Welcome to Local Heroes, our new series featuring Detroiters working during the COVID-19 pandemic to take care of one another. We hope you’ll check in to meet and support these men and women who are truly making a difference and restoring our faith in humanity.

Ghazala Imran, M.D.

Ghazala Imran is a third-year anesthesia resident at Detroit Medical Center stepping on to the frontlines as COVID-19 has swept through Detroit’s population.

Those who have been following the news know, Michigan has exponentially jumped to having the third highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country. This cascade has brought a huge burden on hospital staff and resources. 

Dr. Imran and her team cover the ICU units 24/7, spending 4-5 hours there at a time caring for patients. After only a few hours, these doctors and nurses have pressure bruises on their faces from the masks and headaches from rebreathing low oxygen filled air. 

“If I said I wasn’t nervous every time I walked into our ICU, I’d be lying. We have already lost some young training physicians across the country to this pandemic, and it hits home for all of us.” 

Despite all this, Dr. Imran has seen some of the most courageous and resilient resident physicians emerge during this crisis, stepping up to support each other and helping their patients the best way they possibly can, even if it means putting themselves at risk.

“This is going to change humanity forever. And when the dust settles, we must decide if this will harden us, or allow us to dig deep and find unconditional compassion for one another.”

DMC asks those interested in making a donation of supplies call (313) 966-9328.

Dwan Dandridge is committed to supporting African American small business owners in Detroit.

Black Leaders Detroit

In addition to his role as VP of Projects & Community Engagement at Life Remodeled, Dwan is also the Founder & CEO of Black Leaders Detroit (BLD) spearheading an emergency funding initiative to help Detroit-based, black-owned, small businesses weather the COVID-19 storm. Given the disproportionate effect the corona virus crisis has had on the health and socio-economic well-being of African Americans, BLD and the Restore the Village Fund has become an essential lifeline.

“During times like these, equity and inclusion are often put on the back burner. The disparities between the death toll in the black community compared to other races should remind us that equity and inclusion must be a part of our approach to combat every crisis that we face.”

To date, the Restore the Village Fund has provided grants to Textures by Nefertiti, a natural hair and skin salon in Midtown; Cochrane House Bed & Breakfast in Brush Park; and Detroit Sip located in the University District. BLD is currently accepting applications for funding on a rolling basis and is asking the community for donations of $1/week (or $52/year) to help. 

As brick and mortar businesses are forced to close, Ivana Kalafatic, Founder and CEO of Detroitisit and 2gathr, has built a platform for businesses, restaurants, and customers to stay connected.

Meet Detroit Help Hub, a one stop shop for businesses to share ways customers can provide support, and for consumers to receive updates from their favorite local brands. Whether it’s making a donation through a crowdsourcing platform, buying a gift card, or visiting a company’s website to make a purchase, every dollar these days helps.

Detroit Help Hub

There are more than 15 social networks available for users to donate, purchase, and engage with businesses including GoFundMe, Paypal, Venmo, and gift card links, and restaurants can easily share their curbside/take out menus, hours of operation, and UberEats/Grubhub delivery offers.

“During these challenging times, Detroit entrepreneurs need a community lifeline more than ever.” 

Visit DetroitHelpHub.com to sign up as a business or to show your support as a customer.