HSC Fort Worth’s response to COVID-19

May 1, 2020

Covid Testing Web

The COVID-19 pandemic requires those invested in the community’s well-being to react with leadership, teamwork and innovation. The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth is on the front lines of that response.

Since the crisis gripped Texas, HSC faculty and students have operated COVID-19 test sites that have tested hundreds of people in the community. They have helped county health investigators trace suspected cases, field thousands of calls from worried residents, raised relief money and donated protective supplies and even offered free child care to health professionals on the front lines

HSC is committed to focusing its resources and expertise to help lead North Texas through COVID-19 for as long as it takes.

“HSC has built a culture of values-based leadership and service to others that our team members demonstrate every day,” said Dr. Michael Williams, HSC President. “I am so proud of the impact we are making in the community we serve.”

HSC’s response to COVID-19

Testing

Public health

  • Sixty students from the HSC School of Public Health trained at Tarrant County Public Health to assist investigators with critical contact tracing.
  • HSC joined communication resources with the City of Fort Worth to educate the public on COVID-19 and refute false information with accurate, science-based facts.
  • Student and employee volunteers helped the Tarrant County Public Health information hotline triple its capacity to handle calls and operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • HSC donated 5,000 surgical masks to Fort Worth Fire Department and called on health organizations across the region to make similar donations to first responders in need.
  • HSC partnered with Tex-Air Filters to make masks for distribution to vulnerable populations. As of April 28, almost 3,000 masks were donated.

Community support

  • HSC launched Day x Day, an online campaign to create hopeful, positive messages about the crisis and share tips to navigate the crisis, as well as the latest COVID-19 news.
  • A team of social workers in the HSC Center for Geriatrics launched the Cheer over Fear campaign to support isolated older adults through handmade cards, letters and artwork.
  • Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine students formed DFW COVIDsitters, a free child care service for health professionals on the front line.
  • To address concerns about child abuse, HSC students and pediatricians began calling struggling families to offer support and connect them to resources.
  • HSC donated $50,000 to the United Way of Tarrant County Emergency Relief Fund, which provides food, rent, utilities, child care and other social services for those affected by COVID-19.
  • The HSC community garden donated fresh food to the Northside Inter-Community Agency to meet help meet growing hunger needs.
  • Launched the COVID Connection Calling Plan in which HSC leaders personally called all full- and part-time faculty and staff members – 1,384 calls in two weeks – to check on their well-being and thank them for their work. The Alumni Relations team made more than 8,000 calls to check in with HSC alumni.
  • HSC faculty have provided expertise for web stories and social media on managing addiction, maternal health, stresses of working from home, how businesses can support employees, grieving, sleep and more.
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