In Focus: Urban Affairs Coalition on Healthcare and Jobs – Wistar Institute Collaborates to Develop Coronavirus Vaccine

In Focus
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On Politics: In Focus airing Saturday, May 9, 2020 at 6:30 a.m. and Sunday, May 10, 2020 at 1 p.m. with Jennifer Lewis-Hall we start with an interview with Sharmain Matlock-Turner, President and CEO of the Urban Affairs Coalition in Philadelphia. Matlock-Turner weighs in on healthcare, jobs and the economy.  We hear how the Urban Affairs Coalition which provides support and shared services for more than eighty nonprofit program partner organizations – is helping in our local communities. The organization explores emerging issues and building wealth in urban communities with the help of government, business and neighborhoods.

In our next segment on Politics In Focus many people are anxiously awaiting a vaccine for COVID-19. Joining us is Dr. David Weiner, Director of The Wistar Institute’s Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center in Philadelphia. Dr. Weiner explains what Wistar is doing in the race to find a vaccine for this novel virus that has caused the deaths of tens of thousands of people in the United States according to reported data. He explains that Wistar and collaborators Inovio Pharmaceuticals have advanced a synthetic DNA vaccine for COVID-19 that is part of a human clinical trial. The Weiner Lab says it has made synthetic DNA platform advances by creating the world’s first Zika vaccine, the first MERS coronavirus vaccine and developed an advanced Ebola vaccine among others.

Then, we hear about a new organization called PPE2PHL. Founder Terry Gao, a fourth-year medical student at Thomas Jefferson Medical School tells us about starting the Philadelphia-based group that includes healthcare professions who are students. They have mobilized to provide healthcare workers with the Personal Protective Equipment they need to combat the COVID-19 Pandemic. Gao shares how they work alongside the Department of Public Health to distribute donations. She talks with Jennifer Lewis-Hall about why it was so important to her and other students who now number more than 150 volunteers – to help their mentors and teachers who are on the frontlines.

And, our PHL 17 Rising Heroes segment highlights the amazing things people are doing to help others during the pandemic. There has been a lot of love and appreciation shown to medical workers over the past several weeks, but what about the workers that help keep the hospitals clean and safe for doctors, nurses, and patients? Our Khiree Stewart spoke with a woman who works with Main Line Health’s Environmental Services Team who is proud to do her part to help save lives. PHL 17’s Politics In Focus airs Saturdays at 6:30 a.m. and Sundays at 1 p.m. on PHL 17.

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