The University of North Texas Health Science Center (HSC) immediately stepped up responding to community needs at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, setting up the first community-based testing sites in Fort Worth.
The City of Fort Worth formally recognized HSC students, staff and faculty volunteers June 12.
Mayor Betsy Price, first responders, City of Fort Worth leadership and community members joined together to applaud the service theses volunteers have dedicated to the entire Fort Worth community over the past several months.
HSC students put in 6,163 volunteer hours to operate two community-based testing sites in Fort Worth. Students also supported the COVID-19 response by staffing call centers to help answer questions and direct people to resources. HSC also provided the City with hours of data collection and analysis to help build predictive modeling to better prepare and respond to the virus.
“The volunteer support HSC students dedicated to our community during this unprecedented pandemic is admirable,” Price said. “It encourages me to see so many selfless volunteers giving back to our community while also balancing academics. Fort Worth’s medical field will be blessed as these students graduate and join the workforce.”
The students returned to their studies but their impact continues through a city partnership with Kroger Health to continue the operation of one testing site previously operated by HSC students.
“The partnership between HSC and the City of Fort Worth dramatically increased access to COVID-19 testing for first responders, medical professionals, transit workers and the public, including some of our most vulnerable residents,” HSC President Dr. Michael Williams said. “Thanks to the tireless effort by our students, staff and faculty members we provided much-needed testing to almost 3,000 people.”
The free testing network in Fort Worth has now expanded through partners such as Walgreens, Kroger Health, Walmart, CVS and others who will continue to offer testing at certain locations. Details are available at http://fortworthtexas.gov/COVID-19/testing