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Crisis Response at the UW School of Medicine

Last Updated: May 18, 2020


The Problem: For many patients, particularly the underserved, access to medical supplies necessary for home care is limited by scarcity, cost, and mobility. Furthermore, the risk of disease transmission increases when these individuals must venture into public to obtain supplies or seek basic care at health care facilities.

Our Intervention: This project began as a home care kits delivery service to provide OTC medications and supplies to patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, for whom home care has been deemed appropriate by their medical provider but are unable to access these materials. Our project partners with clinics in Seattle area to identify patients who are quarantined or self-isolated and in need of symptom relief items (including medications). Patients are screened via medical provider (physician, nurse, social worker) survey responses so medical students are notified of the need. Volunteers then efficiently and safely create and deliver home care kits of over-the counter medications and/or thermometers to patients who are identified (or self-isolating, depending on desired inclusion criteria) at home. The initiative has also expanded to provide clinics with regular weekly deliveries of home care kits to be disseminated within specific internal clinic workflows. It has now been expanded and registered as a Service Learning Organization within the University of Washington School of Medicine called the "Crisis Response at UWSOM in order to ensure the continuity of infrastructure and service beyond COVID-19.


  • Medical Students at the UW School of Medicine
  • UW School of Pharmacy
  • UW School of Medicine Service Learning
  • Healthcare providers at the UW Health System Clinics (Residents, Physicians, Social Workers, Nurses, etc.) and UW Pharmacy
  • Community Clinics including SeaMar SouthPark Community Clinics, Shelter systems within Seattle, and the Seattle Indian Health Board
  • Community Corporate Partners (i.e. Target, Amazon, etc.)

The project is being coordinated by current M1-M4 leaders and is open to any medical students. Supervision provided by the Dr. Genevieve Pagalilauan, MD UWSOM Service-Learning Manager, Leonora Clarke

Project Structure: Student volunteers operate within one of seven teams. Team co-leads ensure that all project revisions and ideas are generated collaboratively.

  • Communication – management of internal and external communication, clinical liaison
  • Protocol – development and revision of protocols as well as quality improvement
  • Procurement – resource acquisition and donor/supplier relations
  • Assembly – efficient and hygienic assembly of supplies into home care kits
  • Delivery – coordination of safe and efficient deliveries within designated service area(s)
  • Publicity – management of social media and external communications with corporate partners
  • Expansion – extend coverage to additional patients and volunteers


Jolie Shen, University of Washington School of Medicine (jshen9@uw.edu)