Seraph Chairman helps lead Detroit testing efforts for COVID-19

Rebecca Cook | Reuters

(DETROIT) –The devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is far reaching, claiming countless lives and putting a tremendous strain on health care resources around the globe. The state of Michigan alone has nearly 60,000 confirmed cases with over 5,000 individuals succumbing to the virus. In the wake of this public health crisis, Seraph Chairman, Dr. Charles Shanley, Vice Dean for Clinical Affairs at Wayne State School of Medicine and CEO of Wayne Health has focused on facilitating multi-stakeholder partnerships to improve access to mobile COVID-19 testing  for health care workers, first responders and vulnerable populations in metropolitan Detroit and the state of Michigan. Phase I initiatives began March 20th extending through April 10th.   Wayne Health, in partnership with Wayne State University, ACCESS (a non-profit community service organization headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan) and commercial laboratories performed nearly 3,000 nasal swab COVID tests for symptomatic health care workers and first responders at “drive-through” mobile test sites in Detroit and Dearborn. 

In a press release from Wayne State University’s School of Medicine, Dr. Shanley addressed the critical role of these stakeholders in battling the virus. “Our front-line health care workforce is one of our most precious assets in the fight against COVID-19,” said Dr. Shanley, “We cannot protect the public without protecting them, as well as the first responders who provide critical support to our health care system, and protect public safety.”  Using grant funding from Wayne State University, Wayne Health also partnered with the Detroit Medical Center to rapidly increase in-house testing capacity in DMC hospitals during the surge.

During Phase II (April 13th to the present), Wayne Health, in partnership  with Ford Motor Co, Wayne State State University and ACCESS launched the first vehicle-based “drive-to” mobile testing program in Michigan.   The “ drive-to” program utilizes fully equipped vehicles with tents, sanitation, power, and Wi-Fi and provides both nasal swab and serology testing for as many as 100 people per day at each mobile site.  Leveraging strong support from the local philanthropic community and BCBS of Michigan, the mobile “drive-to” program has expanded to provide testing for critical infrastructure workers and vulnerable communities in Detroit including older adults and their care workers, residents of nursing homes and homeless shelters.  As of May 20th, nearly 5000 individuals had received vehicle-based mobile COVID testing. 

Original Photos By: Fox 2 DetroitRebecca Cook | Reuters