Touro University Nevada students are making life easier for Nevadans who are encouraged to stay inside their homes to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The website, #MedReady, is the brainchild of osteopathic medical student leaders Cassandra McDiarmid, Parisun Shoga, and Ashlie Bloom. The website helps connect local organizations and community members with Touro students seeking volunteer opportunities in three primary areas: free K-12 online tutoring; free undergrad and MCAT online tutoring; and general community assistance, including grocery pick-up for seniors, first responders, and healthcare workers, assistance with screenings and other frontline opportunities for healthcare students.
Dr. Wolfgang Gilliar, Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine, brought the student leaders together to brainstorm ideas on how students could help the Southern Nevada community in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to McDiarmid, student leaders gathered data from their classmates to find out which type of volunteer projects they thought would be most needed to help as many people as possible.
“We wanted to come up with ways to help address what we perceived as needs in the community that would still protect both our students and our community members,” she said. “That’s how #MedReady came to be.”
McDiarmid said she’s already received interest from more than 50 students from the College of Osteopathic Medicine and the College of Health and Human Services who are more than willing to volunteer.
“The most common email or message I’ve received from my fellow students these past few weeks has asked what they can do to help,” she said. “As students, and for the Touro community at large to be future healthcare providers, this is what we signed up for. We’re all here studying hard so we can help save lives one day.”
“I am overwhelmed with pride and gratitude for go-getter students like Cassi, Parisun, and Ashlie who have turned this crisis into an opportunity to make a positive difference for our community,” said Shelley Berkley, CEO and Senior Provost of Touro University Nevada. “The opportunity to have students help our community’s K-12 students with free online tutoring or assist other students preparing for the MCAT is simply amazing and unprecedented. We invite the community to check out the website to see if there is a volunteer service our students can help with. Our students are here for you.”
If you know of someone in need of these free services, request that they complete the appropriate form on the website and a student volunteer will follow up.