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UW student volunteers collect, donate devices for equitable online health care

UW News staff

UW student volunteers collect, donate devices for equitable online health care

UW students with the organization TeleHealth Access for Seniors drop off video-enabled devices for patients at International Community Health Service in Seattle.TeleHealth Access for Seniors

Online access to health care is crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic. About 20 University of Washington undergraduates are part of a nationwide organization collecting used video-enabled devices and donating them to medical facilities for low-income and senior patients.

TeleHealth Access for Seniors was formed in March and has about 325 members, all high school and college students. The group has donated about 3,000 devices to 105 facilities nationwide. In Washington state, they have donated about 140 devices to International Community Health Services and are making partnerships with other facilities as well. They provide free tech support, too.

“Unfortunately, millions of older Americans live in poverty and cannot afford the video-enabled devices necessary to attend their appointments. Eighty-five percent of senior citizens have at least one chronic condition, meaning having reliable and safe access to health care is essential to managing their health, especially during the pandemic,” the group’s website states.

“Recognizing this need, our organization provides elderly and low-income patients with smart devices, educational resources and virtual technical support to keep them connected with their health care providers and loves ones during the pandemic.”

TeleHealth Access for Seniors has been covered locally by KING 5, KOMO News, The UW Daily, of the UW, My Edmonds News, Northwest Asian Weekly and International Examiner.

For more information, visit online or contact Nhu Nguyen, Washington state co-lead, at [email protected]

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