New Blue Fund Initiative to Aid Students and Community During COVID-19 Crisis

Dear NEOMED community:

Just a few months into my tenure at NEOMED, the spread of COVID-19 changed how the University operates — and has highlighted the extraordinary qualities of leadership and service that are a hallmark of our institution.

From a profile in Time magazine to a Facebook Fan Club, response to the evidence-based, always-empathic guidance of Ohio Director of Health Amy Stearns Acton, M.D. (’90), M.P.H. has been overwhelmingly positive.

There are so many other NEOMED stories of leadership to tell:

  • Jeffery Hess, M.D. (’90), the medical director for General Motors, has been featured on national television as his company shifts focus to make much-needed ventilators.
  • The SOAR Student-Run Free Clinic fast-tracked a telehealth plan that had been in the works, contacting each of its 300-some patients to offer help to avoid gaps in their care and medications.
  • The Washington Post published an op-ed piece co-written by Scott Deitchman, M.D. (’84), a retired U.S. Health Service rear admiral, calling for a 9/11-style commission for the coronavirus.

And then there’s Raneem Alayoubi, a second-year College of Pharmacy student. When NEOMED adopted remote learning this spring, she returned home to suburban Detroit. Helping at the hospital where she has worked over the last four years, she walks around with caution tapes marking off corridors that she describes as looking like war zones. This student has delivered critically-needed medications and IV drips, helped transform an OR into an extended ICU, and answered nurse calls – all while studying, attending virtual lectures, and taking online exams.

"All of this just seems like a necessary thing for me and I'm happy to know that even though I'm exhausted that I'm giving my community my all… because that's what I promised when I put on my white coat," Raneem wrote.

I am proud of NEOMED’s response, but also know that new needs and funding challenges have emerged from this crisis. Now, more than ever, we need your support. In an unprecedented step, the NEOMED Foundation is committing to raise and allocate at least an additional $100,000 from this year’s Blue Fund to address four specific needs:

  • Expanded mental health services for NEOMED students
  • A meal program for local families who are struggling
  • Additional funds to address student financial emergencies
  • New PPE for our students, faculty and staff, to replace what has been donated to local hospitals

If you have already made your commitment to the 2020 Blue Fund, please consider an additional gift. And if you haven’t made your gift yet, now would be a most meaningful time to do so.

To make your gift, please visit

Thank you in advance for your generosity; thank you for helping us address this crisis while preparing our students to be the health professionals of tomorrow.


John T. Langell

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