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Pennsylvania’s new Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson, MD

Also on the program: House Divided Project explores the struggle for freedom in the US

  • Scott LaMar

 Rogelio V. Solis / AP Photo

Listen to Smart Talk every weekday at 9am and 7pm on WITF 89.5 & 93.3. You can also stream WITF radio live on our website or ask your smart speaker to “Play WITF Radio.”

Airdate: Wednesday, May 19, 2021

The number of new positive coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania is slowing down, but so are the number of Pennsylvanians getting vaccinated against the virus.

The state Department of Health reported 1700 new cases Tuesday and say 5.5 million people have received their first vaccine shot and 4.2 million are totally vaccinated. The number of vaccinations may pick up with approval of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 12 through 15.

But have we finally turned a corner in the pandemic? Will we ever reach herd immunity and do we need to? Will kids go back to school in person next fall? Are masks a thing of the past? Our guest Wednesday can address those and other questions.

Dr. Denise A. Johnson, MD., is the acting Physician General of the Pennsylvania Department of Health and she joins Smart Talk Wednesday to offer her vision of the state of health in Pennsylvania.

Dickinson College’s House Divided Project explores the struggle for freedom in the US

Freedom is a word we’ve heard often over the past year.

But freedom means different things to different people. Much of one’s view of freedom is shaped by their life’s experiences, ethnic or racial background and history. Dickinson College’s House Divided Project, helps K-12 classrooms learn more about the American Civil War, with special attention paid to efforts to abolish slavery.

As part of the House Divided project, Dickinson is launching a three-week summer program for low-income high school seniors and first-generation college students from the mid-state that focuses on the historic struggle for freedom in America.

Appearing on Smart Talk Wednesday to share project details are Matthew Pinsker, Ph.D., Professor of History and Pohanka Chair in American Civil War History, Todd Mealy, assistant director of the program grant and a teacher at Penn Manor High School in Lancaster County and Safronia Perry, the executive director of Hope Station in Carlisle, Pa.

Courtesy Dickinson College

A statue of Dickinson College founder Benjamin Rush stands on campus.

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