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UNF public health students working with Ascension pandemic response team

nursing students in their PPETwo students within UNF’s Master of Public Health program, Taylor Kwiatkowski and Meghann Wheeler, have been working with local healthcare provider Ascension St. Vincent’s Jacksonville within their COVID-19 pandemic response team.

The students began work with the team in March as part of the screening teams and have continued to work in both the hospital and clinic entrances screening all patients, visitors, associates and vendors. They have assisted in the hospital’s drive-thru testing sites, one of the first drive-thru sites to be established in Florida, and have worked with a variety of hospital directors, managers and floor staff of various healthcare specialties.

In addition, the students are working on the testing team which administers the nasal swab test and helps ensure that the swabs are assigned to the proper labs. The testing site has tested over 3,000 community members in Jacksonville in the over 50 days the site has been open.

The students both convey that UNF’s MPH program and its professors have done an excellent job of preparing them to adapt to every situation.

They further state that “as  public health students, this has been an invaluable experience as we are able to utilize what we have learned both in our undergraduate and graduate studies. As epidemiology students, we have had many associates ask for our input regarding the steps, precautions, and procedures put in place by Ascension and local government officials during these unprecedented times. The experience we have gained from this will remain with us for the rest of our careers."