myCovidMD, the empathy-driven community and tech-based testing and telehealth platform launched by Shared Harvest in March 2020, has received a generous $240K donation from Ballmer Group. This donation comes ahead of Shared Harvest’s crowdfunding campaign to raise $250K to expand access to testing for 10,000 Angelenos, eliminate $2M in student loan debt for frontline health providers, and to renew trust in the health system by operating culturally affirming pop-up testing sites and a contact tethering program in marginalized communities across the country.
Ballmer Group’s sizable contribution allows Shared Harvest | myCovidMD, the largest minority medical provider taskforce, founded by three African American women doctors, to expand their reach specifically in predominantly Black communities in South Los Angeles. Access to quality healthcare is limited in these communities, more so now than ever. The Ballmer Group’s donation will allow myCovidMD to further scale testing and connect healthcare volunteers and patients through their free online portal. Additionally, the funds granted by Ballmer Group will support the Student Loan Debt Relief Fund, which is an integral part of Shared Harvest’s volunteer reward program. Volunteer professionals make up the network of Community Health Partners (CHPs), virtual COVID Crisis Counselors, assist with home wellness visits, and are the people power running the pop-up drive-thru testing events. As a part of Shared Harvest, myCovidMD works with volunteer CHPs that include trained doctors, nurses, PAs, CNAs, EMTs, therapists, social workers, nutrition coaches and other frontline health providers to offer free services.
Shared Harvest | myCovidMD aims to reduce health care disparities and the intergenerational wealth gap exacerbated by ballooning student loan debt totals. Notably, African American women carry the largest percentage of student loan debt of any other group. “It is so sad to hear that the everyday heroes that we now see as essential, working to make our lives better, showing up for their communities, are silently drowning in six-figures of student loan debt. Shared Harvest wants to change that because we all benefit from their civic engagement and heart work”, states founder, Dr. Nana Afoh-Manin. “It’s time we support them in ways that matter. It’s time to eliminate their debt burden. “Volunteers receive sponsored funds for their service towards student debt reduction.
Founded in 2015, Ballmer Group provides grants and financial support to improve economic mobility, including programs like myCovidMD that work toward racial equity in the healthcare and public health systems. “Our communities deserve to be healthy and safe so that all of our kids and families can thrive,” says Nina Revoyr, executive director, Ballmer Group – Los Angeles. “Shared Harvest Fund and myCovidMD are providing vital, culturally responsive healthcare services in predominantly Black communities that have disproportionate numbers of essential workers, have been under-resourced, and have been especially hard hit by the pandemic.”
At the height of the Coronavirus Public Health crisis, Shared Harvest Foundation Founder, Nana Afoh-Manin, M.D, astutely realized that the health system, especially in marginalized communities, would be tested and overwhelmed. “We need a more unified community response,” explains the ER doctor and disaster medicine specialist. The Shared Harvest | myCovidMD™ initiative is a tactical response to systemic inequities in public health and higher education for marginalized communities of color.” They partner with local nonprofit organizations to identify safe and well-aerated public parking spaces to run the pop-ups and offer testing and wrap around social services to community members. These events decompress ER traffic, but they also quell fear and anxiety while empowering the whole community to be on the right side of history.
Ballmer Group is not the only entity taking notice. Shared Harvest is also receiving praise and support from celebrities, including professional basketball players Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan as well as political commentator, Angela Rye.
Shared Harvest Fund is a Los Angeles-based fintech solution and digital platform that breaks the shackles of student loan debt while doing good together. Founded by African American medical doctors Drs. Nana B. Afoh-Manin, Briana DeCuir, and Joanne Moreau, the social enterprise aims to eliminate student loan debt through skills-based volunteering that pays down student debt while partnering with non-profit organizations, small businesses, and corporations aiming to amplify their community impact.
The foundation’s founders have over 35 years of combined experience working in healthcare, graduate education, global health and emergency medicine and have seen firsthand how carrying high amounts of student loan debt affects the health and wellbeing of borrowers and borrowers’ households.
To learn more about the crowdfunding campaign, view the Shared Harvest Foundation GoFundMe page. For more information about the Debtfreelancers, ChangeMaker, and Harvester programs, view the Fund’s website at sharedharvestfund.org.