Gwinnett congresswoman taps locals for coronavirus task force

Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux has named members to a new coronavirus task force. (Rebecca Wright for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution) AJC FILE PHOTO
Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux has named members to a new coronavirus task force. (Rebecca Wright for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution) AJC FILE PHOTO

Credit: Rebecca Wright

Credit: Rebecca Wright

A number of Gwinnett County officials have been tapped by their newly elected congresswoman to serve on a coronavirus task force.

One of Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux’s first acts since being sworn in was to create the task force, which will focus on everything from vaccine distribution to safely reopening schools, according to a statement from her office.

“It is my top priority to get COVID-19 under control, and I’m glad to have this task force working alongside me to address the urgent needs here in our district,” Bourdeaux said in the statement.

The group includes state and local elected leaders and other officials, and will hold its first meeting this week.

The elected officials include Rep. Jasmine Clark, D-Lilburn, who has a doctoral degree in microbiology and molecular genetics; Rep. Rebecca Mitchell, D-Snellville, who has a doctoral degree in epidemiology focusing on infectious disease; Rep. Sam Park, D-Lawrenceville, chair of the Gwinnett State House Delegation and an attorney for a nonprofit working to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Georgia; and Rep. Michelle Au, D-Johns Creek, an anesthesiologist with a Masters of Public Health.

Other members with healthcare experience are Audrey Arona, the director of the Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale County Health Department; Melanie Thompson, a doctor who specializes in HIV Care and public policy; Deep Shah, vice president of the Gwinnett Clinic; R. Trent Lind, the CEO of the Eastside Medical Center in Snellville; and Harry Heiman, a clinical associate professor in the Department of Health Policy and Behavioral Sciences at the School of Public Health at Georgia State University.

Locally, the officials are newly elected Gwinnett County Commission Chairwoman Nicole Love Hendrickson, Gwinnett County Commissioner Marlene Fosque and Everton Blair, a member of the county’s board of education.

Others with education expertise are Brian Westlake, presidents of the Gwinnett County Association of Educators; Wandy Taylor, an education consultant and member of the Gwinnett elections board and library board; and Steve Flynt, an associate superintendent in the Gwinnett County schools in charge of the Division of School Improvement and Operations

Rounding out the group are Lejla Prljaca, the executive director of the Lawrenceville Housing Authority and CEO of the Gwinnett Housing Corporation; Nick Masino, the president and CEO of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce; and James McCoy, the president and CEO of the Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce.