Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price to HSC students, faculty: ‘Give yourself a pat on the back’

June 12, 2020

By Diane Smith

Mayor Test Site Web

Students and faculty volunteers from The University of North Texas Health Center at Fort Worth were recognized by Mayor Betsy Price for establishing the first community-based COVID-19 testing site in the city.

“To all of you, you need to reach back and give yourself a pat on the back,” Price said during a recognition ceremony held for the volunteers. The festivities came as HSC volunteers ran the last batch of tests from a location near the city’s hospital district.

“The volunteer support HSC students dedicated to our community during this unprecedented pandemic is admirable,” Price said. “It encourages me to see so many selfless volunteers giving back to our community while also balancing academics. Fort Worth’s medical field will be blessed as these students graduate and join the workforce.”

HSC operated two drive-thru test sites during the spring and early summer in the fight against COVID-19. The first site was for first responders, but later the testing was expanded to other groups, including residents.

Mayor Test Site Web 2The sites were a collaboration among HSC, Catalyst Health Network, the Fort Worth Fire Department and the Moncrief Cancer Institute.

HSC volunteers tested about 3,000 people at two testing sites. Both sites now are closed as students and faculty are transitioning back to academics.

“The partnership between HSC and The City of Fort Worth dramatically increased access to COVID-19 testing for first responders, medical professionals, transit workers and the public, including some of our most vulnerable residents,” HSC President Dr. Michael Williams said. “Thanks to the tireless effort by our students, staff and faculty members, we provided much-needed testing to almost 3,000 people.”

“HSC, Mayor Price and the City of Fort Worth will continue to collaborate to help our community through these challenging times,” Dr. Williams said.

The city said the free testing network in Fort Worth has now expanded through partners such as Walgreens, Kroger Health, Walmart, CVS and others who will continue to offer testing at certain locations. Details are available at http://fortworthtexas.gov/COVID-19/testing/.

Additionally, the city is partnering with Kroger Health to continue the operation of one testing site previously operated by HSC students.

“It’s bittersweet,” said Jessica Rangel, Vice Provost for Academic Innovation. “We have all bonded in such a unique way. We have all learned together – this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and these students will take this pandemic emergency response knowledge with them into the communities they end up serving.”

Price was joined for the event by Fort Worth Police Chief Ed Kraus, first responders and community leaders. The mayor presented volunteers with playing cards that tout the City of Fort Worth name.

Student volunteers said the experience threw them into real-time lessons about a pandemic while also allowing them to serve the community.

“I think it has been therapeutic for us to feel like we were able to contribute to healthcare during a global pandemic,” said Kevin P. Thompson, a third-year student at the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, or TCOM.

Thompson and Claire Smith, another third-year student at TCOM, served as student leaders for the testing sites. Both students said this volunteer work filled a void when social distancing forced a break in their rotations.

“I’ve learned a lot through this process,” Smith said, describing how safety and leadership were key lessons that emerged from working at the testing sites.

Smith and Thompson said students from different areas of study, including physician assistants and pharmacy, came together to help the community.

“It’s taken a lot of work – a lot of hours, and there has been a huge number of people who contributed,” Smith said.

Rickards, Rosenberg, Anderson in the lab
Mountain highs

By Sarah Hewitt I lay on my back on a table with my lower body from the waist down inside a triangular wooden box, not unlike a magician’s box as if I’d volunteered to be sawed in half. Dr. Caroline Rickards, an associate professor from UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth, secured a...Read more

Jan 15, 2021

Dr. Jamboor Vishwanatha
Texas CEAL Consortium works to debunk COVID-19 misinformation

The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth (HSC) is participating in a virtual town hall titled: “United to Debunk Misinformation in Our Communities; A Town Hall on COVID-19.” The webinar will be held on the Zoom platform on Jan. 14 at 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. (CST)....Read more

Jan 13, 2021

default photo
We are women, hear us roar

By Sally Crocker In a traditionally male dominated field, a team of diverse women from HSC’s Master of Health Administration (MHA) program, developing future healthcare leaders, has won this year’s student case competition of the American College of Healthcare Executives North Texa...Read more

Jan 12, 2021

Dr. Hongli Wu
HSC researcher sees potential for retinal protection with new research grant

A large number of veterans and military members experience eye trauma and potential vision loss due to service-related injuries. With the support of a research grant from the Department of Defense (DoD), researcher Dr. Hongli Wu is on the cusp of developing a delivery agent to protect t...Read more

Jan 8, 2021