Los Angeles, CA, (USA), April 2020 – Shared Harvest Fund, a Los Angeles-based fintech platform and non-profit, is launching myCovidMD and myCovid19.live - a free telehealth app and online portal that safely connects individuals to resources in real time, by real people.
The initiative is powered by Community Health Partners (CHPs), a volunteer task force created by Shared Harvest to offer a grassroots and virtual triaging system to reach people who are uninsured, underinsured, and/or displaced from a medical home due to COVID-19 and city-wide quarantine.
Together, these resources will offer medical assessments, a crisis buddy, and a virtual provider appointment within 15 minutes. They also plan to provide drive through testing at pop-up community locations with therapeutic guidance. CHPs and other nonmedical volunteers involved in the task force will also be eligible for student debt relief or emergency savings funds as a reward for their service through Shared Harvest’s fintech platform.
"It is our goal to minimize the rates of anxiety and fear while building more interconnectedness during this quarantine period, as our nation works on flattening the epidemiological curve and expanding health equity," Shared Harvest founder and Emergency Medicine Physician, Nana Afoh-Manin, explains. "Through our student debt relief and emergency savings program, we are investing beyond the immediate crisis to help stimulate the economy and build a robust and culturally inclusive database of civilian skills-based volunteers that can be activated in case of future emergencies."
The founders of Shared Harvest have a combined 35 years of experience working on the frontlines of disaster and emergency medicine and have realized that the United States’ health system will reach capacity if there are not more innovative solutions. Shared Harvest’s solution is to activate scholars to help fill in the gaps in our public health system, and also to plan for a more inclusive financial stimulus.
The myCOVIDMD app will build upon existing telemedical and video communication platforms, in order to deploy an emergency response that is culturally competent and inclusive in its approach to mobilizing volunteers, engaging marginalized communities, building better financial health in the midst of crisis, and minimizing poor mental health outcomes.
Recognizing the importance of the myCOVIDMD initiative, philanthropist, humanitarian, and funder Renee White Fraser, PhD and CEO of Fraser Communications, explained, "Social responsibility has always been the driving force in my personal ethos and how I run my company, Fraser Communications. Upon learning of myCOVIDMD, I immediately understood the immense public good that this service could provide to so many in our community and beyond."
Volunteer CHPs will facilitate ten-minute video screening calls through the tele-health platform with the objective of providing Covid19 screening, wellness, and mini-mental health assessments, and matching callers with a Crisis Buddy for future real-time news updates, and offer compassion to those who are sick and shut-in. Nonprofits and small businesses may access and book webinars on Covid19 for their remote teams through myCovid19.live. Shared Harvest’s volunteer providers will host these webinars and Q&A.
The program will also target services for the homeless population and for people reliant on shelters. In exchange for volunteering, CHPs will be able to accumulate credits towards their student loans or deposit credits towards an emergency-savings account. Shared Harvest will seek to have deposit and loan credits matched by financial partners and foundation grants. CHP volunteers will be rewarded up to $5,000 in student debt relief or $2500 deposited into an emergency-savings account.