Governor Baker’s Office has requested the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) to work with local schools and programs of public health to assist local public health departments and staff in Massachuetts who are overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mobilizing students and alumni began on March 25 through a survey and two days later over 1000 volunteers had registered to help address these immediate needs in Massachusetts!
Thank you for joining in this effort to support those on the front line!
All work will be done remotely.
Priority Work Areas for Student Volunteers
As of 3/25/2020, the three critical needs of the 351 local boards of health in Massachusetts are:
- Contact tracing and surveillance
- Communications to respond to COVID-19 questions, including phone banking, social media, and other health communications
- Administrative support, including monitoring/posting social media, translating/interpreting information into multiple languages
What does the work entail?
Job descriptions are being developed for each of the three main areas of need. You will need to commit to a certain amount of time and training, and will be assigned to a local board of health. The AHD Collaborative will facilitate an introduction to your point person in the local board of health (LBOH), and you will also have a point person from the AHD Collaborative to help you onboard and provide support in your new role.
Details are being worked out, but it is important that you as a volunteer feel supported in this new and important work, not only at the beginning when everything is very new, but also as you move forward, so that you can do good work, but also sustain yourself and practice self-care. At the same time, the AHD Collaborative wants to make sure that the “warm handoff” to your LBOH point person goes well and that volunteers are sensitive to the overwhelming demands in these towns.
Start-up Training for New Volunteers
Many students have not worked in local public health in Massachusetts, and so developing some common ground for all volunteers is important.
New volunteers should complete these two online trainings before getting started:
Dealing with Stress in Disasters (1.5 hr)
Updated March 28, 2020
Contact information for this statewide initiative will be provided soon.
To sign up, register here.
Thank you for your patience as we figure out how to best manage the outpouring of interest from your public health colleagues!
About the Academic Health Department (AHD) Collaborative
The COVID-19 Massachusetts Academic Health Department (AHD) Collaborative is a group of nine schools and programs of public health, which support the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) in responding to the COVID-19 needs of local boards of health.
- Boston University
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
- MCPHS (Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences)
- Northeastern University
- Regis College
- Simmons University
- Tufts University
- University of Massachusetts – Amherst
- University of Massachusetts – Lowell
This page will be updated with additional information on an ongoing basis.