Jakob Metz '11, a Baltimore-based attorney, and friends from the University of Maryland noticed a concerning amount of hesitation about the new COVID-19 vaccines. So, they decided to create a vehicle for people to show their support for vaccinations. Their website, vaccinepledge.org, allows individuals to sign a pledge to get a COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to them and to share this pledge on social media. Their hope is that when people see family, friends, and neighbors committing to getting vaccinated, they will become more comfortable with the idea themselves. They are also working to compile and share information about COVID-19 vaccines, including interviews with experts explaining the importance of vaccination as well as how to sign up to receive the vaccine in their state. And, they are also selling bright red #vaccinepledge bracelets to help accomplish these goals, with 20% of the proceeds to be donated to organizations supporting COVID-19 relief.
When Nick Polydefkis '18, a junior water polo player at George Washington University, made the difficult decision not to go back to GW this year, his parents encouraged him to be "part of the solution." So, rather than simply continue his studies - which already included research on viruses in the Department of Emergency Medicine - virtually, Nick didn't just get one job. He got three! Nick currently works as a full-time EMT and a transport safety officer at Johns Hopkins, and volunteers his weekend time as an EMT for the Baltimore County Fire Department and at George Washington University EMS. While his work has brought him face-to-face with the harsh reality of this pandemic, Nick has also been witness to a number of inspiring moments including childbirths and life-saving CPR resuscitations. Read the full story here.
Garrett Weinstein '14 has developed CareFull, the only peer-to-peer app connecting diners to COVID-safe establishments.
Gerry Brewster '75 currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of the Maryland State Fair & Agricultural Society, a nonprofit whose mission is to educate Maryland’s youth and to promote and showcase Maryland’s agriculture industry. Since the pandemic's onset, however, the organization has shifted gears to help those with the greatest and most immediate needs. Read more.
POLITICO Health Reporter Dan Diamond '98 sat down with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, to talk about the coronavirus outbreak for a new episode of the podcast Pulse Check. In this wide-ranging conversation, they discussed how Dr. Fauci views the outbreak, what he thinks average Americans must do to fight the virus, and how Dr. Fauci is trying to protect his own mental health during the pandemic. Listen to the interview.
This was going to be a big summer for Eno Umoh '04 and Austin Brown '05, founders of Global Air Media, whose Drone Academy uses drones to get kids interested in science, technology, engineering, art, and math careers. But, the pandemic forced them to rethink their summer camp. The result, Drone Camp in a Box, flips the paradigm, so rather than the kids coming to camp, they take the camp to the kids. Their goal is to provide 500 kids with a box, free of charge. To do this, they need to raise $62,500. Click here to read more and see a video of the story.
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One Medical, a concierge primary care startup building sleek clinics targeted at millennials, will acquire Medicare-focused provider Iora Health for $2.1 billion in stock. Iora, which was co-founded by Dr. Rushika Fernandopulle '85 in 2010, has grown to serve 38,000 members across 10 markets and estimates revenue to reach $299 million for 2021. Rushika will become chief innovation officer of the combined company. Read the full story here.
The 2020 Edition of Class Notes can be found in the Summer 2020 Bulletin.