USF Health Pandemic Research & Response Fund: Where We Are Now

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Pandemic Research and Response Fund As the novel coronavirus continues to wreak havoc around the world, healthcare workers have become key soldiers on the frontline of the crisis. In the midst of the outbreak, USF Health medical professionals are working tirelessly to address the nation's swab shortage for COVID-19 tests, research solutions, expand testing for the virus in the Tampa Bay community, and continuing to care for patients. In April, Tampa philanthropist and USF alumna, Mary T. Pipino, made a generous gift of $50,000 to launch the USF Health Pandemic Research & Response Fund. USF Health also received a $36,000 gift from United States Senator Rick Scott. The USF Health Pandemic Research & Response Fund has supported the immediate and long-term needs of USF Health to prevent, treat and train for a pandemic response. This fund supports research efforts and is helping to fight the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has affected the lives of millions. Almost 500 donors have now made a gift to raise nearly $200,000 to conduct important research and prepare frontline health care workers in the Tampa Bay area to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Other 2.9% 3D Printed Nasal Test Swabs 29.7% Research 35.9%

Equipment 13.3% Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) & Training 18.3%

*As of 9/29/2020

USF Health COVID-19 Response

WHERE WE ARE NOW 3D PRINTED NASAL SWAB The USF-designed 3D printed nasal swab that broke into national news in late March is now being used by hundreds of hospitals, academic medical centers, many state governments, international agencies and health care facilities.

25 million+

When traditional testing swabs became scarce in March, USF Health partnered with the leading 3D printing company Formlabs, New York's largest health care provider Northwell Health, and Tampa General Hospital to produce and test the 3D printed nasal swab to address emergency shortages that hospitals and health care teams were facing as testing for COVID-19 increased.

Dr. Summer Decker, USF Health Radiology Director, 3D Clinical Applications

COVID-19 Test Kits Produced

80,000+ Patients tested worldwide with USF Health designed swab

USF Health holds a provisional patent on the concept and design of the new 3D printed swab, but shared this information with organizations around the world. Since the first batches of 3D printed swabs were processed, tens of millions of the USF Health-invented devices have been used in 22 countries. Dr. Summer Decker directs the USF Health Radiology-TGH Division of 3D Clinical Applications, a group with expertise in creating and printing 3D anatomical models for surgeons and other clinicians as well as designing medical devices. A multisite clinical trial led by the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and its primary hospital affiliate, Tampa General Hospital, has now provided the first evidence that 3D-printed alternative nasal swabs work as well, and safely, as the standard synthetic-flocked nasal swabs.

USF Health COVID-19 Response

WHERE WE ARE NOW COVID-19 CONFIRMED CLINIC In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, USF Health created the COVID-19 Confirmed Clinic.* The virtual clinic provided follow-up services to more than 5,000 patients with COVID-19 from March through November 2020. Medical students, along with nurse practitioner students, played vital roles including regularly following up with patients and building databases to analyze which factors contribute to COVID-19 risk or protection. Virtual appointments offered volunteers a way to track continued symptoms and well as help patients on the road to full recovery.


Discharged patients


Telemedicine appointments completed


Staff and students involved since inception of clinic

“Our COVID-19 Confirmed clinic has been an important part of our great TGH/USF response to the pandemic,” said Dr. Elimarys Perez-Colon, assistant professor of medicine, vice chief of medicine at Tampa General Hospital, and medical director of the COVID-19 Confirmed Clinic. “We have been successful in offering close follow up to patients keeping them out of the hospital when able, monitor patient’s vital signs remotely to identify patients at higher risk, safely linking patients to care and offering education and reassurance to patients with COVID-19 in the Hillsborough county. The data collected will assist our department of health to better understand the distribution and epidemiology of COVID-19 in our county."

*As of November 12, 2020, the COVID-19 Confirmed Clinic administration was absorbed by Tampa General Hospital and was renamed the TGH Transitions Clinic.

"Thanks to the generosity of donors, we have launched what has become a nationally acclaimed COVID-19 pool testing program at the University of South Florida. We look forward to continuing our research and innovation as we combat this virus and work towards finding a cure." Kevin Sneed, PharmD Dean, USF Health Taneja College of Pharmacy Senior Associate Vice President, USF Health

Development and Alumni Relations 12901 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., MDC 70 | Tampa, FL 33647 813.974.1470 |

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