Eastern Virginia Medical School's Remedy: A Student-Run Medical Equipment Recovery Program's Role in COVID-19 Response
#GiveMePPE is a cry of desperation from medical professionals across the country as hospital systems and supply lines strain from an unprecedented increase in demand for personal protective equipment (PPE). Eastern Virginia Medical School’s (EVMS’s) student-run medical equipment recovery program, Remedy, is seeking to do its part in answering that cry.
EVMS Remedy has functioned as an interprofessional student-run medical equipment recovery program since 2016 and has developed a growing network of local and global community health partners to source and donate a wide array of medical supplies and equipment. Remedy immediately responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and the corresponding resource shortage by mobilizing recovered materials - including 400 masks, 550 isolation gowns, 229 boxes of gloves, and 821 units of sanitizing materials - to two local emergency departments.
In collaboration with EVMS’s Student Government Association and Student Affairs department, Remedy has taken the lead in organizing an institution-wide PPE collection effort by recruiting student volunteers from all EVMS programs (MD, MPH, MPA) to participate in sourcing PPE by establishing new community partnerships with local businesses, contacts, and networks to collect and redistribute resources to healthcare settings in need. These efforts are promoted through institution-wide emails, social media pages, and an EVMS sponsored website. Once recruited, all student volunteers sign online waivers provided by the Student Affairs office and attend a Zoom orientation and training directed by Remedy leadership. Training includes equipment recovery etiquette and guidelines, standardized use of call-scripts, and safe collection practices. After this training, student volunteers work to acquire donations and collect them using methods compliant with social distancing guidelines. Newly sourced PPE is then inventoried and redistributed to fulfill the specific needs of healthcare facilities identified through faculty partners working in those environments.