The AIDS Healthcare Foundation Friday announced a $250,000 contribution to the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health to support a study to assess COVID-19 transmission among health care workers in Los Angeles County.
AHF President Michael Weinstein said he saw UCLA’s Dr. Anne Rimoin being interviewed on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” in late February about the disease and her proposed study of COVID-19 transmission among health care workers.
Weinstein said Rimoin’s “expertise and grasp of the enormity of the public health threat that COVID-19 presents, particularly to health care providers, was considerable, even more so in light of how much we have stumbled in our overall national response to the pandemic.”
“As a result, I consulted AHF’s Board of Directors and senior management in order to provide significant funding for the critical `real time’ research that Dr. Rimoin and her team … are now undertaking,” he said.
Rimoin said the COVID-19 Rapid Response Initiative, which launched two weeks ago in partnership with UCLA Health, will ensure that frontline health care workers get the infection testing and antibody screening they so desperately need, at the same time providing the study with “critical data regarding asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic infection, immunity and re-infection.”
“We are providing an essential service to our health care heroes in L.A. and gathering research evidence that will inform important infection control and return-to-work policies regionally and across the country,” Rimoin said. “We are deeply grateful for AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s leadership gift to this critical study and excited to partner with them to protect our vulnerable health workforce and flatten the curve of this pandemic.”
Rimoin is a professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and Infectious Disease Division of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She is an internationally recognized expert on global health, emerging infectious diseases, vaccine preventable diseases and disease surveillance systems in low-resource settings.
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