MCLA to Present Panel on COVID-19 Vaccine Featuring Public Health Experts April 8

NORTH ADAMS, MASS. —MCLA will host a virtual panel, “Closing the Gap on Herd Immunity,” featuring three experts in public health at 5 p.m. on April 8. Topics covered will include COVID-19 vaccine access, misinformation, and a look ahead as vaccines become available to wider segments of the population in Massachusetts and across the U.S.  

The panelists are Dr. Michelle Williams, dean of the faculty and professor at Harvard College’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Dr. Mary Clarisse Kilayko, a doctor of infectious diseases and internal medicine at Berkshire Health Systems; and Dr. James Lederer, Berkshire Health Systems’ chief medical officer/chief quality officer.  

This event is free and open to the public, and community members are welcome to attend, and panelists will be able to answer audience questions about the vaccine. Those who are interested can register at For more information, contact Dr. Nicole Porther, who coordinates MCLA’s public health and community health education major, at 

The panel event was coordinated by students in Porther’s Health Promotion and Planning class, with Dr. Katelyn Hatfield as co-organizer and moderator, and with support from MCLA Berkshire Cultural Resource Center Director Erica Wall.

Students helped find health experts who have worked directly on pandemic response in the Berkshires and the Commonwealth with the goal of bringing enhanced understanding around COVID-19 vaccinations to the MCLA and Berkshire community.  

Learn more about MCLA’s public health and community health education program at