CAA, Harvard and Thrive Global Launch #FirstRespondersFirst Initiative to Combat COVID-19

Mackenzie Nichols

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The CAA Foundation has teamed with Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Thrive Global on an initiative dubbed #FirstRespondersFirst to provide healthcare workers with vital tools and supplies to combat the deadly coronavirus.

The effort is a response to reports that first responders are facing a dangerous shortage of resources and safety gear as they encounter coronavirus patients, greatly raising the risk of them getting infected or passing on the virus to others.

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The #FirstRespondersFirst initiative will gather resources from the three organizations to aid healthcare workers including social workers, nurses, physicians and more. Along with these resources, #FirstRespondersFirst will launch a fundraising effort to help by masks, gowns and gloves that are in short supply.

Among the #FirstRespondersFirst offerings, the Chan School will provide “evidence-based” content based on environmental, occupational and behavioral health information to the workforce. Thrive Global, a technology company founded by Arianna Huffington, will use online platforms to give responders workshops, training, coaching and content to provide physical and mental aid to healthcare workers who may be personally afflicted by the epidemic. CAA will capitalize on their relationships with “cultural influencers” to raise awareness about COVID-19

“As this crisis continues to unfold, it’s important for those on the frontlines to be fortified with essential equipment while being supported to care for themselves. Doing so will allow frontline healthcare workers to be more effective, more resilient and have more of an impact when we all take these proactive steps,” said Michelle Williams, dean of the Chan School.

A group of healthcare professionals are signed on with the initiative and will lead the way to help curb the spread and deliver aid to sick patients.

“When the story of this pandemic is written, the heroes will be the healthcare workers who risked their own health and endured burnout and exhaustion among many other challenges on our behalf,” said Huffington. “We must, as a nation, show up for this community as they are showing up for us.”

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