ATHENS, Ohio - Starting April 13, Ohio University’s Heritage College will send approximately 250 medical students to local agencies to help with containing the COVID-19 outbreak.
In partnership with the Ohio Department of Health and with the help of other state agencies, the school has developed a new COVID-19 public health rotation. It is a four-week program in which all third-year students will participate. The goal is for students to contribute significantly to efforts to combat and contain COVID-19, especially in small and understaffed facilities.
“Our students are willing to go above and beyond to provide service to help their communities. And we think this meets not only their desire, but also the needs of the state of Ohio,” said William Burke, D.O., dean of the college’s Dublin, Ohio, campus, who led the effort to put together the contents of the new rotation.
The school anticipates that having medical students in critical public health roles will free up physicians, nurses and other providers to devote more time to the direct care of patients.
Each third-year medical student will be matched with a local health department or another public agency through the combined efforts of the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio National Guard, the Ohio Medical Reserve Corps, the Ohio Association of Community Health Centers and the Ohio Association of Health Commissioners. Working either remotely or on site, students will help with patient navigation, patient monitoring, contact tracing, and more.
Simultaneously, students will learn about the prevention, control and treatment of COVID-19 and pandemic infections in general.