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Helping Michigan Medicine workers during COVID-19

New website pairs workers with volunteers ready to help.| Short Read

Our campus, like the global community, is contending with COVID-19 and working to adapt to a new normal. Many are rapidly working on solutions. See all COVID-19 developments from University of Michigan Engineering.


Michigan Medicine practitioners whose lives have been upended by the COVID-19 crisis are getting help, in the form of a website that pairs them with community volunteers who can lend a hand with basic tasks like grocery shopping, child care and dog walking.

Starting today the site, Internal Medicine Family Support Network at Michigan Medicine, is open to Michigan Medicine Department of Internal Medicine faculty, staff and trainees. It was developed by the Center for Healthcare Engineering and Patient Safety (CHEPS), part of the U-M Department of Industrial Operations and Engineering. Its creators have been working over the past week to populate it with volunteers; more than 20 have already stepped up to help.

“We’re eager to help our Michigan Medicine colleagues who are putting themselves on the front lines in ways that most of us don’t have to,” said Amy Cohn, an industrial operations and engineering professor and Arthur F. Thurnau professor. “The site is certainly nothing fancy, it was more a matter of finding a group of people who were willing to roll up their sleeves and get the job done quickly.”

Cohn was a member of the team who developed the website, which was initially proposed by the Internal Medicine Diversity, Equity and Well-Being team at Michigan Medicine. The website development team also included CHEPS and IOE staff members Elizabeth Fisher, Rod Capps and William Pozehl.

Anyone who is willing and able to help can volunteer on the site, which seeks volunteers for child care, pet care, shopping, tutoring and general assistance.

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  • Amy Cohn

    Amy Cohn

    Arthur F Thurnau Professor, Professor of Industrial and Operations Engineering

Jay Guo holds a sheet of flexible transparent conductor on the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering North Campus. The material sandwiches a thin layer of silver between two “dielectric” materials, aluminum oxide and zinc oxide, producing a conductive anti-reflection coating on the sheet of plastic.

Making plastic more transparent while also adding electrical conductivity

Michigan Engineers change the game by making a conductive coating that’s also anti-reflective. | Medium Read