March 27 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 also check our COVID-19 Virtual Events Calendar for information on upcoming COVID-19 related programming – including Congressional town halls and webinars presented by NEC members.

Here is today’s (March 27, 2020) roundup:

Medical Response

  • Southern Maine Community College Develops Device to Aid Shortage of Ventilators – A professor at Southern Maine Community College has created a connecting device that would allow up to four patients use the same ventilator at a time. The device can be printed using a 3-D printer, increasing the ease and access with which medical centers can extend the usefulness of their ventilators, already in high demand and increasingly shorter supply. Read more in the Portland Press Herald.
  • Beth Israel Launches Clinical Trial with New Drug – Entering the next stage in its research toward a treatment for the coronavirus, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center began clinical trials using remdesivir on patients diagnosed with COVID-19. The investigational antiviral drug developed by Gilead has garnered significant international attention in recent weeks as a potential treatment. While the trials are in their earliest stages, the hospital joins New England’s research and medical institutions as a leader in the search for a treatment. Read more in the Boston Business Journal.
  • South Shore Health Begins Producing and Sharing Protective Equipment – Facing a shortage of protective equipment for its healthcare workers, the print shop at South Shore Health—usually responsible for marketing materials and paperwork in the system—has utilized online blueprints for face shields to begin producing their own supply. The staff has also shared their creative methods as well as blueprints for assembling the equipment with other healthcare systems as they brace of an influx of patients. Read more in Wicked Local.

 Economic/Business Continuity Response

  • Banks Promise Security for Employees, Relief Measures for Borrowers – As employers around the world are forced to cut hours or lay off employees, Bank of America has pledged that the over 200,000 people employed by the bank will not face layoffs through the end of the year. Morgan Stanley has made a similar promise to its more than 60,000 workers. In addition to this promise to its employees, Bank of America has offered deferred loan payments to its customers. CNBC has more.

Community Response

  • Home Base Develops At-Home Wellness ProgramThe Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program launched a platform for those without access to regular health, nutrition, and fitness instruction to obtain advice and guidance on staying well during difficult times. From mental health skills to daily workouts, Operation Health@Home hopes to build resiliency and community through wellness.
  • Eos Foundations Offers $1 Million in Emergency Grants to Combat Hunger – To support school districts and nonprofits fighting hunger in Massachusetts, the Eos Foundation has provided $1 million in emergency grants. The funds will be used to provide meals directly, as well as to increase equipment and supplies necessary for delivery to children who may experience heightened food insecurity as a result of the virus. Read more.
  • Health Care For All Compiles Resources for Minority Communities Health Care for All has created a resource page to highlight what programs—from testing and treatment to changes on “public charge” rules—exist to support minority and immigrant communities, who are especially vulnerable during the pandemic. The website provides information and updates in multiple languages to ensure these communities can receive the help they may need.

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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