PRESS RELEASE: The Children’s Study Announces a Panel Discussion on The COVID Vaccine: Personal & Professional Perspectives Within African American and Latino Communities


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 23, 2021


Contact: Will Dávila, Executive Director

The Children’s Study Home

(413) 739-5626 X135


PRESS RELEASE: The Children’s Study Announces a Panel Discussion on The COVID Vaccine: Personal & Professional Perspectives Within African American and Latino Communities

Springfield, MA – The Children’s Study Home (CSH) announces a panel discussion on The COVID Vaccine: Personal & Professional Perspectives Within African American and Latino Communities.  The Children’s Study Home, in partnership with the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts (PHIWM) is hosting a virtual panel discussion on Friday, March 5, 2021 from 12p.m. to 1p.m. ET.

PHIWM will live stream the panel discussion on YouTube Live. To register for the live streamed panel discussion,  A link to the live stream will be shared to those registered prior to the event.  

As an employer of a culturally diverse team of mostly direct care/frontline staff, The Children’s Study Home is concerned about the relatively low participation by communities of color in receiving the vaccine.  We believe it is important to respect the decisions of individuals who wish not to receive a treatment that they either have trust or efficacy concerns about.  But as a long-serving member of this community, we also believe we have an obligation to help our staff and fellow community members to make informed decisions.  So, we have assembled a panel discussion for and by people of color.  Featured panelists includes two Latino and two African American community leaders in social services, medicine, and public health:

  • Ronn Johnson, M.Ed., President/CEO, Martin Luther King, Jr. Family Services Inc.
  • Sarah Perez McAdoo, MD, MPH, Population Health Capstone Director, University of Massachusetts Medical School–Baystate
  • Miguel Rodriguez, MD, Pulmonologist, Holyoke Medical Center
  • Frank Robinson, PhD, Vice President, Public Health for Baystate Health
  • Jessica Collins, MS, Executive Director of the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts, will moderate the panel discussion.

Dr. William Dávila comments, “We are excited to be bringing this conversation, along with our partner agencies on the panel, to the community.  We are a diverse organization, serving diverse populations, and know that the COVID vaccine is something that is on everyone’s mind.  As individuals decide whether or not to be vaccinated, we want to give them an opportunity to make informed decisions on the topic.  What better way than to hear from members of the community who also happen to be experts in social services, public health, and medicine, and to be able to ask them questions directly about their professional and personal experiences with this pandemic and the vaccine.”

Dr. William Dávila, Ed.D., LICSW, will host the event on behalf of The Children’s Study Home.  Dr. Dávila brings 25 years of experience in nonprofit management and social services as a practitioner, manager, and senior-level administrator and executive, including his tenure as Deputy Executive Director of CSH, from 2006-2011.


The Children’s Study Home, a 155 + year old social services nonprofit, is dedicated to partnering with families by providing innovative and educational programs and services that strengthen children and families; empowering them to succeed at home, within the community, and throughout life.

The Children’s Study Home serves children, adolescents, and families with special needs throughout the Pioneer Valley, the Berkshires and Cape Cod areas. The children we serve are often struggling to cope with behavioral, psychiatric, and cognitive issues related to the experiences they have survived. Our staff assesses their needs and develops individualized service plans that foster recovery, growth, and wellness.

The Children’s Study Home is proud to serve children and families in partnership with the Department of Children and Families and various public school districts.  We are approved by the MA Departments of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), Early Education and Care (DEEC), and accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA).


The Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts was formed a little over 20 years ago with the goal of building measurably healthier communities using data and its convening power to create collaborative partnerships.