For weeks now, area medical students have been fanning out around the region distributing much-needed personal protective equipment, or PPE, to hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and anywhere it's needed.
"We work with the public health department to figure out where the needs are, and we talk to a lot of the community leaders to find out if there are healthcare facilities or treatment centers that we're missing," said Terry Gao.
Gao graduated from Jefferson Medical school this week and will soon start her surgical residency at Temple. She's one of the local founders of the organization PPE2PHL, which now has over 200 volunteers.
"It just resulted in a lot of medical students feeling very displaced and wanting to do something to help," she said. "When you pair that with all the stories from our mentors and friends who are still working the frontlines, because they are clinicians, then it really just motivated us to want to do something to help."
They started by distributing donated PPE. Now, they're focused on monetary donations to make large purchases of equipment.
Artika Saharan is a fourth-year medical student at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College and another local founder.
"We want to help cause that's just genuinely why we went into the field. I think this has been a really nice way for the whole medical community of students in Philadelphia to come together because every med school has volunteers with us," Saharan said.
The group has collected over 30,000 PPE units and done over 300 equipment drops so far. They've raised over $20,000 to purchase PPE from reputable vendors and they're always looking for more donations.
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Hundreds of local medical students join effort to deliver PPE to frontline workers