Richland County Virtual COVID-19 Town Halls To Address Pandemic Questions


Local Medical Business, and Community Experts Address Recovery and COVID-19 in Virtual Town Halls

Richland County, Ohio -When will the pandemic be over? What will life look like after the pandemic? Will I need a COVID-19 vaccination every year?

Local medical, business, and community experts will address these questions, and many more, at three special Virtual Town Halls, scheduled to be livestreamed on Richland Public Health’s Facebook page at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 13, Tuesday, April 20 and Wednesday, April 21.

General questions from the public will be answered during the special broadcasts. Pre-submitted questions can be emailed tochps@richlandhealth.org. Real-time questions can be submitted on Richland Public Health’s Facebook page, or by calling 419-774-4761 anytime throughout the live broadcasts. 

Local medical providers Dr. Joseph Gastaldo (OhioHealth), Dr. Mark Redding (Pathways Community HUB Institute – PCHI), Dr. Celia Flinn (Akron Children’s Hospital), and nurse practitioner Brianna Sampsel (Third Street Family Health Services) will share their knowledge at the Medical Expert Town Hall on Tuesday, April 13 at 6 p.m.

With minority communities experiencing greater COVID-19 burdens and vaccine hesitancy, the unique needs of Richland County’s Black and Brown community will be addressed at the African American Community Town Hall on Tuesday, April 20 at 6 p.m. Elder Aaron Williams, Jr. (Maddox Memorial Church of God in Christ), Dr. Toni Johnson (North Central State College), Christa Harris, MSN (OhioHealth/NAACP), and Dr. Uchenna Ezike (OhioHealth) will share open and honest dialogue.

The focus of the last Town Hall shifts from medical to the local economy and recovery. The Getting Back to Normal Town Hall is scheduled for Wednesday, April 21 at 6 p.m. Community leaders Jodie Perry (Richland Area Chamber & Economic Development), Lee Tasseff (Destination Mansfield), Terry Carter (First Call 211 Mansfield/Richland County Public Library), and Javar Jackson, MPH, FACHE (Third Street Family Health Services) will talk about the ongoing recovery efforts, and how the community can help with these efforts.

The three Town Halls sponsored by the Richland County Foundation support the ongoing efforts of the “Count on Me Richland County” campaign to present unified COVID-19 messaging. The campaign is a local collaboration led by Dr. Julie Chaya at Richland Public Health with Destination Mansfield-Richland County, DRM Productions, Integrity Project Management, OhioHealth, Richland Area Chamber & Economic Development, and the Richland County Foundation. 

“It’s so important to understand what’s happening in our own county, from the ongoing pandemic to the much-anticipated recovery,” explained Dr. Chaya. “We’ve been through so much together, and we all want to know what we can do to put this pandemic behind us. These Town Hall discussions give us further insight into how our individual actions can bolster our local recovery.”  

If you cannot make the livestreams, each Town Hall session will be available for viewing on the Richland Public Health Facebook page and will also be broadcasted on WMFD TV on April 15 (Medical Expert Town Hall), April 22 (African American Town Hall), and April 23 (Getting Back to Normal Town Hall) at 7:00p.m. For more information about the three Town Hall sessions, visitwww.richlandhealth.org/townhall.