WASHINGTON, April 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Volunteer Surge, a nonprofit consortium, announced today the launch of a new initiative to recruit, train and deploy 1,000,000 volunteer health workers to address surging health care needs during the COVID 19 epidemic.
"Our entire healthcare system, especially in hard hit areas, is now under siege by COVID-19. Doctors, nurses and hospitals, as well as state and city health authorities, are overwhelmed with the epidemic," said Yale School of Public Health Dean, Sten Vermund, MD, PhD, an epidemiologist and pediatrician. "Task-shifting, which allows tasks to be delegated from doctors and nurses to trained health workers, can reduce the burden on our system and save lives by allowing scarce medical workers to focus on the more serious COVID 19 care operations while trained health care volunteers pick up other tasks."
Beginning today, interested candidates can visit VolunteerSurge.org to join the effort. To become trained, volunteers will complete an approximately 30-hour, fully-online Community Health Worker Course developed by Cinematic Health Education in consultation with the Yale School of Public Health. Offered free of charge, this training was adapted from an existing commercially available training curriculum to focus on COVID 19. There is a GoFundMe Charity campaign that can provide volunteers who are experiencing financial hardship from COVID 19 with a small stipend as they do this necessary work for their communities.
Here's what the process looks like:
- Sign up at VolunteerSurge.org
- Take the Free Community Health Worker training online.
- Build a volunteer profile.
- Get a volunteer assignment in your community, or do health support work at home by phone. You'll support testing centers, homebound seniors, people with physical and intellectual disabilities, hospitals and vulnerable populations.
Some volunteers will perform triage care for cases unrelated to COVID 19. Others will staff drive-through test sites, provide telephone health support to homebound seniors, support those with intellectual disabilities or take vital signs in tent triage care centers. Hospitals and local health departments will supply proper equipment and supervision to keep volunteers safe.
Members of the consortium providing support for the effort include:
- Yale School of Public Health is assisting Cinematic Health Education with development of the Community Health Worker training course for COVID 19.
- Amazon Web Services powers the online training platform, enabling streaming of the video-rich training through its cloud computing services.
- Absorb LMS is providing an enterprise grade system to host the Community Health Worker training course.
- WorkMarket, an ADP Company, will provide the software to organize and manage the volunteers and the assignments they accept, such as visiting homebound seniors or delivering meals.
- LinkedIn will help recruit volunteers on the LinkedIn platform.
- Salesforce, through its Health Cloud, will connect volunteers with health departments and hospital systems, where they can support triage efforts and make patient follow-up calls.
- Yale School of Public Health Dean Sten Vermund is providing expert leadership on epidemiology information, COVID 19 training for volunteers and public health best practices.
- Rotary clubs across the United States are mobilizing their networks to help recruit volunteers to join the effort. Rotary brings together volunteer leaders dedicated to taking action to address the world's most pressing humanitarian challenges.
- Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO, under the leadership of International President Sara Nelson, is galvanizing volunteers from amongst their 50,000 flight attendants, aviation's first responders, to answer the call.
- Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati, P.C. and Lowenstein Sandler LLP are providing pro-bono legal services to VolunteerSurge.
- GoFundMe Charity is helping us develop a campaign to provide another way for the community to support this important program. The vision is to fund volunteer stipends as they answer the call to help their communities.
- Well-known journalist Megyn Kelly is assisting with partnerships, strategy and media.
- Resilience Force, under the leadership of Saket Soni, is galvanizing thousands of unemployed workers to take up essential work on the ground in partnership with local mayors in cities.
Retired Army General George W. Casey, Jr., former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, has also provided guidance for the effort. "Our country is in a time of great crisis. Volunteer Surge is a way for Americans to help in that effort and support our heroic doctors and nurses, who are on the front lines of this battle against the COVID 19 virus," said General Casey.
Here's what some of our supporting organizations have to say about Volunteer Surge:
"At AWS, we're committed to bringing the power of the cloud to help virtually train volunteer health workers as part of this important initiative," said Dave Levy, Vice President, U.S. Government and Nonprofits, Worldwide Public Sector at AWS. "We're proud to support Volunteer Surge's critical work, which will provide relief for doctors and nurses who are working tirelessly to combat the COVID-19 virus."
"At Salesforce we have a responsibility to give back to our communities and want to ensure our technology and resources are available to those who need it during this time," said Dr. Ashwini Zenooz, Chief Medical Officer, Salesforce. "With Health Cloud, Volunteer Surge can connect people from across all aspects of ecosystem, enabling streamlined communications and connectivity, from volunteers, to care providers and to patients."
"We couldn't be more proud to join forces with Volunteer Surge in support of their efforts to address the significant demand for healthcare workers right now," said Jens Audenaert, division vice president and general manager at WorkMarket, an ADP Company. "There is an immense power in people joining together for the greater good, and we're happy to be able to make WorkMarket available to help volunteers find ways to combat the COVID-19 pandemic."
For more information, visit https://volunteersurge.org.
VolunteerSurge.org is a nonprofit initiative to recruit, train and surge 1,000,000 health care workers into our system to support front-line doctors and nurses and to assist vulnerable populations during the national emergency.
Contact: [email protected]