More than 80 students helped the Kansas City Health Department in providing COVID-19 tests
Earlier this spring, the Kansas City Missouri Health Department received federal funding to provide COVID-19 testing. What the department lacked was the manpower to support the many testing sites across the city.
It didn’t take long for the UMKC Health Sciences Campus to fill the void. More than 80 students from the schools of dentistry, medicine and pharmacy answered the call for helpers. In May and June, they volunteered 28 three-hour blocks of time at 18 testing locations through the greater Kansas City area. Many of those were at schools and churches.
“This is a great example of a long-running collaboration with the health department,” said Jannette Berkley-Patton, Ph.D., director of the Health Equity Institute. “Especially since our students could help expand their capacity to conduct testing in communities hard hit by COVID-19.”
Stefanie Ellison, M.D., associate dean for learning initiatives at the School of Medicine, said students across the campus were eager to help.
“In 24 hours, I gave a group of students the chance to communicate the need across social media sites and get the word out,” Ellison said. “They stepped up to fill in the volunteer spots.”