April 15 Daily Round-Up: NEC Members Contribute to COVID-19 Crisis Response

As our region and our nation continue to grapple with the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic, The New England Council is using our blog as a platform to highlight some of the incredible work our members have undertaken to respond to the outbreak.  Each day, we’ll post a round-up of updates on some of the initiatives underway among Council members throughout the region.  We are also sharing these updates via our social media, and encourage our members to share with us any information on their efforts so that we can be sure to include them in these daily round-ups.

You can find all the Council’s information and resources related to the crisis in the special COVID-19 section of our website.  This includes our COVID-19 Virtual Events Calendar, which provides information on upcoming COVID-19 Congressional town halls and webinars presented by NEC members, as well as our newly-released Federal Agency COVID-19 Guidance for Businesses page.

Here is today’s (April 15, 2020) roundup:

Medical Response

  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital Researchers Construct New Intubation Device – Healthcare professionals at Brigham and Women’s Hospital have built a new intubation device that limits potential exposure when treating COVID-19 patients. The design was created to be reusable and to protect workers from even microscopic exposure to the virus transmitted through the air by covering a patient’s nose and mouth. WHDH has more.
  • South Shore Health Launches First Mobile Health Program in MA South Shore Health has partnered with the town of Hanover, MA, to provide local residents with an innovative mobile health program that offers both testing and health services. Healthcare providers and emergency workers in Hanover will provide at-home testing for those who meet certain criteria or are in vulnerable populations, as well as daily follow-up calls from a volunteer nurse phone bank until infected patients recover. Read more from Boston 25 News.

Economic/Business Continuity Response

  • IBM Offering Free Computer Systems Training – IBM is offering a free training course on how to code in Common Business Oriented Language (COBOL). States from Kansas to Connecticut still use COBOL in their statewide unemployment systems—now facing increased demand—along with several federal agencies and almost half of United States banking systems. The course is free online and includes a forum where learners can get real-time help from those proficient in COBOL. TechSpot has more.
  • Boeing Producing Reusable Face Shields in Factories –Boeing manufacturing sites across the country are being repurposed to produce reusable face shields to meet the growing demand for protective equipment. Masks will be 3-D printed and distributed to healthcare workers directly exposed to the virus. The aerospace manufacturer has already delivered 2,300 shields and plans to increase output weekly to alleviate strain on existing equipment supplies. Read more from KIRO 7 Seattle
  • UMass Medical Students Receive New Pandemic Training – As students at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Medical School are continuing their education remotely because of the pandemic, the Worcester school is now offering a special two-week coronavirus pandemic course. The new class replaces typical hands-on experience with simulations for scenarios that have become common in medical students’ future workplaces, such as navigating telehealth or managing an emergency room with only medical students. Read more in The Worcester Telegram.
  • Citizens Bank Establishes Small Business Grant Fund Citizens Bank, in partnership with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), is awarding $400,000 in grants to small businesses in Massachusetts. Grant awards are meant to prevent layoffs, avoid insurance gaps, and promote stability in the wake of economic uncertainty. Priority will be given to minority- and women- owned businesses. Read more in MassLive.

Community Response

  • John Hancock Providing Free Meals to Boston Hospital Staff – To provide assistance to essential healthcare workers exposed to the novel coronavirus, John Hancock is partnering with nonprofit Off Their Plate to donate 8,500 meals to workers in Boston hospitals. The meals will be prepared by a variety of restaurants in the city to support restaurants and their staff as they face their own revenue losses. Read more from PR Newswire

Stay tuned for more updates each day, and follow us on Twitter for more frequent updates on how Council members are contributing to the response to this global health crisis.

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