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We stand in solidarity.
We collectively mourn and condemn the recent killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and countless other attacks against Black individuals and communities across the country. The epidemic of police violence against persons of color and the ensuing loss of life is unjust and unacceptable. Police brutality is an issue of prejudice and discrimination, and is part of the larger public health crisis. Social determinants of health, including institutional white supremacy and personal bias, have profound impacts on health outcomes and disproportionately impact people of color. George Floyd’s death is further proof of this fact. Systemic racism, inequity, and violence are not confined to the fields of law or criminal justice — we must recognize them as public health and medical concerns that will impact the everyday lives of our future patients in unequal ways.
We, in training as the next generation of health professionals, firmly believe that we are accountable not only for providing exemplary care to individual patients of all races, ethnicities, gender identities, and backgrounds but also for leading the fight against the racial injustices we see. NSRN’s mission is to mobilize a network of health professions students to respond to COVID-19 and public health crises nationwide. Now more than ever, our growing network of over 5,400 volunteers must use our collective strength to demand that inequities against Black communities and communities of color are addressed and ensure that the health of these communities is supported throughout the pandemic and beyond. Police brutality and systemic racism are diseases of our society. The failure to recognize these atrocities as such is a failure to protect the health and wellbeing of our most vulnerable communities.
Just as we have come together to provide relief to communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, we stand together in solidarity with the Black community. We understand, and support, ongoing protests nationwide, and encourage protestors to wear a mask while doing so to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19. We are committed to working towards justice, and plan to share the resources and information necessary for our volunteers to take meaningful action in the coming days.
Volunteer Safety is our Priority.
We at NSRN want to first and foremost thank you for joining our NSRN network. It is our pleasure to work with you, and continue working with you going forward.
We are writing to specifically address the events of the last week, in regard to George Floyd's murder, police brutality, and subsequent protests and curfews. Our highest priority at all times is our volunteers safety. In follow-up to these events, we advise all volunteers to use discretion when determining whether they can safely and effectively fulfill their volunteering duties during this time. If you are unable to do so, you are to immediately contact the organization with which you have been connected through NSRN. Furthermore, we have asked our partner organizations to consider road closures, curfews and other regulations that may impact your volunteering activities for the foreseeable future.
From this, we expect that while most volunteers may be able to maintain their commitments, there may be some volunteers who postpone their volunteer commitment until they feel safe. We at NSRN support you and ask that you communicate as you are able.
Please reach out to NSRN Leadership directly if you have any questions or feedback about this policy; you can do so by responding to this email or contacting our executive team directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you again for your patience, and we look forward to working with you more going forward. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any additional tasks for which you need additional hands, and we will be happy to speak with you further.
How We Work
Health departments, hospitals and/or organizations submit a request for volunteers to field a task.
Our Regional Coordinators query the tasks by their region and update the appropriate sign-up sheets available to our volunteers.
Our NSRN volunteers sign up for tasks in their area and complete a volunteer consent form.
Our State Coordinators confirm those who signed up have registered with NSRN and have completed the consent form before then connecting the organization with the volunteers via an email introduction.
To build a network of health professions students across the US for mobilization by their respective state and local public health departments and hospitals to support them in their COVID-19 response efforts and beyond.
As COVID-19 continues to spread across the US, hospitals and public health departments are faced with continual challenges in their responses. Namely, critical staff and PPE shortages threaten to derail the efforts of healthcare workers. Some states like Maryland and California have begun to call on medical, nursing, and physician assistant students to join state health corps and support the healthcare system. While many academic medical centers have access to robust student networks to support their systems in a variety of ways, many hospitals around the nation lack these resources. Moreover, with students returning to their institutions, we are eager to get them more involved in the continuing efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19.
The National Student Response Network (NSRN) aims to field the volunteer needs of hospitals and public health departments and match them with nearby health professions students who are eager to help their communities.
NSRN is mobilizing our growing network of students in a way that is both impactful, and appropriate, to do just that.
|Q. What is a "health professions student?"||A. Great question! The "health professions" umbrella is broad and encompasses many different careers involved in health care. As of now, the NSRN includes health professions students currently enrolled in medical, nursing, physician assistant, and graduate public health degree programs. The inclusion of students pursuing these degrees, and not others, was made in accordance with the precedent set by states like California and Maryland who are already mobilizing students in their state. We have plans to expand our network in the future to include additional degree programs. We do not offer volunteer positions to undergraduate students outside of these programs.|
|Q. What makes your group different than the other student initiatives at med/health professions schools around the nation?||A. While these school-based initiatives have been critical to the hospitals they assist, these initiatives are often dedicated to the hospitals affiliated with the academic institution itself. NSRN seeks to spread this access to health professions student volunteers to include hospitals that may not have official academic institution affiliations. Due to quarantine, many students have returned to their homes or other locations away from their academic institutions. By connecting them with nearby hospitals/ services, we can use this spread to amplify access to health professions student volunteers during this critical time.|
|Q. What are some appropriate ways for health professions students to volunteer?||A. We support all students in our network in volunteering only in manners that are in alignment with their personal health and safety. The vast majority of volunteer position requests will likely involve no patient contact. While student volunteering roles will ultimately be outlined by the institutions in need, we've come up with a few potential roles that health professions students might be qualified to fulfill, including calling patients with COVID-19 lab results or offering childcare for busy physicians. Roles available for health professions students may vary based on various factors including educational and clinical experience, but these differentiations will be left to institutions' discretion in describing the role needed to be filled. Our model for providing aid is intentionally flexible, and meant to be a reflection of what hospitals and health departments need in real time. We welcome feedback and suggestions that introduce new volunteer opportunities and keep our student volunteers safe!|
|Q. Given the low nationwide supply of PPE, how will student volunteers be protected?||A. As described above, the vast majority of volunteer position requests will likely involve no patient contact. This is intentional, as it will allow hospitals to preserve their PPE for the frontlines healthcare providers to need it most. We also require all students to complete a waiver consent form prior to volunteering. In accordance with this waiver, student volunteers are expected to comply with federal, state, and local hospital regulations to ensure their safety. Our service is to match students with opportunities; accordingly, students and host organizations assume all risks for any injuries related to their participation. (disclaimer)|
|Q. How can I get involved?||A. We invite everyone to follow NSRN efforts in real-time on Instagram and Twitter! Additionally, Health professions students interested in volunteering should visit our "Health Professions Students" page to sign up. You will receive weekly emails with more information about nearby volunteer opportunities, leadership positions available and more. Hospitals & Departments with the need for volunteers to field various tasks should visit our "Hospitals & Departments" page to submit your task inquiry. Our leadership team will begin working to pair you with nearby volunteers. Interested faculty or potential partners should email us at email@example.com. We highly value a diverse advisory panel and partnerships to best address the needs of our field.|
|VOLUNTEER CONSENT FORM||Click HERE to access the volunteer consent form. Volunteers must both become an NSRN member and complete our volunteer consent form prior to participating in any NSRN volunteer opportunity.|
|FULL WEBSITE DISCLAIMER||We function purely as a volunteer contact information clearinghouse, connecting local and state health groups with local health professions students. We are not liable for negligence on the part of anyone participating in this network. We do not and are not able to fully vet students who sign up to be part of our database for their licensures, education enrollments, clinical capabilities, or other skills and qualifications. Likewise, we are unable to fully vet host organizations for licensure, insurance, or compliance with medical standards or relevant laws. All parties are expected to perform due diligence before assigning or accepting any clinical responsibilities. Further students should exercise good judgement and not perform volunteer work without all necessary PPE. Students and host organizations assume all risks for any injuries related to their participation. Students and host organizations acknowledge and accept this by signing up for and participating in our network. All students who are part of NSRN are not acting as representatives of their respective schools but rather as independent volunteers, that includes the executive board, regional coordinators, and state coordinators.|
The National Student Response Network (NSRN) is a grassroots effort - led by health professions students, for health professions students. Meet the fantastic team of over 110 health professions student leaders nationwide working on our COVID-19 response efforts nationwide!
All students who are part of NSRN are not acting as representatives of their respective schools but rather as independent volunteers, that includes the executive board, regional coordinators, and state coordinators.
VIEW FULL LIST OF PREVIOUS AND CURRENT EXEC MEMBERS
Director of Operations
Director of Partnerships
University of Wisconsin
and Health Equity
University of Florida
Advisory Brain Trust
The Brain Trust advises the National Director and, by extension, the organization as a whole
Each member is an Advisor to the National Director (e.g., Blake Shultz is the Advocacy Advisor to the National Director)
Yale School of Medicine
Yale School of Medicine
Washington State University
Yale School of Medicine
Yale School of Medicine
Board of Directors