AACOMmunities

Mobilizing the Future Healthcare Workforce: Students Assist America

The United States is in crisis due to the continued spread of COVID-19. As we struggle with complex vaccine distribution challenges, we need to look beyond our overwhelmed healthcare workforce for solutions. They simply cannot do this alone. We need to adopt an all hands-on-deck approach, and nearly 1 million skilled students across health professions are ready to answer that call.

How Students Assist America Can Help

All hands on deck for COVID vaccinations. Students Assist America

An Interprofessional Approach

Students Assist America (SAA), an interprofessional initiative of 11 associations spearheaded by the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, is asking federal and state leaders to give hundreds of thousands of students the opportunity to help vaccinate the public, and assist with the related tasks necessary for an effective and efficient vaccine roll out. 

Through SAA, future physicians, physician assistants, nurses, social workers, veterinarians, dental professionals, public health experts, optometrists, pharmacists and psychologists have joined together as an interdisciplinary safety net to ensure that the weight of the COVID-19 emergency does not crush the daily operations of the healthcare system and put individuals and communities at further risk.

Providing Relief, Ensuring Safety

As they have for many years when participating in flu vaccination efforts, students providing COVID vaccines are supervised by licensed professionals and are given all necessary PPE to ensure their safety. SAA also advocates for students to receive the COVID vaccine along with all healthcare providers working on the frontlines.

The goal of Students Assist America is two-fold:

  • Create meaningful opportunities for students with valuable skills and knowledge to help during this pandemic
  • Enable students to continue moving forward on their educational path while traditional methods of learning are disrupted

ICOM students stand ready to administer flu shots
Student doctors at the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine administered more than 100 flu vaccines at the Treasure Valley Health Fair on Oct. 10 at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa, ID.


Media Coverage

 


Case Study: Students Assist America Partnerships


Virginia Medical Reserve Corps

 



I started volunteering with MRC in 2018 as a new student of public health, and they make it very easy. They are very organized. After COVID, it has exceeded my expectations and I love working with students from other health fields.

Sarah Work, Virginia Tech MPH Graduate 2020

 

This flagship approach initially launched in Virginia through a partnership between Students Assist America and the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps. Responding to the request by Governor Ralph Northam to bring students into the fight against the pandemic, academic institutions across the state are working to ensure their students have the opportunity to help their communities now, during  future vaccination efforts, and well into the future once the COVID-19 crisis has passed.

A similar model is operating now in Arizona and more states are coming on board.


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Connect with Students Assist America

For more information on the Students Assist America mobilization effort, please contact Virginia Bader at the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine at vbader@aacom.org.


 

Ron Klain, Chief of Staff to President-elect Joe Biden
Nov. 15, 2020


Collaborating Organizations


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