MEDELITA Helps Connect Frontline COVID-19 Workers In Need To Student Volunteers

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MEDELITA, a leading medical apparel brand, has partnered with prominent members of the healthcare community to host a platform that helps pair frontline healthcare workers whose lives have been disrupted by COVID-19, with healthcare students generously willing to provide help with childcare or other basic needs during the pandemic. More information can be found at: https://www.medelita.com/covidsitter.html

Hala Sabry, MD with Family

Physician Moms Group Founder and Emergency Medicine Physician, Dr. Hala Sabry with family

This initiative alleviates the stress of finding reliable help, especially because the students understand the risk. Families can rest assured knowing that healthcare students provide a safe and caring option because they are vigilant about COVID-19 safety, hygiene and precautionary measures.

COVID-19 has forced implausible complexities into the lives of those working in frontline specialties. Recognizing the fraught effects of the pandemic on households in the medical community, healthcare students hope to support and assist them with childcare, pet sitting, grocery deliveries, online tutoring, and other essential services.

Social distancing and lockdown measures have strained the lives of healthcare workers on the frontlines of COVID-19. Schools and day care centers are still closed across the U.S., and the increased workload that this pandemic requires has made the situation much worse. Normally surrounded with the help of extended family and sitters, healthcare providers are left with no one. Meanwhile, most students in medical fields have headed home to continue distance learning. Far from the hospital setting, they feel helpless watching the pandemic unfold and are eager to find ways to help in their respective future fields.

A local 'COVIDsitter' initiative to pair student volunteers with frontline professionals was started by medical students at the University of Minnesota and this concept has quickly expanded into many regional initiatives across the U.S. With new groups launching every day, there was a need for an online directory that would consolidate information and streamline the process of connecting volunteer students in medical fields across the country with frontline healthcare workers in need of childcare, pet sitting, or other basic needs.

MEDELITA was approached by Physician Moms Group, an online organization that supports and empowers physician mothers, to partner with the Facebook Group, "Law Mamas," and Dr. Ryan Grey from Medical School Headquarters to create a platform that would bring all these healthcare families and volunteers together in one place.

In appreciation for the bravery and sacrifices being made by those on the frontlines, MEDELITA has dedicated itself to featuring honest updates and heartfelt stories provided by the healthcare community and its brand ambassadors who are fighting on the frontlines of this crisis. MEDELITA brand ambassadors have been featured recently as medical correspondents on ABC News, CNN, and Fox News.

Most evident is the brand’s deep, personal connection to the medical community, with MEDELITA founder Lara Francisco’s firsthand experience in emergency medicine as a certified Physician Assistant. Lara remains highly involved in fostering personal relationships with key healthcare professionals and associations, and is also a mother of three who can sympathize with the challenges clinician parents are facing.

Asked about the current crisis and the benefits of COVIDsitters, founder Lara Francisco, said, “Our priority has always been to amplify the voices of those who work in medicine. When Dr. Sabry reached out to me, I was eager to do as much as possible to assist this effort.”

Since MEDELITA launched the online portal, it has added more than 18 regional COVIDsitter networks, and more groups are being added daily. Any healthcare worker in need can request assistance at their local COVIDsitter community using a simple form and they will be matched with a list of students (in any healthcare field) who have used a separate form to register as a volunteer. Each local organization publishes specific requirements, collects each request, coordinates the pairing and handles any of the logistics involved in the pairing process. All services are free of charge, but families may decide on compensation privately. Alternatively, students have also welcomed letters of recommendation which could be of great assistance on their path toward a healthcare field or residency.

According to Lara Francisco, PA-C, "This initiative alleviates the stress of finding reliable help, especially because the students understand the risk. Families can rest assured knowing that healthcare students provide a safe and caring option because they are vigilant about COVID-19 safety, hygiene and precautionary measures.”

Student participants initially chose to study medicine because they have a deep desire to make a difference in the lives of those in their communities. They are looking to help wherever there is capacity.

Full details can be found on the MEDELITA website: https://www.medelita.com/covidsitter.html

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Kellyanne Klein
Medelita
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Dan Stepchew
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