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Touro students create volunteer services website for coronavirus crisis

Updated April 28, 2020 - 3:55 pm

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals, families and businesses in Las Vegas are stepping up to offer relief to people in the community who are in need of food, services and support. Here are stories about people who are leading with kindness and proving the community is #VegasStrong.

Touro students create volunteer services website

They’ll be on the front lines soon enough.

But for a trio of Touro University Nevada medical students, this doesn’t mean resigning themselves to the background for now.

Before long, second-year medical students Cassandra McDiarmid and Parisun Shoga and fourth-year medical student Ashlie Bloom will be treating patients in the field like their peers who are currently dealing with the coronavirus crisis.

In the meantime, they sought to do their part.

“Just sitting at home and seeing everything that’s happening and not doing anything about it, it just felt wrong,” McDiarmid says. “There’s a lot of people who want to help, but maybe don’t know how.”

And that’s where these three come in.

Together, they helped create a website offering a variety of volunteer services to the community during the COVID-19 crisis.

The site (tun.touro.edu/medready) is a portal of sorts connecting students who want to volunteer their services with those in need of their assistance.

A wide range of services are available: free K-12 online tutoring; free undergrad and MCAT online tutoring; and general community assistance, including grocery pickup for seniors, assistance with screenings, dog walking and more.

“We’re trying to cover basically anything that the community might need,” Bloom says. “There’s even a catch-all, where if somebody needs any help from students, they can fill out a form and it will come to us.”

There will also be a news dimension to the site to provide accurate information regarding various coronavirus concerns.

“We have a research and news team that has come together,” Shoga explains. “This team consists of seven individuals that are going to be putting the right news and research onto our weekly newsletter and also on the website and Twitter page.”

When the site launched this week, 50 students had volunteered, and more are expected.

McDiarmid and company already helped with COVID-19 screenings of the homeless population at Cashman Center.

Their work is not done.

“There’s so many more needs that people have now,” McDiarmid says. “There’s a lot of things that we felt that we could help out with during this time. We want to do something. We want to give back.”

Contact Janna Karel at jkarel@reviewjournal.com. Follow @jannainprogress on Twitter. Contact Madelon Hynes at mrhynes@reviewjournal.com.

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