Panelists will discuss COVID-19 pandemic at Akron Press Club

A panel of health experts will share their knowledge of the COVID-19 pandemic at an Akron Press Club virtual program at noon on Monday, March 8.

            The panelists are:

  • Summit County Public Health Commissioner Donna Skoda.
  • Kent State University epidemiologist Tara Smith.
  • AxessPointe Community Health Centers Pharmacy Director Magdi Awad.

Donna Skoda has worked in community-based public health programs for more than 25 years. She is responsible for the overall management of the Summit County health district. Skoda is a licensed dietitian with a master’s degree in public health and nutrition from Case Western Reserve University.

Dr. Tara Smith joined the Kent State College of Public Health in 2013 after she spent the previous nine years in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Iowa College of Public Health. She completed post-doctoral training in molecular epidemiology at the University of Michigan. Smith holds a Ph.D. from the University of Toledo and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Yale University.

Dr. Magdi Awad is an associate professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice at Northeast Ohio Medical University. He received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree and residency training at the University of Minnesota. He completed a fellowship in academic medicine and received his Master of Science in pharmacy administration degree at NEOMED. AxessPointe is a federally qualified health center with five locations and four pharmacies in Akron, Barberton and Kent.

The Akron Press Club has not been able to hold traditional lunch programming during the current pandemic. Funds from these lunches go toward scholarships for journalism and public relations students. Between the Press Club and the John S. Knight Memorial Scholarship Fund, scholarships of $5,000 were awarded to nine students in 2020.

As we navigate COVID-19, please consider a donation to the Akron Press Club to fund scholarships. They make a difference to the students who receive them. You can donate by following the link on the registration page for this event.

Program: COVID-19 panel.

Date: Noon, March 8, 2021

To register for this free virtual event: Go to

To donate to Press Club scholarships: Go to

The Akron Press Club was founded in 1971 to promote a free press and serve local journalists and public relations professionals. The group has a rich heritage of offering newsmakers a forum to discuss issues of the day at Press Club luncheons and speaking events that are open to the public. The club also funds scholarships for journalists and public relations students. Visit for membership information.