How People and Organizations Worldwide are Helping to Raise the Line and Support Healthcare Workers
Published on Apr 16, 2020. Updated on Sep 15, 2020.
Have you been wondering what it means to #RaiseTheLine? Check out these examples of people and organizations increasing the capacity of healthcare systems and supporting frontline workers around the world!
One silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic is seeing how quickly people and organizations are coming together to do their part to support frontline workers and #RaiseTheLine by increasing the capacity of the healthcare system. Whether it’s clapping for healthcare workers at 8 PM every Sunday to boost morale, or converting a factory’s production line to manufacture ventilators and essential PPE for hospitals, all of these actions matter, equally. We’re in this together, and we need to have each other’s backs however we can.
In this article, we’ll be highlighting the ways organizations, companies, communities, and people who are working hard to support healthcare workers, frontline workers, and each other, in an effort to reduce the impact COVID-19 is having on all of us.
Companies and organizations who are helping to #RaiseTheLine
With the spread of COVID-19, there has been a surge in demand for hospital equipment and protective gear. Last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a call-to-action for a 40% increase in production for PPE. There’s also a huge need for ventilators, with one analyst citing a need for 880,000 additional ventilators to treat COVID-19 patients worldwide. Besides these immediate logistical needs, there's also a need to show support for healthcare workers, boost morale, and reduce the number of people heading into hospitals for treatment when staying at home might be just fine.
Fortunately, many different companies and organizations have answered the call and are putting their expertise to work in highly creative ways to help #FlattenTheCurve, #RaiseTheLine, and slow the spread of COVID-19.
Apple & Google
Rival tech companies Apple and Google have joined forces to develop a contact-tracing tool to help people confirm whether or not they’ve been exposed to COVID-19. Using public health data shared between people’s phones, the tool will be able to inform someone if another person they’ve been in close proximity to appears in a database of confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation aims to reduce poverty and improve global health worldwide. As part of their COVID-19 response, they’ve donated over $250 million to the cause.
We’ve been championing the movement to #RaiseTheLine by producing high-quality content for clinicians, caregivers, and members of the general public. Students who take our Raise the Line Pledge receive free access to the platform for a limited time, allowing them to continue their education uninterrupted. We’re also working with institutions and partners to provide additional access to students. For more details of how we’re raising the line, scroll down further in this article!
Biomeme is a manufacturer of at-home molecular testing kits. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has shifted their operations to focus on COVID-19 testing efforts worldwide. Learn more about this in our upcoming podcast episode featuring an interview with Biomeme co-founder Jesse vanWestrienen later this month.
CodeacademyCodecademy helps users learn Programming, Data Science and other technical skills via its 100% online platform. The company has put together numerous resources for students, parents and teachers to ensure learning doesn't stop during this time. The company is also giving away 100,000 scholarships to those who have been affected by the crisis. Checkout this link to see how you can contribute or benefit from the initiative.
Medical liability insurers Coverys have built a comprehensive resource library to make sure clinicians are protected during the COVID-19 pandemic. Social distancing has pushed telehealth into the spotlight, and Coverys' COVID-19 resources contain plenty of information for health professionals who are now treating much more patients from a distance.
Ideo & University of Chicago MedicineHow a health professional dons and doffs their PPE can make all the difference between staying protected against COVID-19 and contracting the virus. Design and consulting firm Ideo recently collaborated with University of Chicago Medicine to produce a clear, focused set of instructions designed to help healthcare workers put on and take off PPE safely to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection.
Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University hosts one of the world’s top medical schools, and is training the next generation of health professionals. Another way they’re raising the line is through work they’re doing to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Baltimore’s underserved communities.
African-American and Hispanic populations are being disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic due to a lack of access to healthcare, and often only seek advice from a health professional once symptoms become severe. Johns Hopkins University has implemented a call center that people can call for advice if they develop symptoms, rather than going through the hurdles of scheduling and going to a doctor’s appointment (thereby protecting themselves and others from potential infection).
LifeBridge Health & Under Armour
Our partners at LifeBridge Health recently partnered with Under Armour to produce 100,000 face masks just two weeks after starting a factory from scratch! LifeBridge’s PPE factory has also started producing disposable gowns. Way to go, LifeBridge!
Medical education company Med-IQ, a provider of high quality CE accredited education, has been creating complimentary COVID-19 related education for clinicians, Risk Managers, hospital personnel, and members of the general public. These timely events via Facebook Live and webinars have included discussions with a Johns Hopkins Epidemiologist on how parents should navigate COVID-19, a clinician and a lawyer sharing Clinical and Legal Perspectives of Telemedicine, and a Risk Manager explaining Risk Management and Ethics: COVID-19 rationing. Additional events are planned weekly and can be found here and here.
Medscape & Thrive Global
Medscape, the world’s largest provider of medical information for clinicians, is partnering with First Responders First, an initiative of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Thrive Global, and the Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Funny You Should Mask features an all-star lineup of comedians including Rob Cordry, Dr. Ken Jeong, Eric Andre, Sasheer Zamara, Nicole Byer, and Kumail Nanjiani. Together, they’re uniting to support @projectcure, the world’s largest distributor of donated medical relief. You can watch the event tonight at 8 PM EST / 5 PM CST.
Consider making a donation today to help healthcare workers on the front lines get access to PPE and other essential equipment they need to combat COVID-19.
In a move that surprised and delighted gamers across the world, gaming hardware manufacturers Razer announced they’d be helping manufacture N95 masks in Singapore to offset the global shortage, particularly in Southeast Asia. The company plans to produce around 1,000,000 masks as part of its #RazerForLife initiative.
In Canada, outdoor gear company Canada Goose has pledged to convert several of its factories into PPE manufacturing plants. The company will be making scrubs and gowns, supporting hospital staff and patients alike, with an initial goal of 10,000 units.
Grassroots movements to show support and #RaiseTheLine
Besides staying inside and practicing social distancing, there have been touching stories from around the world of communities coming together to show their support for healthcare workers and other essential workers like taxi drivers and grocery store staff.
People making masks at home
Now that the WHO is recommending people wear masks out in public places, we need a whole lot more of them. Fortunately, a basic mask is fairly easy to put together if you’re handy with a needle and thread.
Note that masks like these won’t protect you as much as N95 masks, which should still be reserved for healthcare workers—your best best is still to avoid contact with other people if possible.
#Solidarityat8 in the US
In communities across the United States, people are being encouraged to go out into their backyards, balconies, and other outdoor spaces at 8 PM every Sunday to cheer on the efforts of healthcare workers. Listen out for clapping in your neighborhood at 8 PM, and if you hear it, make an effort to join in and show support.
Balcony singing in Europe
You’ve probably read accounts of people in Europe going out on their balconies to sing songs together during quarantine. This unique activity originated completely spontaneously in Italy, one of the countries worst-struck by the pandemic. and this show of appreciation now a regular occurrence in other European countries like Spain, France, Greece, and the Netherlands.
It’s going to be OK in Canada / Ça va bien aller au Canada
In Canada, many households have started putting rainbows in their windows to reassure healthcare workers and each other that this, too, shall pass. Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport recently joined in on the movement by adding a rainbow to its famous façade.
People who are helping to #RaiseTheLine
Dr. Li Wenliang
No list of COVID-19 heroes would be complete without Dr. Li Wenliang. This ophthalmologist was among the first whistleblowers to alert the world to the disastrous potential of COVID-19. Sadly, Dr. Wenliang succumbed to the virus himself on February 7, 2020. Osmosis’s COVID-19 video is dedicated to his work and memory.
Dr. Anthony Fauci
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NAIID), continues to be a voice of reason during the COVID-19 pandemic. A central figure in combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic during the mid-80s, Dr. Fauci is now a lead member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. He has been critical of the U.S. government’s response to the pandemic, and has been lauded for his candor and honesty.
Captain Tom Moore
99-year-old WW2 veteran Captain Tom Moore raised the line as well as an incredible £28 million ($34,509,958) for the NHS in the UK by walking 100 laps around his garden.
Lady Gaga has raised over $35 million to fight COVID-19. The pop star announced a 2-hour virtual concert—One World: Together at Home—scheduled for April 18, featuring over 100 musicians and celebrities. The event was funded by 68 corporate CEOs, and is free for fans to attend.
Healthcare workers & frontline workers outside the health professionsDoctors, nurses, NPs, CNAs PAs, pharmacists, grocery store workers, taxi drivers, maintenance workers, janitors... Every essential worker who's out there on the front lines and can't stay home: we see you, we support you, and we're incredibly thankful. This song is for you.
Therapists, counselors, & mental health workersThe magnitude of the pandemic and the need for everyone to isolate means COVID-19 also represents a public mental health crisis, with repercussions that will be felt long after the pandemic has subsided. Therapists offering counsel to the health professionals and other frontline workers, as well as the general public, deserve recognition for their efforts. ConsumerAdvocates.org has put together this list of the best and most affordable online therapy options for these troubling times.
How Osmosis is helping to #RaiseTheLine
At Osmosis, we’re doing our best to support current and future clinicians as well as the general public through this unprecedented crisis by producing extremely thorough, reliable content on COVID-19 and making it available free to our learners, partners, and the general public.
Supporting distance learning opportunities for students and institutions
A majority of students and institutions worldwide are currently experiencing huge disruptions due to COVID-19, with many classes being postponed or cancelled altogether. Osmosis offers an opportunity for students to continue learning health and medicine at home.
The ultimate goal is to create an entirely online curriculum for all health professional students—one that can be accessed anywhere, at substantially lower cost, no matter what circumstances may occur.
Osmosis COVID-19 resources
We’re constantly updating our COVID-19 resources page to reflect the very latest information and initiatives we’re working on that focus on the pandemic. These resources include:
A pledge you can take to demonstrate your commitment to public health by practicing social distancing (which earns you 3 weeks of access to Osmosis Prime!)
The Osmosis Coronavirus Daily Report, another video series providing the latest news and updates on specific COVID-19 topics
By sharing reliable knowledge with health professionals who may be retraining to fight COVID-19, and resources educating the public on 1) how to avoid contracting COVID-19 and 2) how to treat mild cases at home, we can reduce the strain on the healthcare system twofold.
Advocating for the safety of healthcare workers
Osmosis’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Rishi Desai, has been working around the clock to deliver hard facts on what the US needs to do to curb the COVID-19 pandemic. Rishi has been a vocal advocate for the safety of healthcare workers, and has appeared on various networks including Fox News, MSNBC, and even a town hall organized by US Senator Bernie Sanders.
Training new healthcare workers
Osmosis is currently working on an online course people can take to become a fully certified Certified Nursing Assistant. Additional CNAs will boost the capacity of the healthcare system by giving doctors and RNs more time to spend focusing on diagnosis and treatment.