April 7 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 7, 2020) roundup:

Medical Response

  • WPI Researchers Creating Open-Source Designs for Low-Cost VentilatorsWorcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) researchers are developing inexpensive and readily available ventilators to bridge the gap between supply and demand as the virus is expected to peak. The researchers also plan to make all of their findings and designs publicly available to encourage collaboration and accelerate production. Read more.
  • Brigham and Women’s, Massachusetts General, and UMass Memorial Hospitals Approved to Launch Clinical Trial – Three Massachusetts hospitals—Brigham and Women’s, Massachusetts General, and UMass Memorial—have received approval to launch the first U.S. trial of a Japanese flu drug. The drug, favipiravir, will be studied as a potential treatment for the virus in the latest development in the race to find a potential treatment. The Boston Globe
  • Takeda Pharmaceuticals Creates Alliance to Accelerate Potential Treatment – To hasten the development of its plasma-derived therapy for COVID-19, Takeda Pharmaceuticals has created a consortium with CSL Behring to include more actors in the race for a treatment. The group will focus specifically on a plasma-derived therapy and will combine the existing work of six biopharma companies around the world to advance development of the treatment. Read the press release here.
  • Stonehill College Professors Donate Protective Equipment Made with 3-D Printer – Chemistry professors at Stonehill College are utilizing the school’s 3-D printer to make face shields to donate to healthcare workers at the front lines of the pandemic. While working remotely, the faculty plan to donate 150 visors and face shields to area hospitals this week. Read more.

Economic/Business Continuity Response

  • LPL Financial Develops Virtual Recruiting Strategy – While health concerns have upended in-person recruiting operations, LPL Financial is utilizing a virtual recruitment strategy to attract new talent. The firm has been using virtual site visits and videoconferencing platforms to interview prospective hires, and is using this challenge as a chance to grow and adapt to changing times. Wealth Management has more.
  • Tufts University Offers Residence Halls for Medical Staff, Overflow Space – To alleviate stress on the healthcare system in the Greater Boston area, Tufts University has announced it will make its residence halls—vacant since students left campus in March—available for medical workers, patients, and first responders. The residences will be divided into separate zones for different populations to ensure safety. Read more in TuftsNow.
  • McDermott Will & Emery Creates Resource Center – From webinars on the effects of COVID-19 on Italian and Chinese business to podcasts and blog posts on antitrust law, McDermott Will & Emery (MWE) has compiled a resource center for businesses to prepare for the future in and to provide comprehensive insight and the latest developments.

Community Response

  • PwC Donates $2.85 Million to Support Relief EffortsPricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has announced new community grants totaling $2.85 million to support those most affected by the pandemic. The funds will be distributed to a variety of causes, from food assistance to protective equipment for healthcare workers. Accounting Today has more.
  • Pine Street Inn Continues to Feed Boston’s Homeless Pine Street Inn has expanded service for their clients while maximizing safe practices in the kitchen. The organization, already serving some of the most vulnerable for infection, aims to continue its mission and reassure its clients even in the midst of the pandemic. Read the more in the Boston Globe.
  • American Airlines Raises $2 Million for American Red Cross American Airlines has raised $2 million for the American Red Cross’ relief efforts. In a first for any partner of the Red Cross, the airline raised over $1 million in the first 24 hours of its campaign. The Red Cross will use the funds to provide many different services and resources, including training for counseling, volunteer accommodations and screening, and critical relief services and blood supply. Read more.

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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