C4 - Why there’s no “I” in COVID-19: A collaboration between healthcare students, primary care providers and the community to improve PPE stewardship and distribution

4. Public health and primary care

  • Date: Thursday, October 8, 2020
  • Concurrent Session C
  • Time: 3 :00 pm – 3 : 45 pm
  • Style: Live Workshop
  • Focus: Balance between both (e.g. Presentation of a best-practice guideline that combines research evidence, policy issues and practical steps for implementation)
  • Target Audience: Leadership, Clinical providers, Administrative staff, Representatives of stakeholder/partner organizations

Learning Objectives

"Attendees will be able to: 

  • Understand the logistics of developing an organized and scalable system for the intake, processing, and distribution of PPE and PPE stewardship resources.
  • Gain insight into the physician and healthcare worker perspectives of our unique hub distribution model and the impact of PPE educational initiatives on PPE usage during a time of limited supply.
  • Recognize the impact of involving healthcare students in day-to-day operations and decision-making processes of PPE distribution and dissemination of PPE stewardship resources.
  • Appreciate the role of the community and the power of public outreach for garnering support and resources for our PPE distribution model."


With the reported critical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) shortages associated with the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of continuous provisions of PPE became readily apparent. In response to this issue, the London-Middlesex Primary Care Alliance, in conjunction with the community, government, and local healthcare students, accumulated and distributed PPE to ensure the continued operation of the primary care sector in London-Middlesex.

From its initial grassroots, solely donation-driven operation, the London-Middlesex PPE Initiative grew to become the primary PPE distribution hub for the provincial supply within the region. Initially, the priority was reaching out to the community to obtain PPE donations and developing a systematic approach to inventory and distribution. Later, with ever-increasing demand and broadened distributive responsibilities, the hub expanded its focus towards PPE stewardship. Alongside every order, the healthcare student volunteers began disseminating information through customized packages with up-to-date and evidence-based guidelines from appropriate governing bodies. Furthermore, the team circulated stewardship information to local practitioners during in-person and telephone conversations, in addition to the distribution of resources through various media platforms. 

The hub's operational success was only possible because of the effective collaboration of an entire consortium of individuals. Further, the stratification of responsibility, ranging from the provincial to individual level, has allowed the hub to continuously distribute PPE ethically and efficiently. As the pandemic slows and the Hub discontinues operation, we hope that our methods and emphasis on PPE stewardship will enhance the preparation for a potential second wave. 


  • Janet Dang, BHSc, MA, Transformation Lead, Thames Valley Family Health Team
  • Jonathan Hu, BMSc, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University
  • Asher Frydman, BMSc, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University
  • Peter Denezis, BSc, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University
  • Dr. Philip Vandewalle, MD, London Middlesex Primary Care Alliance


  • Jielin Lu, BSc, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University
  • Jaiden Tu, BSc, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, 
  • Arita Alija, BSc, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University,
  • Sarantos Ioannidis, BSc, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa    
  • Kelly McConnell, MA, Quality Project Coordinator and London-Middlesex PPE Hub Lead, Thames Valley Family Health Team 
  • Priyanka Singh, BMSc & HBA, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University
  • David Dunbar, BSc (Hons), Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto
    Rosie Javinsky, BSc, MSc, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University
  • Reza Naqvi, BSc (Hons), Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry,  Western University