Natalie Jacobsen is the senior manager of marketing and communications at the Combined Federal Campaign of the National Capital Area. She works in tandem with a superstar team of passionate marketing professionals to develop inspiring messages and materials encouraging federal employees to donate to charities. An avid advocate, traveler, plant mom, writer and photographer, she has found her dream role at Global Impact, where her interests and ambitions collide in the best possible combination. When she isn’t fervently scratching her head over her keyboard to find the right words, she’s jet-setting to push her own boundaries, learning new perspectives, ideas, and cultures – and finding moments in between to capture on notepad and film.
Every day, Americans rely on the numbers of the global coronavirus pandemic to understand the fundamentals: growth, threat, duration and impact. We look to numbers of those infected, those recovered and passed, hospital capacity, number of ventilators and masks needed or delivered that day, the inventory numbers at our nearby grocery stores, the clocks to tell us when to check news for updates, the charts to show us if we are flattening the curve, and counting the days of sheltering-in-place. Numbers are dictating our lives; dominating our conversations; helping us process and understand the progression of the pandemic.
International Medical Corps has their own set of numbers, too. But these offer an insight into their direct efforts to gain control of the coronavirus response and fight. Their numbers are a glimmer of hope, showing positive progress in humanitarian efforts to assist cities under siege by COVID-19.
In addition to aiding countries around the world—for example, by partnering with the World Health Organization to offer healthcare assistance globally, leveraging relationships across local, national and international health ministries and agencies—International Medical Corps is also helping Americans on the domestic front, taking tremendous measures to alleviate the burden that is stressing hospitals across the United States.
Numbers as they stand
As of April 7, Los Angeles, California, has recorded 6,910 confirmed cases of coronavirus and almost 170 deaths. All indications are that case numbers will continue rising for at least the next several weeks, as the White House, Surgeon General and CDC have predicted.
In particular, Los Angeles County, with a population of over 1.3 million, is suffering extensively from the sheer amount of coronavirus cases. There are 19,492 hospital beds across Los Angeles; it is predicted by Harvard Global Health that nearly 21,554 beds will be needed over the course of six months, which illustrates the need for any additional beds they can obtain to help first responders during potential surges.
Numbers that help
International Medical Corps’ worldwide staff of 7,000 are out on the health care battlefield, working to treat patients and increase the rate of recovery, in hopes of controlling the coronavirus pandemic and reining in the rising numbers of those falling ill.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital (MLKCH) is South Los Angeles’ epicenter for the disease, where help is most needed. International Medical Corps stepped in on March 19 to build two fully functional emergency medical field units within 24 hours to help with patient flow and treatment. The shelters will help to mitigate the anticipated surge of cases in the coming days and weeks, thanks to funding from AbbVie and logistical support from FedEx, which stores International Medical Corps’ medical equipment in anticipation of disasters of this scale, and can quickly airlift up to 50 tons of medical shelters, masks, gloves, gowns and other medical equipment to areas of need.
International Medical Corps already has deployed emergency medical field units in three locations in Los Angeles, two in New York and in two cities in Puerto Rico. More deployments are planned in Detroit, New Orleans, Boston and Chicago.
To enhance their rapid response in at-risk regions, International Medical Corps is also:
- Training health workers on infection protection and control.
- Setting up triage stations to screen potential coronavirus patients and help with case management.
- Battling misinformation through community outreach and engagement to encourage people to seek early medical attention.
- Coordinating an epidemic response team with 35 years of experience in global epidemics to expertly deploy medical supplies, monitor situations and spread awareness.
Numbers of funding aid
The shelters and equipment they require come with a price: the shelters cost $175,000 to deploy and set up at a hospital in need. 10,000 pieces of personal protective equipment runs at $100,000. And substantial training efforts cost upwards of $50,000.
But to provide these services and deliver much needed life-saving materials, International Medical Corps and Global Impact need your help.
To support International Medical Corps’ direct response to COVID-19, Global Impact has established an emergency fund: Coronavirus Outbreak Fund. Donations through our fund provide immediate support to our Charity Alliance partners working around the clock to combat the global coronavirus pandemic. We also encourage you to talk to your employer about the possibility of engaging your company with our fund as part of an employee engagement opportunity.
Together, as we stay home and donate what we can to a stronghold of charities like International Medical Corps, we can overcome the coronavirus epidemic – and get the numbers on our side.