Penn Athletics #QuakersFightingCOVID

Kicking off on Giving Tuesday 2020, Penn Athletics has partnered with Connect for COVID-19 to raise $10,000 in donations for COVID-19 relief in Philadelphia. Connect for COVID-19 works to get video-enabled smart devices  into hospitals most affected by the outbreak. As COVID numbers continue to rise, it is important to continue keeping isolated patients connected with their loved ones as well as their healthcare providers. As strict no-visitor policies are re-enacted across the country, these devices are often the only way patients can get in touch with loved ones during critical moments.

Connect for COVID-19 has expanded scope to provide devices for the delivery of telehealth services by community based providers. All proceeds from this fundraiser will be used to answer demand across Philadelphia hospitals and healthcare centers.  We are confident that with the help of Penn Athletics we can work towards tackling the digital health connectivity gap for Philadelphians in need.

This holiday season, let's harness the charity and kindness of the Penn Athletic family to help other folks throughout Philadelphia connect to their families.  All funds raised will be used to purchase devices to keep patients connected to loved ones as well as access telehealth care. We are currently working with Maternity Care Coalition, Philadelphia Fight and Esperanza Health to support underserved populations in Philadelphia who are disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

GivingTuesday (December 1st) is an opportunity for people around Philadelphia to stand together in unity and use the power of generosity to remain connected and heal. At a time when we are all experiencing the pandemic, generosity is what brings people of all races, faiths, and political views together across the globe. Generosity gives everyone the power to make a positive change in the lives of others and is a fundamental value anyone can act on. GivingTuesday emphasizes opportunities to give back to communities and support causes in safe ways that allow for social connection and kindness even while practicing physical distancing. With the generosity of the Penn Athletics family we strive to support our Philly neighbors who are most in need this Holiday season.

This is a live campaign, kicking off on November 30th, and continuing through Friday December 4th at midnight. In Penn spirit, teams will be engaging in friendly competition to see who can raise the most money! To help us track donations, please select the team that reached out to you in the dropdown menu as the donation referrer. 

For more information on the impact of your donation as well as the organization's background and mission, please check out the information below or see Connect for COVID-19's website. ALL donations are truly appreciated - $1, $5, or $100 - can all make a difference. It takes $50 to purchase a tablet. By raising $10,000 dollars, we aim to purchase 200 devices.

Penn athletes never back down from a challenge and can continue to be a force for good by helping to support our city’s most vulnerable as COVID cases continue to rise. Thank you truly for your help in making a difference!

#StrongerTogether #QuakersFightingCOVID


Penn Athletics & Connect for COVID-19 Philadelphia Team

Frequently Answered Questions

How do the devices get to the hospitals?

Connect for COVID-19 partners with hospital IT departments in NJ. We get the details of devices needed from the hospitals and source the equipment from device re-sellers as well as institutional donations, using funds from this campaign. To ensure safe practices, the hospitals will process the devices using proper sanitation techniques and installation methods. 

Why the idea? Is there a real need?

The idea for Connect for COVID-19 comes from telling conversations with medical students and staff working on the frontlines of hospitals across the country. In addition, members of our team also have personal stories of family members who contracted the virus, where access to a smart device could have made all the difference in connecting with family. Reenacted “no-visitor” policies  in hospitals across the US result in patients not having the opportunity to contact loved ones at critical times. Patients who have phones often forget to bring them or leave their chargers behind in a rush; some, including low-income  and elderly patients, lack access to smart devices altogether. Nurses have to triage , using their own devices to help patients – and most often, there's not enough. Additionally, video calls can serve as a channel for translation for non-English speakers, and also as a measure to increase mental and physical well-being during recovery.

How far will this get us?

$50 can get us one tablet, which can serve up to 10 patients per day. It takes ~10 tablets to supply an entire hospital. If able to hit our target of $10,000, we'll be able to supply to ~20 hospitals/healthcare centers throughout the city.

Will you be purchasing devices at the best price?

Connect for COVID-19 has formed relationships with Amazon and BestBuy to purchase high volumes of devices at promotional price rates. This is a major advantage given current limits on tablet quantity purchasing by large retailers. 

What happens after COVID-19?

Down the road, these devices can continue to be used in hospitals to promote connectivity during treatment, particularly for patients who do not own smart devices, or have forgotten to bring them to the hospital. Digital connectivity in healthcare has been a persistent issue, and has been especially illuminated during the recent outbreaks.

How will patients use the devices?

All devices will be pre-installed with Zoom, Whatsapp, Messenger, Gmail, Outlook and other social apps. In addition, each device will have a stand to make sure families can stay by their bedside. 

Testimony from Medical Professionals

“Please know that the products of this work will be appreciated to an indescribable degree. From my clinical experience, it is such an isolating experience not only for COVID+ individuals, but for everyone else facing critical illness or who is already vulnerable & high risk. For example, I just cycled off inpatient oncology … having to have conversations about end-stage and hospice — without loved ones present — was truly heartbreaking for everyone involved. I also trained in Brooklyn for medical school, and most of my classmates are still based in NYC; the stories they have shared are just so horrifyingly sad.”  - Audrey Li, Resident Physician in Internal Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School

“Thank you for sharing this! This has been one of the more difficult challenges, as so many of our patients in critical condition, or even dying, are unfortunately alone. iPads, etc. can go a long way here!” - Sumanth Kaja, Emergency Medicine Resident Physician at NYU Langone & Bellevue Hospitals

"I am a palliative care physician and I continue to witness the loneliness and emotional pain that COVID-19 patients and their families are enduring. In addition to the physical suffering that comes with the disease, patients’ inability to see their families is leading to significant emotional suffering. Just imagine having to drop off a loved one at the hospital and not knowing if you will ever see them again. Thankfully for some, they are able to remain connected to friends and family through their smartphones. There is a distinct difference in the resilience and coping ability of a patient who remains connected and a patient who is isolated. Improving these connections is so important in caring for a patient as a whole." - Palliative Care fellow at Penn Medicine


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    • $50 
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    • $25 
    • 4 hrs
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    • $15 
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    • $10 
    • 23 hrs
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Fundraising team: Penn Athletics (5)

Connect for COVID-19 Philly 
Raised $301 from 10 donations
Philadelphia, PA
Penn Women’s Basketball 
Team member
Raised $65 from 2 donations
Penn Men's Lacrosse 
Team member
Penn Men’s Basketball 
Team member
Penn Women's Lacrosse 
Team member
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