Las Vegas, Nevada 2021-09-23 02:35:09 –
The University of Nevada, Las Vegas contact tracing team was honored with being named the Program of the Year by the University of Nevada Public Health Association.
A group of students investigated tens of thousands of COVID cases in southern Nevada and tested classroom knowledge to help real people.
It started with 7 volunteer students in the spring of 2020 and has grown to more than 240 in August 2021.
“Oh, my god, I was very proud of our team,” said April Cruda, COVID-19 Case Monitoring Coordinator at UNLV. “The fact that we did this [with] All students. “
Katie Burris, a UNLV graduate student, said:
“It was great,” said Casey Barber, UNLV’s graduate research assistant. “Especially it should be recognized by the Nevada Public Health Association.”
A team that continues to grow, trains students in contact tracing methods, and has just set foot on the door to public health.
“We started this team from scratch,” said Cruda. “We created the protocol and created the guides and spreadsheets. It was completely student driven.”
They assisted our local health department, with one in six cases in southern Nevada eventually passing through this team and gaining hands-on experience with real people.
“It has gone from a team of volunteers to an entire HR team, including managers,” Cruda said.
“We had some students who weren’t public health students,” said the barber. “But when they were introduced to public health through this work, we actually had some people change their major to public health afterwards.”
And it’s no exaggeration to say that they made a difference after contact tracing over 43,000 cases.
“I think we have had a big impact on the community by supporting the health district and trying to slow the spread of COVID infections in our community,” said Burris.
“It’s great to be part of, and to be part of, the beginning of what made public health so important here in Nevada,” said Cruda. “And I know that every student can probably be involved.”
And the school’s plan is to make this team a permanent resource for the state.