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Emory holds scrubs drive for Ebola workers in Sierra Leone

When student Jace Crawford arrived on the Emory campus in late Summer 2014 for his first day in the Physician Assistant (PA) Program, he arrived right in the middle of a medical drama grabbing international headlines: Ebola. Media trucks were parked all around the School of Medicine and Emory University Hospital, where several Ebola virus patients were treated.

Meanwhile, Crawford and his fellow students heard from Emory health care providers — doctors, nurses, and others — who were treating the patients, and they also received ongoing email updates with the latest news from West Africa. When Crawford learned that one of the needs in Sierra Leone was medical scrubs — high temperatures, round-the-clock work and harsh cleaning chemicals meant they went through a lot, quickly — he decided to take action, organizing a scrub drive at Emory.

As of late January 2015, he and others at Emory have collected more than 500 pieces of scrubs, which they plan to send to a hospital in Sierra Leone. It was former PA Program faculty member Jeri Sumitani, MMSc, PA-C, who volunteered at that particular West African hospital for six weeks, who had told Crawford about the need for scrubs.

Inspired by Sumitani, and with support of PA Program faculty, Crawford is now in the early stages of creating a non-profit organization. Although it doesn’t yet have a name, the organization’s tentative goals include sending students on medical mission trips and providing grants.

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