Image: Alyssa Hinton, a junior at Marion High School, utilizes one of the motion-sensor hand sanitizing stations her school received as a donation from New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State and the Delta Population Health Institute.
JONESBORO, AR – New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State (NYITCOM at A-State) continues to help Arkansas institutions fight COVID-19.
Over the past two months, the Delta Population Health Institute (DPHI), NYITCOM’s community engagement arm, has distributed motion-sensor hand sanitizer stations and air purifiers to approximately 50 schools, daycares, and youth organizations throughout the region.
Organizations in eight Arkansas counties across northeast Arkansas and the Delta have received the virus mitigation equipment, which was purchased through a grant NYITCOM at A-State and the DPHI received from the Arkansas Minority Health Commission.
“Vaccines and proper masking show the strongest evidence for protection against COVID-19, but there are tools that can provide additional layers of defense, and we’re glad to help these organizations and institutions acquire them,” said Brookshield Laurent, D.O., chair of clinical medicine at NYITCOM at A-State and executive director of the DPHI. “As is often the case, funding is limited for many of these groups. We’re grateful to the Arkansas Minority Health Commission for recognizing these needs and supporting our efforts to assist these schools as they work to keep their students as safe as possible.”
The hand sanitizing stations encourage students to regularly clean their hands to kill germs and reduce potential spread of the virus. The air purifiers are placed in common areas and assist in eliminating dangerous airborne germs and bacteria from the air. Blytheville Elementary School is among those who received donations from NYITCOM and the DPHI.
“The hand sanitizer dispensers and air purifier were provided to us at a much needed time, and we can’t thank NYITCOM and the DPHI enough for their donation,” Blytheville Elementary School assistant principal Brooke Aldridge said. “We are so appreciative of the Delta Population Health Institute for all of their help as we work to keep our students safe.”
NYITCOM at A-State and the DPHI have worked with schools, civic organizations and a number of groups throughout the pandemic to provide guidance, education, and the physical tools needed to fight COVID-19. The DPHI has also produced numerous health literacy pieces regarding COVID-19, shared infographics on its social media channels, and hosted webinars to keep the public informed.
In addition to the most recent donations, the Jonesboro-based medical school and the DPHI have held over 80 free vaccine events at which more than 6,000 doses have been administered.
“Our mission as an institution is to impact access to health care and health education in Arkansas and the Mississippi Delta region, and we’re very proud of the work our faculty, staff and students have done and continue to do to serve our communities,” Laurent said.
Recipients of the hand sanitizer stations and air purifiers include schools and organizations in Clay, Craighead, Crittenden, Independence, Mississippi, Phillips, Poinsett, and Randolph Counties.
About NYITCOM at Arkansas State University:
New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University, located on A-State’s Jonesboro campus, is dedicated to improving access to health care for the underserved and rural populations in Arkansas and the Mississippi Delta Region. NYITCOM at A-State was established in 2016 with the mission of meeting the need for more physicians in this medically-underserved area and to provide health education initiatives to help improve health outcomes in the region.
About the Delta Population Health Institute:
NYITCOM at Arkansas State University established the Delta Population Health Institute (DPHI) in 2019 to lead efforts to create cultures of health through education, research, policy engagement, and community engagement. The DPHI believes that health starts where we grow, live, learn, work, and play. Accordingly, the DPHI is committed to cultivating opportunities for health in our families, neighborhoods, schools, and jobs to achieve greater health equity among all people.