NY Med COVID Runners
As COVID-19 has spread throughout the country, New York has continued to be one the most highly affected areas. In particular, New York City and Westchester County have experienced drastically high rates of infection and demand on hospitals and healthcare workers. As medical and professional students at New York Medical College (NYMC), which is located just outside of New York City, this has awakened our sense of social responsibility. Healthcare workers are in a unique position compared to other individuals; they are working tireless hours in high-risk circumstances while still having to manage their household demands. These at-home responsibilities include assisting their children with educational support and navigating online learning platforms, as well as grocery shopping, child care, pet care, and other errands.
Through volunteer efforts at NYMC, we have coordinated the NY Med COVID Runners website, where healthcare professionals can request help with the aforementioned services and be paired with an NYMC professional student (medicine, dentistry, etc.) volunteer eager to help. For aid in at home child and pet care, healthcare professionals request help for specific times and days that they wish to have students come to their homes to babysit their children or walk their dogs. Using the volunteer database, the project leads then pairs the student with the healthcare professional, ensuring geographic proximity. To assist with educational needs, healthcare professionals can denote which subjects their child needs additional support in (e.g. math, science, language, standardized test preparation), and will subsequently be matched with an NYMC student volunteer with expertise in that subject. Providing virtual tutoring allows a number of benefits, such as allowing NYMC students who may be away from New York during this time to remain connected to their community, while reducing the risk of COVID exposure.
In this difficult time, we hope to provide relief and reassure healthcare workers, who continue to show up for the community, that their families and outside responsibilities will not be left behind. Having a single website to unite various volunteer efforts has allowed us to have greater collaboration amongst volunteers and makes requesting help for multiple services easily accessible.