A community of learners improving our world, Winona State University and its Warriors have been stepping up to support the needs presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, whether through efforts by current students, faculty, alumni, or the institution itself.
When local healthcare workers needed medical equipment, WSU jumped into action to donate thousands of N95 respirators, hospital beds, thermometer covers and more. When it was apparent the Winona community needed a free way to test for COVID-19, WSU offered physical space, on-site workers, and more to make it happen. Or when Winona residents were no longer able to access a free face-to-face clinic for health and wellness, WSU students and faculty banded together to find a way to offer the resources online.
That doesn’t include the many alumni who found their own ways to help – whether it was through personally organizing the effort to feed hundreds of youth who were deprived of school lunches, or by finding innovative ways to connect elementary students to their school work and each other.
Directly and indirectly, WSU has been there to support the Winona community and beyond in the effort to overcome a world-wide pandemic.
When Winona Health needed additional medical equipment and PPE to battle COVID-19, Winona State University came to the rescue providing not only medical supplies, including more than 2,000 N95 respirators, but also iPads to keep the medical community supplied and protected during their efforts to contain the deadly virus.
When kids in the Winona area were faced with food insecurity after public schools closed in Minnesota due to the pandemic, WSU alumna and local business owner Amy Jo Marks ’97 organized a volunteer and donation effort that involved hundreds of people who worked to get lunches made and even delivered to local youth.
The mental health and wellbeing of Winonans continued to be a focus for Winona State University’s Bridges Health Winona free clinic even after their ability to see patients face-to-face was removed due to the pandemic. Shifting their programming online, the WSU student-led, faculty-guided community wellness clinic shifted to providing daily check-ins, virtual meditation, oral hygiene checks, and health-related question and answer time and opportunities to help with homework.
When pre-social work students were unable to complete their 120-hour internships, 47 Winona State University students banded together to find creative alternatives to do their volunteer work.
Two months after the pandemic hit Minnesota, WSU alum Jaci Gosse ’95 was in the captain’s chair of leading and organizing a Rochester COVID drive-through testing site that at times could test up to a patient a minute.
When face-to-face interaction with students in elementary special education was no longer an option during the COVID-19 pandemic, WSU alumnus Tyler Maroushek’19 forged a collaborative team to make sure his students were learning, connecting, and getting one on one attention.