PCOM medical students have raised more than $36,000 and secured over 7,000 protective masks to be distributed to local health professionals.
In the wake of the global pandemic caused by COVID-19, a group of students at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) have responded to the growing need for personal protective equipment (PPE) and formed Medical Students for Masks, a group of medical and nursing students in the Philadelphia area dedicated to raising funds to secure FDA-approved N95 respirator masks for local health professionals.
The group was organized and is being led by osteopathic medicine students Gabrielle Yankelvich (DO ’21) and Judy Lubas (DO ’21). Finding themselves pulled from their third-year rotations, Gabrielle and Judy felt compelled to join the fight against COVID-19 any way they could. In collaboration with Briana Krewson (DO ’23) and Mark Siden (DO ’21), they started Medical Students for Masks. Since mid-March, Medical Students for Masks has raised over $36,000 and secured over 7,000 masks to be distributed to local healthcare systems, first responders and home health agencies.
“I think in these times of uncertainty people want to help but are unsure how to get involved. Our fundraiser has given people a way to help while being socially distant at home,” said Ms. Yankelvich.
Since its formation, this group has expanded from PCOM students to include medical and nursing students from across the region. Through social media and word of mouth, this group has grown to include over 1,000 volunteers. Additionally, Gabrielle and team have worked to help medical students in Pittsburgh, Maine, Florida and Georgia start their own similar fundraisers.
“We are extremely humbled and thankful for all of the donations and amazing help from our volunteers. This project has inspired me and emits a beautiful light in the midst of all of the uncertainty and chaos,” said Ms. Yankelvch.
Learn more about PCOM's response to COVID-19.
Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has trained thousands of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms. PCOM operates three campuses (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) and offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and school psychology, and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences, forensic medicine, mental health counseling, organizational development and leadership, physician assistant studies, school psychology, and public health management and administration. PCOM students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care to medically underserved populations. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 215-871-6100.
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