehouse School of Medicine and Chief Medical Officer at Morehouse Healthcare; and Dr. Diamond Ford, Principal at Hollis Innovation Academy. Craig Lucie, Owner of Lucie Content and former news anchor at WSB-TV, fielded questions from online viewers during the Q&A segment following the panel discussion.

Dr. Gregory Antoine spoke about the role Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) continues to play in the fight against COVID-19. “Morehouse School of Medicine is doing some research on how to address the COVID virus,” he said. “Our clinical personnel work at Grady, and I do really want to give a shout-out to Grady Memorial Hospital for being prepared.” Dr. Antoine then acknowledged the great work of MSM physicians working at Grady’s COVID-19 unit, which at one point was full. However, on the morning of the April 17th Transform Westside Summit, that unit “only had two patients in ICU,” said Dr. Antoine. For more on what Morehouse School of Medicine is doing to help stop the spread of COVID-19, click here.

Dr. Diamond Ford made sure to thank parents who have had to play a more active role in their children’s education do to campuses throughout the state being shut down for the remainder of the school year. “We know that taking on the responsibility of being a full-time parent plus a full-time teacher is really stressful and difficult,” said Dr. Ford. Addressing her and her staff’s commitment to students’ academic success, she followed, “we’re trying our best to make sure that we create a digital learning platform that’s going to allow them to continue their work with enough support to have them not fall behind so much.” Reassuring parents with concerns about their children potentially failing during this unprecedented time, Dr. Ford emphasized, “We definitely will not be failing students and providing zeros.” Dr. Ford, like other leaders in Atlanta’s education system, promises to make sure that each of her students is given the necessary resources to get the most out of their digital learning experience. For more updates from Hollis Innovation Academy and its dedication to student success, click here.

Be sure to follow Westside Future Fund on social media and join the new Westside Future Fund Transform Westside Summit Group on Facebook for regular updates!