More than 180 Dartmouth employees from across campus answered a call for help with student COVID-19 testing. As part of Dartmouth's plan to bring students back to campus, the College Health Service held three dozen COVID-19 testing clinics over the past few months.
Health service employees staffed the clinics for the first several weeks, but looking ahead to late summer and early fall, when as many as 1,450 graduate and undergraduate students would be tested in a single day, it was clear they would need help.
The employee-volunteers' efforts were greatly appreciated, says physician Ann Bracken, director of clinical medical services at Dartmouth's health service.
"The testing was a vital step toward ensuring a safe, successful fall term for the Dartmouth and Upper Valley communities," says Bracken. "The volunteers played a big role in helping the clinics run as smoothly and efficiently as possible."
Over the course of several weeks, faculty and staff from more than 60 departments worked alongside health services staff under large tents outside Dick's House. They filled in where needed, taking on tasks such as greeting and registering students, checking students' temperatures, and monitoring supplies.
All told, they worked more than 1,000 half- or full-day shifts, says Brenda Wilson, administrative assistant for the Health Service Patient Accounts Office, who coordinated the volunteer roster.
"This was a huge task, with many from the Dartmouth community pitching in to help," Wilson says. Their support has been "incredible."
About half of Dartmouth undergraduates are studying remotely this term, while the remainder are on campus. In addition to pre-arrival testing, those on campus were tested upon their arrival, and again three days and seven days later. Weekly testing will continue throughout the term for all students on campus.
The testing site was recently relocated to Leverone Field House, where testing for both students and employees is being managed by Axiom Medical, Dartmouth's occupational health partner.
Aimee Minbiole can be reached at email@example.com.