Philadelphia healthcare students make a difference from home

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- Last month, healthcare students across the country were gearing up to take their final strides towards the professional world. That was put on pause when COVID-19 came to the United States.

Brilliant young minds participating in clinical rotations in Philadelphia were pulled from their hospital settings and confined to their houses and apartments.

This gave rise to an independent coalition of around 2,000 students known as the Philadelphia Organization of Health Professions Students (POHPS). A fourth year medical student at Thomas Jefferson University, Terry Gao, and her colleagues created a subdivision focused on supplying healthcare workers with protective equipment.

They call the initiative "PPE2PHL," or "Personal Protective Equipment 2 Philadelphia." They were inspired by similar efforts across the country, such as their sister organization, PPE2NYC in New York.

Using extravagant spreadsheets and community data, they were able to curate a list of businesses that were potential donors of protective equipment. In just two weeks, they retrieved and delivered more than 6,000 surgical masks, more than 20,000 gloves, and hundreds of caps, gowns, and more.

Around 160 student volunteers are involved in calling businesses and transporting PPE, while strategically keeping as many people home as possible. They are eager to continue supplying the front lines until they can officially join the fight themselves.

To learn more, visit their website.

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