COVID pandemic hit hospitalized patients hard

Shashank and Bhuvi infuse lots of love into isolation and fear. The post COVID pandemic hit hospitalized patients hard appeared first on San Francisco Bay View.

COVID pandemic hit hospitalized patients hard
Medical-Students-Assocs-Sashank-Bhuvi-give-Care-Kit-to-hospitalized-child, COVID pandemic hit hospitalized patients hard, Culture Currents Local News & Views News & Views
Sashank and Bhuvi hand-deliver a Care Kit to a patient in a pediatric subacute facility and read a story to the child.

by Medical Students Association

During the COVID-19 pandemic, patients across the nation were isolated in their rooms without contact with their family and cut off from social interaction, all while being more susceptible to COVID on top of their preexisting medical conditions. Realizing the disparity in the living conditions of hospitalized patients, Sashank and Bhuvi strived to make a difference in their lives by starting the nonprofit organization Medical Students Association (MSA) in October 2020. Since its inception, Sashank and Bhuvi sought to accomplish their goal of bettering the lives of patients, both emotionally and physically, through four innovative programs: Be a Buddy, Any Buddy Can Dance, Care Kits and Letters of Love. 

Sashank and Bhuvi started this off with hopes of just making an impact locally. They spent countless hours contacting facilities, recruiting volunteers, building a social media presence, organizing documents, and holding training sessions with volunteers. They partnered with one facility in the Bay Area for Be a Buddy, a program that provides “buddies” to patients. They soon realized the true impact their program made after they received an immense amount of positive feedback and decided to scale it nationwide. 

But even after this initial program’s success, they wanted to do more. They made the program self-running and spent days ruminating on how else to help patients besides giving them a buddy.

They then initiated the Any Buddy Can Dance and Care Kits after researching how to bring physical activity to patients who were most often handicapped and how to alleviate the symptoms that many of these hospitalized patients deal with, such as tremors, dry skin, etc. Both programs were a success.

The Care Kits program helped patients’ medical conditions through aromatherapy (scented lotions and candles), touch therapy (stress balls, tactile items, fidget toys, Play-Doh), cognitive development (lacing beads, building blocks) and more! Recreational items (which are personalized to each patient’s interests) include musical instruments, crossword and jigsaw puzzles, drawing books, stuffed animals, board games, etc.

Medical-Students-Assoc-volunteers-finish-assembling-300-Care-Kits-1400x1050, COVID pandemic hit hospitalized patients hard, Culture Currents Local News & Views News & Views
Medical Students Association volunteers finish assembling 300 Care Kits.

With their Any Buddy Can Dance program, they taught both mobile and immobile patients to dance whether that be through simple arm movements or entire dance routines. They also incorporate yoga, stretching and chair exercises as a way to incorporate more physical activity into their weekly sessions. 

They always received great chatter and appreciation from the patients whenever they went to hand-deliver the kits. The patients’ “I love you” really pushed them to keep going. Once, as part of one of their high school collaborations, they took on a large endeavor of making nearly 400 kits with 100+ students in attendance for the event. 

Going to local businesses in search of sponsors or going door-to-door fundraising, planning and organizing such events, collaborating with other organizations to spread awareness of certain neurological diseases and doing much more, they have put a great amount of time and effort into this one cause. They spent many weekends going to shopping complexes near them in search of sponsors and always rushed back home from school or even took advantage of their lunch and transition periods in school to contact facilities before activities directors left for the day.

Over the past two years, Sashank and Bhuvi have donated over $10,000 worth of items and impacted over 1,500 patients while partnering with 25+ facilities and accumulating over 750 volunteers. They lead an executive team of over 35 members and continue to persevere and exceed their aspirations of positively impacting the lives of as many patients as possible. 

To learn more about MSA, check out @medicalstudentsassociation on Instagram and take a look at their website:

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