Medelita ambassador and a surgical oncologist, Dr. Amani Jambhekar is in the final term of her MBA. She was supposed to walk at her final graduation after 15 years of education. She was also supposed have a destination wedding which took more than a year to plan.
Enter the COVID19 pandemic. As days became longer while her hospital and practice jumped to prepare, her patients worried they wouldn’t get care for their cancer. Hospitals all around started running out of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). She found herself inundated with inaccurate medical information on social media, and people continuing to ignore social distancing. She concluded, “It became clear my long-awaited final graduation and wedding weren’t going to happen.”
But her business school, Kelley School of Business, hosted a design sprint to come up with an impactful solution during this crisis, and Dr. Amani decided to participate and find a way to channel her frustration. “Eleven days later, we have a team of over 100 healthcare, business, and military professionals all over the country and our own movement #RealHeroesNeedMasks,” says Jambhekar. The group partnered with other PPE donation organizations to raise awareness and centralize mask donation.
The doctors, nurses, mid-levels, RTs, MAs, and first responders risking their own lives daily in this pandemic are the real heroes. The goal of the social media movement is to convince the public to be sidekicks and donate masks. What started as a weekend idea sprint which was supposed to be handed off to entrepreneurs who could make it happen, has now turned into a project lead by a multitude of entrepreneurial healthcare professionals looking for a way to give back to their colleagues – those who need it most during this trying time.