UA Student Volunteers at COVID-19 Test Site

  • April 7th, 2020

Matthew Roy, a junior biology major from Coto de Caza, California, has always looked for opportunities to support his local community and recently found himself in a position to make a positive impact in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A headshot of Matthew Roy at a beach
Matthew Roy

Roy, who plans to apply for medical school next year, was contacted by a member of Project Health who was looking for volunteers to assist at the COVID-19 test site at the Ross Bridge Medical Center in Hoover.

“I’ve done my best to always be an active part of the community and give back to the people that help shape me into the person I’ve become,” said Roy. “This was a way for me to help the medical community that has invested so much in me and affirmed my desire in pursuing medicine.”

Roy was one of a small number of volunteers when the test site started to see a surge in patients. This allowed him to take on various supporting roles, including scheduling appointments with medical providers to contact patients through telemedicine and swabbing patients for test samples.

“The experience allowed me to see just how vulnerable we are to the virus,” said Roy. “But a positive takeaway was seeing how we’re all rising to the challenge, whether that’s by caring for our fellow humans or daily innovations that address the many facets of this crisis.”

Roy hopes his peers take this situation seriously and don’t feel as if they’re invincible to the pandemic.

“Statistics are constantly changing and reveal that younger populations are more vulnerable than initially perceived,” said Roy. “Additionally, we can’t simply focus on our own health and must consider the effects of our actions on the well-being of others.

“This is especially important, considering the shortage of medical supplies, because we do need to flatten the curve so we’re able to give care to all those in need.”

The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.