Thank you for joining the University of Maryland Medical System for:

Finding Hope on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Day – A Town Hall on Understanding the COVID-19 Vaccine.

A year into the pandemic, the virus is still raging across our nation. More than 394,000 Americans – and counting – have died and more than 20 million have been infected.

This town hall was designed to inform our community about the harsh effects this pandemic has had on our lives and livelihood in addition to addressing questions and concerns about the vaccine, particularly for communities of color.

COVID is real. It is devastating. This much-needed discussion offers hope, clarity, and some practical steps forward as we together create pathways to end COVID-19.

Questions and Answers

Participants were encouraged to submit questions before and after the town hall. We are compiling answers to those questions and will post them this week.


Dr. Mohan Suntha, town hall emcee, and Freeman Hrabowski, town hall moderator, led this important discussion on January 18th, 2021.

Mohan Suntha MD

Mohan Suntha, MD, MBA

President and CEO, UMMS


Fermin Barrueto

Fermin Barrueto, Jr., MD, MBA

SVP/CMO, UM Upper Chesapeake Health

Stacy Garrett-Ray

Stacy Garrett-Ray, MD, MPH, MBA

VP/Medical Director, UMMS Population Health Services Organization

Michelle Gourdine

Michelle A. Gourdine, MD

Interim CMO; SVP, Population Health and Primary Care, UMMS

David Marcozzi MD

David Marcozzi, MD, MHS-CL, FACEP

COVID-19 Incident Commander, UMMS

Joseph Wright

Joseph L. Wright, MD, MPH

SVP/CMO, UM Capital Region Health

Watch Videos: Importance of COVID-19 Vaccine

Hear from five frontline healthcare workers as they tell why they chose to be vaccinated and what it means to them.

"Carve a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment" - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.