Augusta University’s innovative efforts to battle the COVID-19 pandemic received additional support today with a donation from Bank of America.
“During this coronavirus pandemic, Augusta University Health has been on the front lines providing necessary services to the region and state,” said Ora Parish, Augusta Market President for Bank of America. “Our partnership will help further these efforts and provide medical support for vulnerable and underserved populations.”
The grant is part of the bank’s commitment to support local communities in need during the global health crisis.
“As Gov. Brian Kemp recently announced, Augusta University is greatly expanding its partnership with the state of Georgia to fight the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Augusta University President Brooks A. Keel, PhD. “Bank of America’s $50,000 gift will help us continue to advance our three-pronged approach of telemedicine screening, drive-thru specimen collection and in-house testing to help the entire state, serving our mission as Georgia’s only public academic medical center.”
Leading innovation in coronavirus testing, Augusta University researchers developed one of the state’s first in-house tests for COVID-19, which can tell patients if they are infected within two hours rather than waiting days to hear from a remote testing site.
In addition, Augusta University Health was the first in the region to deploy a virtual screening application, which has already screened more than 9,000 patients across the state and has been touted by the governor.
In partnership with the Georgia Department of Public Health, AU Health’s telemedicine screening mobile application is available to all of Georgia and parts of South Carolina, free of charge, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Local patients who receive a positive screening are referred to one of AU Health’s two drive-thru locations, which currently perform more than 100 tests per day.
Augusta University and Augusta University Health System will also partner with the Georgia Department of Public Health and Georgia National Guard to coordinate centralized scheduling for Georgia’s nearly 40 COVID-19 specimen point of collection sites. The university will also provide new 3D printed nasal swabs statewide.
“In the face of these unprecedented challenges, we are committed to remaining strong and staying at the forefront of innovation and support during this health crisis. Thank you to Bank of America for its commitment to AU,” Keel said.
Augusta University’s Emergency Response Fund was established to meet the current and rapidly emerging needs of this pandemic. For more information, go to the giving website, email Philanthropy & Alumni Engagement or call 706-721-4001.