Long School of Medicine

COVID-19 Medical Student Response Team

Undergraduate Medical Education

Doctor of Medicine (M.D.)

During the COVID-19 pandemic, over 100 medical students felt a calling to help both their medical center community, i.e. doctors, nurses, staff in the hospitals and the broader San Antonio community. In partnership with community partners and faculty leadership a medical student response team was formed, the Long-CO.

During the pandemic, the Long-CO students have volunteered hundreds of hours in COVID-19 support activities such as, developing health education materials for the community, participation in evidence-based medicine teams, collection and distribution of PPE, working in on-campus labs to create hand sanitizer and much, much more.

Long-CO project faculty sponsors

  • Project Co-sponsor: Dr. Joshua Hanson, Associate Dean for Student Affairs
  • Project Co-sponsor: Dr. Barbara Taylor, Assistant Dean of MD/MPH Program
  • Project Coordinator: Stephanie Gutierrez, Program Coordinator, MD/MPH Program
  • Project Research Intern: Meredith Hosek, Class of 2023 Medical Student

Direct COVID-19 Support

Metro Health making a phone call


  • Metro Health Provider Hotline: Staff phone hotline for providers to call and get assistance with questions regarding testing and patient care
  • Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council Center: Staff phone hotline for community members around Bexar County to call and get assistance with questions regarding testing and care, collect demographic information, provide brief screening, and scheduled for testing sites.
  • VA Hospital Hotline: Staff phone hotline for patients of the VA Hospital to call and get assistance with questions regarding testing and care.
    • Faculty Partner: David Dooley, MD, Associate Chief of Staff for Education, VA

Public Health

  • Metro Health Epi Case Investigations support: Work with the Metro Health Epi team on case finding and contact tracing for people diagnosed with COVID-19.
    • Community partner: Metropolitan Health District, Evelyn Garza and Rita Espinoza
  • Metro Health Asymptomatic Surveillance: Work with the San Antonio Fire Department Mobile Integrated Healthcare Program (MIH) to case house-to-house throughout 10 districts within San Antonio to test and administer a brief questionnaire to residents without symptoms of COVID-19.
    • Community partners: Metropolitan Health District and the San Antonio Fire Department
    • Medical Students: Grace Cooper (MS2), Robert DelBello (MS3), Rachelle Hamblin (Alumni), Hamza Khan (MS4), Delaney Rawson (MS4), Ehsan Saffari (MS3), Siva Subramanian (MS3), Daniel Szabo (MS2), Claudina Tami (MS4), Ryan Wealther (MS3)


  • COVID-19 Infectious Disease Virtual Outpatient Clinic (CIVOC): Medical students (3rd and 4th years) support the ID COVID-19 team by following up on tests, conducting chart reviews, and other non-patient contact clinical activities.
    • Faculty Partner: Barbara Taylor, MD; Assistant Dean for the MD/MPH Program and Associate Professor of Infectious Disease
  • Mays Cancer Hematology and Medical Oncology Clinics: Help triage “appropriate patients” to virtual visits, “walk” the patient through how to set up MyChart Epic access. For the actual visit, update the medical history, complete the HPI, and present to the faculty member in preparation for their visit with a patient.
    • Faculty Partner: Kate Lathrop, MD; Long SOM Department of Medicine/Division of Hematology & Medical Oncology
  • UT Health Surgical Specialty Clinics: Support patients’ enrolling in MyChart and briefing patients on telehealth visits.
    • Clinical Partners: Casey Peterson and Jeanette Hernandez
  • VA Palliative Care Unit: Support palliative care service by providing guidance to patient’s families on how to use technology to connect with loved ones.
    • Faculty Partner: Sandra Sanchez-Reilly, MD; Associate professor of geriatrics and palliative care

Temperature & Symptoms Screening

Staff checkpoints to assist in checking temperatures and other symptoms of all visitors.

Locations: University Hospital, UT Health San Antonio Long Campus

Vaccine Distributions

  • Metro Health Alamodome: Medical students will answer patient questions and monitor after vaccinations.
  • San Antonio Fire Department MIH Unit: Medical students will assist SAFD members in house-to-house distribution by answering patient questions and assisting with paperwork.
  • UT Health San Antonio: Medical students will assist in distributions.

Non-Clinical Support

A collaboration between the Undergraduate Medical Education (UME) Office and the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics (CMHE).

Collection and distribution of PPE equipment

Support for Healthcare Workers

  • Collection and Distribution of PPE: Assist Long SOM Office of Research with collection and management of personal protective equipment.
    • Partners: Jennifer Potter, PhD; Vice Dean for Research and Courtney Peebles, Manager of Research Operations
  • Creation of Hand Sanitizer: Assist faculty in the labs with creation of hand sanitizer in support of front-line workers.
    • Faculty Partner: Christi Walter, PhD; Professor/Chair Cell Systems & Anatomy
  • Family Care: Provide childcare for faculty and staff needed as “essential” workers.
    • Partners: UHS Family Caring for Family and UT Health San Antonio

Charitable/Social Services

Student volunteer at blood drive

Blood Drives

Faculty partner: Dr. Leslie Greenbon, Interim Medical Director of Tissue Services

COVID-19 ID Virtual Outpatient Clinic (CIVOC): Medical students (third- and fourth-year students only) will assist a team of faculty with the CIVOC by providing follow-up calls and tracking of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 at University Hospital through the Infectious Disease department.

Course Director: Barbara Taylor, MD, Associate Professor of Infectious Diseases
If interested, please contact Stephanie Gutierrez 

Public Health Outreach and Education Response (PHOER): Medical students will be introduced to the principles of public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic through an online curriculum and experiential learning through a number of specific activities the student can choose from. 

Course Directors: Barbara Taylor, MD, Associate Professor of Infectious Diseases and Jason Rosenfeld, DrPH, Assistant Professor of Medicine
If interested, please contact Stephanie Gutierrez