April 30, 2020 – Boston, Massachusetts – Ariadne Labs has partnered with the Harvard Medical School student group, HMS COVID-19 Student Response Team, to develop and disseminate evidence-based, practical community guidance to help the general public protect themselves against COVID-19. In the midst of the overwhelming amount of information on COVID-19 currently circulating, this partnership aims to provide accurate, timely, and easily actionable guidance on a variety of everyday activities, ranging from safe grocery shopping to handling mail.
Consisting of more than 100 student volunteers from Harvard Medical School, the HMS COVID-19 Student Response Team was formed in March as a way to use their skills and resources to respond to the pandemic.
“The HMS COVID-19 Student Response Team represents the collaborative effort of hundreds of graduate student volunteers nationwide to address the need for up-to-date education and community activism during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Kruti Vora, a third year Harvard Medical School student who is co-leading the response team’s Committee for Broader Education. “Everyday tasks like shopping for groceries, going for a walk, and picking up packages now have new risks, and we saw an opportunity to use our skills and networks to distill the flood of COVID-19 information and make the adjustment to a new normal safe, sustainable, and accessible to all members of our communities.”
“As COVID-19 continues to spread, we’ve also seen a spread of misinformation. For many, it has become too difficult to differentiate between reliable information and potentially dangerous inaccuracies,” noted Evan Benjamin, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Ariadne Labs and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “We are proud to collaborate with the Harvard Medical students to provide the general public with easy to use, evidence-based tools to empower everyone to take appropriate actions to stay healthy and slow the spread of the virus.”
Today, the Grocery Shopping Checklist (updated May 20, 2020) was released to help ensure safety before, during, and after a trip to the grocery store. The checklist was developed as a result of background research, literature review, and consolidation of evidence into sets of recommendations that were tested through a rapid cycle feedback process. Sources include the Centers for Disease Control, Federal Drug Administration, the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and other peer-reviewed publications. A review of recommendations in the mainstream media landscape was also completed to inform design and dissemination strategy.
Future checklists will include guidance on handling mail and packages, ordering takeout, and using masks.
“In just a short amount of time, our students have shown extraordinary leadership and have made significant contributions to the COVID-19 response,” said Ed Hundert, MD, Dean for Medical Education at Harvard Medical School. “It has been inspiring to see our next generation of leaders rise to the demands of this unprecedented time, and apply their expertise to make a positive impact.”
About Ariadne Labs:
Ariadne Labs is a joint center for health systems innovation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. We develop simple, scalable solutions that dramatically improve the delivery of health care at critical moments to save lives and reduce suffering. Our vision is for health systems to deliver the best possible care for every patient, everywhere, every time. Visit ariadnelabs.org to learn more.
About the HMS COVID-19 Student Response Team:
The HMS COVID-19 Student Response Team was formed in early 2020 to identify ways that Harvard Medical School students could address the rapidly evolving needs presented by COVID-19. This student-led initiative aims to address four key areas: developing a COVID-19 curriculum for medical students, promoting public health messages through community education, liaising with Harvard Medical School administration and hospital leadership on best practices for re-engaging students in voluntary clinical roles, and supporting frontline healthcare workers and vulnerable communities with non-clinical services. Visit https://covidstudentresponse.org/ to learn more and follow @FutureMDvsCOVID on social media.
Media contact: Brigid Tsai, firstname.lastname@example.org