Many members of the RNA Society, an MCI USA client, work in academic laboratories that are well stocked with equipment used to test for Coronavirus as well as with the personal protective equipment that healthcare providers wear to minimise their exposure to hazards. When one of the RNA Society’s committee chairs realised this, she arranged to donate testing and equipment from her lab to the local public health department and also solicited donations from colleagues.
That’s when the RNA Society portfolio manager at MCI USA, Alison Teitelbaum, understood that this effort could be scaled up for nation-wide impact. Teitelbaum worked with the RNA Society and another MCI client, the American Health Quality Association (AHQA), to make the right connections with high-level health department representatives and other healthcare organisations. In less than a week, MCI helped coordinate arrangements with local and state health departments in charge of doing testing in all 50 states.
A referral system between the RNA Society and public health departments was established. The RNA Society created a one-page online document for members across the country to list equipment and other materials they could donate to their health departments. When a public health department expresses a need for equipment, the RNA Society then communicates the needs to its members, as well as local universities and labs, who could donate equipment in that specific region.
“This is a really fantastic idea… and it can really make a difference, because there are thousands of labs on university campuses across the country that have RNA test kits, that have reagents, that have PPE. And all of this can really ease the burden on state and local health departments,” commented Teitelbaum.
The RNA Society rallied its membership to play a part in increasing COVID-19 testing at the local and state levels. This initiative, fully aligned with the RNA Society mission, enabled more than 1,000 members to work together to affect positive change as the scientific and medical communities battle COVID-19.
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