McLean, VA, USA, August 11, 2020. MCI USA is pleased to announce that its client the RNA Society was honored by the American Society of Association Executives with a 2020 Power of A Silver Award for their innovative program that leveraged university laboratories to rapidly scale up COVID-19 testing. The Power of Awards recognize and celebrate the extraordinary contributions associations make to society.
“We are so proud that one of our client partners, the RNA Society, is being recognized by ASAE with a prestigious Power of Award,” said Erin Fuller, FASAE, CAE, MPA, President, Association Solutions, MCI USA. “The RNA Society’s swift response to the pandemic demonstrates how associations drive collaboration and innovation. The Society connected its members with their local health departments so they could donate both much-needed equipment and world-class scientific expertise.”
The RNA Society is dedicated to fostering research and education in the field of ribonucleic acid science. Many members work in well-stocked academic laboratories, and during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States when it was clear that the need for widespread testing was not being met, one member of the RNA Society executive committee, Dr. Olivia Rissland, PhD (Assistant Professor, University of Colorado School of Medicine) arranged donations of testing equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE) to the local health department. Based on this success, she and other leaders of the RNA Society teamed up to expand these efforts and mobilize donations from Society membership, which is made up of more than 2,000 RNA scientists across the world.
RNA Society CEO Dr. Kristian Baker (Associate Professor, Case Western Reserve University) explained, “RNA Society members were perfectly positioned to provide scientific expertise, reagents and laboratory space to expand diagnostic testing for COVID-19—and our call to action was met with unfettered enthusiasm and outstanding generosity.”
MCI USA staff supporting the RNA Society noticed these initiatives and then worked to scale up the donation program by leveraging existing relationships with partners, such as the American Health Quality Association (AHQA), to identify the best way to connect RNA scientists around the country with state and local public health departments in need of testing and materials. Through this process MCI USA staff connected with National Association of City and County Health Officers (NACCHO), which served as the primary connection hub between scientists and health departments.
“By making these connections with high-level health department representatives and other healthcare organizations, we were able to coordinate arrangements with local and state health departments in charge of doing testing in all 50 states in less than a week,” commented Alison Teitelbaum, MS, MPH, CAE, Vice President, Association Solutions, MCI USA.
Thanks to this coordinated initiative, hundreds of RNA scientists donated equipment that allowed thousands of coronavirus tests to be administered, donated PPE that protected thousands of front-line medical providers, and contributed countless hours of research to the national effort to better understand the virus.
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ABOUT THE RNA SOCIETY
The RNA Society is a non-profit international scientific society with more than 2,000 members dedicated to fostering research and education in the field of RNA science. The RNA Society hosts a peer-reviewed scientific journal, RNA, and an annual scientific conference, along with sponsoring other RNA-related scientific conferences through direct financial support and student travel grants. For more information about the RNA Society and its programing, or to become a member, please visit www.rnasociety.org and check out its Twitter account (@RNASociety).