First-year UCI medical students Catriona Lewis and David Horton and third-year medical student Sean Williams may not be on the front lines as healthcare providers quite yet, but that hasn’t stopped them from making a difference.
Since late March, the medical students have organized PPE drives for UCI Medical Center, collecting thousands of N95 masks, surgical masks, gloves, and other essential protective gear.
Donations are dropped off at a warehouse location in Orange, sanitized, and quarantined before they are distributed to the UCI Medical Center. Organizers are in constant contact with UCI Medical Center to assess their current and future needs.
“We got into this profession to help people, and being sidelined for public health reasons has made us feel like we need to do something more,” Lewis says. “Hopefully, after this is over, there will be a surplus of PPE.”
The success of the drive has prompted organizers to consider expanding efforts to other local hospitals in need.