covid response team

ASU COVID-19 Response Team assists those in need in the heart of the Valley

By

Scott Seckel

Three days a week, an Arizona State University epidemiologist leads a team into the Pascua Yaqui tribal community of Guadalupe to track and respond to COVID-19.

Megan Jehn, an associate professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, brings a team of student volunteers into the community to assist with case investigations, contact tracing, delivering supplies and assessing needs.

ASU’s COVID-19 Response Team spends one day a week on food distribution and two others going into the community for to assist virus victims and support isolated individuals.

“Guadalupe is a much more tight-knit community than other places in the Valley,” Jehn said. “Everyone looks out for one another. Families are very grateful when we call. I think that they appreciate knowing that someone is checking in on them to make sure that they are OK. They appreciate the information and the support.” 

Gloria Karirirwe, an experienced health systems specialist and medical officer, is the team’s program manager. 

“I agree with (Megan) about the feeling of gratitude and relief that families express when we call them and offer guidance on safe isolation,” she said. “The town and its leadership have been welcoming and the working relationship is good.”

The ASU COVID-19 Case Investigation Team is affiliated with and funded by the Maricopa County Department of Public Health. The response is a coordinated effort between ASU, MCDPH, the town of Guadalupe, the Pasqua Yaqui Tribe and Native Health.

Top photo: Associate Professor of epidemiology Megan Jehn (right) talks with members of ASU’s COVID-19 Response Team Brittany Molina (left) Maya Barkman and Kimberly Prete, during their distribution of United Food Bank fare to Guadalupe residents on Aug. 4, 2020. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now