NEW ORLEANS (press release) – The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has dramatically altered life for our neighbors, students, faculty, and patients of the Greater New Orleans Community and presented long-term impacts that will be addressed for months to come. The LSU Health Foundation, New Orleans introduces the Coronavirus Response Effort to address the various timely and long-term LSU Health Campus initiatives related to SARS-CoV-2.
In response to this global pandemic, the LSU Health Foundation, New Orleans has identified the most critical LSU Health Sciences Center initiatives in need of support now more than ever. Traditional funding sources can be slow, and accelerating the financial support for this pandemic is crucial. This effort will support initiatives including the following:
- LEAD COVID-19 Trial: Clinical trials in treatment and prevention medicines including the LEAD COVID-19 Trial, designed to test if aspirin and vitamin D can spearhead our fight against SARS-CoV-2. This is a gold-standard trial that will enroll 1,080 patients across seven participating hospitals around the country
- Reusable and Effective PPE: A team at the LSU School of Dentistry is producing a reusable and easy-to-clean N95 mask. They created the crucial PPE using the school’s innovative 3-D printer. The masks are made of a complex polymer and a filter that when applied prevents the transmission of 99.99 percent of bacteria and viruses. While the School of Dentistry knows how to print the much-needed PPE, production is limited by time constraints. Additional funding would help purchase better technology for faster turnaround
- Mental Health Hotline: The Mental Health Support Hotline will provide first responders and other crisis support personnel with helpful counseling and behavioral health professional interventions. Funds will be used to establish a virtual platform to provide access to the secure support line for outreach and counseling sessions and to train the staff providing services in crisis intervention and counseling methods during and following disasters
- The MMR Vaccine as a Preventive: Paul Fidel, Ph.D. and Michael Hagensee, MD are leading the charge to secure funding to study the administration of the unrelated live attenuated vaccine for MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) can serve as a preventive measure against the worst conditions of SARS-CoV-2
- COVID-19 Research Lab: As a response to the COVID-19 crisis, LSU Health School of Medicine has initiated an effort to better understand and treat the disease. Dr. Steve Nelson, Dean of the School of Medicine, established a COVID research program that begins with the funding of pilot research grants. The COVID Biorepository has been established as a centralized resource that collects and provides biospecimens from COVID-19 patients and uninfected control samples. Those biosamples will include plasma, serum, peripheral blood mononuclear cells, nasal swabs, nasopharyngeal swabs, saliva, and stool samples. The Biorepository will not only assist with research for this pandemic but will help us prepare for the next epidemic or pandemic
- Recovery and Community Resilience Fund: Dr. Benjamin Springgate, Chief of the Section of Community and Population Medicine in the Department of Medicine, believes that the coronavirus pandemic represents not only a public health crisis but is giving rise to a mental health crisis, and that evidence-based solutions need to be targeted to both. Funding will go to making treatment accessible and high quality regardless of social or financial situations for at-risk populations to be better prepared to face challenges like hurricanes or pandemics, and to live a healthy life
Together, we can lead the fight against Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 through wellness, research, and innovation. Our Response Efforts page lsuhealthfoundation.org/coronavirus contains vital information about how we can support our LSU Health community during these unprecedented times.
Donors may give to any or all the initiatives of the Coronavirus Response Effort by visiting give.LSUHealthfoundation.org/coronavirus or calling the LSU Health Foundation at 504-568-5727.