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Mississippi College Graduates Join the Fight Against the Coronavirus

Lane Wilson Bobo (MC Class of 2019) and Graham Bobo (MC Class of 2017). Both are medical students at UMMC in Jackson.
Lane Wilson Bobo (MC Class of 2019) and Graham Bobo (MC Class of 2017). Both are medical students at UMMC in Jackson.

America’s battle against the deadly Coronavirus is getting help from Mississippi College graduates at hospitals, communities and medical clinics.

At the University of Mississippi Medical Center, about 250 students are part of the institution’s COVID-19 response efforts.

As March turns to April, the student “army” on the UMMC campus in Jackson includes MC graduates Graham Bobo and his wife, Lane Wilson Bobo, both medical students.

The Clinton natives recently delivered groceries to twelve families in Mississippi’s capital city. For the first three days, the overall UMMC student response provided food to many more Jackson residents. Students also donated blood. UMMC students have done so much since the campaign began March 15.

“While times like this can be incredibly trying, it is also amazing to see a community come together,” says Lane, 22, a 2019 MC graduate. “It is a blessing to see so many people rally behind a cause that is affecting everyone right now. It gives me hope that we will all get through this by supporting one another,” she adds.

Graham Bobo, 24, a former MC soccer player, and Lane, a former Lady Choctaws cheerleader, are Clinton High graduates. Both Mississippians have a heart for serving their communities.

Lately, the focus for UMMC students shifted to providing COVID-19 care kits and providing other critical services. Graham and Lane are prepared to do whatever is asked as Coronavirus cases keep expanding exponentially across the USA.

Such outreach efforts are needed more than ever. There were 847 COVID-19 cases in Mississippi as of March 30, including 16 deaths. There are over 2,500 COVID-19 deaths reported across the USA, including 73 in New Orleans. The Crescent City joined New York City, Detroit and Chicago as hot spots.

The work for the UMMC “army” includes representatives from all seven schools on the Jackson campus. That list spans Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmacy, Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences, Population Health and Health Related Professions.

The work of UMMC students has included collecting specimens at the Mississippi State Fairgrounds for COVID-19 testing. Other students staff clinical phone lines at the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, says medical student Ezekiel Gonzalez. He chairs UMMC’s COVID-19 Student Response Team.

MC graduate Kyle Alford, a Tupelo native, is part of the team as a student at the School of Dentistry. His fiancée, Mary Morgan Haire, is a UMCC medical student and MC alumna helping the cause, too.

The strong response to COVID-19 is happening on many fronts on National Doctors’ Day on March 30. It’s an event to salute the many contributions of physicians to their communities.

Graduates of Mississippi College’s Physician Assistant Program are playing a major role confronting the health emergency across the nation.

“The Mississippi College PA Program is so proud of our graduates who are now out there working during this very critical time for our nation,” says director Steve Martin. ”They are making a very real difference in peoples’ lives.”

Martin lauded cited the work this Spring by December 2019 MC graduates Casey Collier, 39, a Houston, Texas native and LaKendry Wiley, 33, of Mobile, Alabama. They’re volunteers at the Bellevue Hospital Emergency Department in New York City, epicenter of the Coronavirus crisis. New York State reports more than 1,000 COVID-19 -related deaths. His PA studies “helped prepare us for this task,” Collier said Monday night. MC “gave us the essentials to adapt to the constantly changing medical field.”

President Trump extended social distancing guidelines through April 30 to try to control spread of the virus. The USA is the world leader with nearly 141,000 cases of COVID-19.

MC School of Nursing graduates and alumni with the Christian university’s health services administration program are also on the front lines as the virus spreads.