PCOM Georgia students, faculty and staff are working to assist the Gwinnett area by donating medical supplies, shop for neighbors and more.
Collaboration has been key as individuals, communities, states, countries and our world join together to battle COVID-19, a pandemic with no boundaries.
From the beginning, PCOM Georgia’s students, faculty and staff have contributed resources, time and talent as the war rages on.
Personal protective equipment or PPE is instrumental in keeping those on the front lines safe. Healthcare students use PPE in their training so a concerted effort was made to round up supplies and donate them to our partners.
Marla Golden, DO, FACEP, associate dean of clinical education, Georgia, recalled receiving a phone call from a pulmonologist at a local hospital. “He sounded tired and deeply concerned as he described the dire needs of his institution for masks and other supplies necessary to protect their health care workers as they toiled to care for patients in this crisis,” she said. “He described the inability of the hospital to get supplies since they were preferentially sending them to epicenters like New York City.”
“The urgent need was compelling and heart wrenching. I’m so glad we were able to find and donate supplies that could at least hold them over until their shipments arrived.”
A survey reveals that more than 10,000 pieces of PPE have been donated from such areas and programs as the anatomy lab, Physician Assistant Studies suite, Physical Therapy Education Center, research laboratories and the simulation center to organizations such as Emory Healthcare, Gwinnett Fire and Emergency Services, Northside Hospital Gwinnett, Northeast Georgia Medical Center, Visiting Nurse/Hospice Atlanta and the WellStar Emergency Departments and Hospice.
Chief Campus Officer Bryan Ginn said, “The PCOM Georgia campus community fully recognizes and appreciates the heart and soul Georgia’s healthcare providers and teams are exhibiting in taking care of fellow Georgians during these most challenging of days.“
“We salute them all, and simply hope that our donations will help shield them from this devastating disease as they go about their work with dedication and resolve.“
A Class II Biosafety Cabinet with the capability to safely decontaminate bacteria and viruses using UV waves has also been loaned from PCOM Georgia's research laboratories to Northside Hospital Gwinnett for use in cleaning N95 respirators between patients.
The exchange occurred after Ben Robinson, chief program development officer for PCOM Georgia, received a request from Mark Darrow, MD, director of Graduate Medical Education for Northside Hospital Gwinnett, last Friday afternoon. A residency program director who works with Darrow had learned about the use of biosafety cabinets which help maintain sterile work environments and provide decontamination using UV lights.
PCOM Georgia offered to loan the equipment to the medical center. According to Robinson, “We have worked with Northside Hospital Gwinnett for many years and plan on continuing to in the future. We’ve been working to increase our collaboration in both academic and clinical areas.”
Darrow said, “We are extremely thankful for this generous donation. The overwhelming support we have received from many of our community's signature institutions, such as our long-time partner in education PCOM Georgia, is greatly appreciated by our programs, and our entire hospital system.”
Microbiologists, including Valerie E. Cadet, PhD, have shared their expertise to help educate organizations such as the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine and Community Action Now! in the US Virgin Islands about this novel coronavirus.
Students have joined together to form COVID Captains, a group that is delivering groceries to the immunosuppressed and elderly living in Lawrenceville, Norcross and Suwanee. And PCOM Georgia’s Medical Students for Masks organization has raised more than $2,200 to purchase N95 respirators for metro Atlanta’s healthcare professionals.
Faculty and students quickly pivoted to online learning to ensure social distancing was enacted and good results have been reported.
Fighting skirmishes is a team effort and PCOM Georgia is working hard to do our part to win both the battles and the war.
Learn more about the College's response to COVID-19.
Established in 2005, PCOM Georgia is a private, not-for-profit, accredited institute of higher education dedicated to the healthcare professions. The Suwanee, Georgia, campus is affiliated with Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine which has a storied history as a premier osteopathic medical school. PCOM Georgia offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, and physical therapy and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences and physician assistant studies. Emphasizing "a whole person approach to care," PCOM Georgia focuses on educational excellence, interprofessional education and service to the wider community. The campus is also home to the Georgia Osteopathic Care Center, an osteopathic manipulative medicine clinic, which is open to the public by appointment. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 678-225-7500.
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