Most teenagers can't wait to save enough money to buy a car. That was Adil Amanullah just a few months ago. But after seeing the affect COVID-19 had been taking on his own family of healthcare heroes and learning about the challenges of hospital patients who could no longer see their loved ones, he decided to put his savings to use in a different way.
Amanullah is a rising junior at Lancaster Country Day School. He's a member of the Future Medical Professionals Association, an ambassador at his school and a member of the tennis, chess and robotics teams. He's poised and energetic, expressing his ideas with eloquence not typical of a teenager.
"I was saving up for a car, as I'm turning 16 soon, but realized this was a greater need and that I could contribute to it in a meaningful way," said Amanullah.
His mother, Vinitha Moopen, M.D., is a pediatrician at WellSpan Rothsville Family and Pediatric Medicine, and his father, Shakeel Amanullah, M.D., is a pulmonary critical care specialist who works in an intensive care unit at a local hospital. His father must isolate himself from the rest of the family inside their home while working his schedule of clinical care.
Prior to COVID-19, WellSpan's IT department, supply chain services and the WellSpan Medical Group were working with the WellSpan Language and Interpretation Services team to utilize tablets as video remote interpretation devices. Christopher Neal from the IT department then suggested adding a video conferencing app to the tablets to be used in direct patient care.
Physicians and advanced practice providers started seeing some patients along with the interpreters virtually, instead of going into the patients' rooms, minimizing exposure and the use of precious personal protective equipment.
Soon thereafter, the tablets were used to help patients communicate with their families. As the pandemic continues, this has become increasingly important.
Upon learning of this process, Amanullah saw an opportunity to purchase six tablets to donate to WellSpan Health for use across the system to connect patients with loved ones who could not visit in-person.
"Being the son of two physicians, I'd hear daily stories about patients being isolated from their loved ones, unable to see them or speak with them," said Amanullah. "These stories just made me feel horrible!"
Amanullah's generosity didn't stop there. He wanted to make as much of an impact as possible, knowing that there were far more patients across the world that couldn't connect with loved ones.
And that's why he decided to take his efforts to the next level, founding Patient Family Connections, a non-profit organization verified by the state in early July and pending federal approval as a 501c3. He hopes to take his efforts nationwide, collecting and distributing donations where they're needed most.
You can learn more about the organization and support his efforts by visiting the website, patientfamilyconnections.com.
To donate to WellSpan Health's efforts in this pandemic, please visit WellSpan's Coronavirus 'I Want to Help' webpage.