MN COVID-19 Testing - Help Build A Testing Lab to Fight This Virus

Please visit our GoFundMe Page.

Valley Medical and Wellness  (VMW) is a premiere chronic pain and addiction medicine practice in the greater Twin Cities Metro area, committed to combating the opioid epidemic since 2014. We strive to improve the quality of life of those suffering from pain and/or addiction through a comprehensive approach, focusing on overall wellness along with progressive and knowledgeable medical treatments.

While we remain committed to fighting the opioid epidemic, VMW is also helping to fight the COVID-19 pandemic by building and expanding our laboratory to include drive-thru community testing and telehealth screenings for all Minnesotans, as well as acting as a COVID-19 testing referral lab for local hospitals. Please visit our GoFundMe page.

VMW will be working to expand testing capacity with the health department and local hospitals that are currently overrun with suspected COVID-19 cases. We are seeking funding to provide community COVID-19 testing, as well as referral testing from local hospitals.

It is our hope to help alleviate the pressure on our local testing facilities where there is currently a bottleneck effect due to an overwhelming number of samples, resulting in delays in testing and a shortage of commercially available tests.  Due to the CDC restrictions on testing criteria, there are limits on who can be tested which contributes to the spread of disease, and potentially fatal medical complications.

By providing hospitals a resource to obtain faster test results, our campaign will help overcome the current delay in testing and the shortage of commercial test kits in our community.
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Because we are already an established medical clinic, the re-tooling and creation of Valley Medical & Wellness Laboratories, LLC allows us to collect samples and process them in house, thereby generating same-day results.

Processing samples onsite allows hospitals to cut out the intermediary steps of shipping test kits to central labs, which will result in timely diagnoses and direction of patient care to ease the burden on medical staff and patients.

Testing will be conducted under the supervision of our head medical directors and lab manager, using the protocol for testing as prescribed by the CDC. The funding provided in our campaign will go toward upgrading our current lab and staffing to BSL 2 capacity, as well as the purchase and maintenance of enough testing equipment to meet demand: 2x qPCR machine ($70,000), 4x RNA extractors ($240,000) , BSL cabinets ($20,000), reagents ($35,000), PPE including gowns, face shields, gloves, boot covers, etc. ($20,000), Consultants/staffing overhead and IT infrastructure ($70,000).

There are multiple strains of coronavirus, and currently RT-PCR is the best method to properly distinguish the COVID-19 strain.  RT- PCR helps us identify COVID-19 by amplifying parts of the virus through various steps.  We can deliver certified test results in about 4 hours, allowing for approximately 1000 tests per day, rather than days of backlog that has been piling up in testing facilities.

By utilizing already available technology, this allows us to obtain accurate and quick results without having to wait for commercial test kits to become available and processed at central labs.
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The overall goal of our campaign is to provide accurate, same-day test results for Minnesotans, where there are testing shortages and limits on testing capabilities. To meet demand, we need help from our community to fund our lab expansion in accordance with legal guidelines.

It has been estimated that the peak number of COVID-19 cases will occur in Minnesota in late April or early May. Because of this, we hope to start expansion without delay. We will be breaking ground on our lab expansion on April 6th, 2020, with a goal completion of April 26th, 2020, and we will start analyzing samples on April 27th, 2020.

Your contributions will help us battle this global pandemic by re-tooling and expanding Valley Medical & Wellness Laboratories, LLC.

As we are sure you will understand, we cannot exchange any goods or services (including a promise of a test) for any donations made for this cause.

Please share this campaign - your support is vital in combating COVID-19 - even if you cannot contribute to the funding, sharing this message shows your support.

Thank you for assistance in helping fight this global crisis!

Visit our GoFundMe Page HERE.

Author
Kate Cummings Kate graduated from Winona State University in 2016 with a BS in Cell & Molecular Biology. She has been with Valley Medical and Wellness (VMW) since 2017. She began her tenure with VMW as a Medical Assistant working with physicians and participating in procedures and intake of chronic pain and addiction patients. She was able to transfer her talents to clinic administration in her role as a Patient Care Coordinator in 2019 and then in 2020 as the Patient Scheduler Supervisor where she works closely with clinical operations, management and support, as well as assisting in the operation of our Covid-19 testing sites and various clinical project management duties and business growth initiatives. In her free time, Kate enjoys camping, hiking, gardening, reading, traveling, and spending time with friends, family, and her fiancé, Garret, and Australian Sheppard, Luna.

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