Three SHSP Students Volunteer for Nationwide COVID-19 Data Collection Project
The students played an important role in collecting COVID-19 data related to case counts, cases in relation to race and ethnicity and vaccination distribution throughout the country.
Three New York Medical College (NYMC) students in the School of Health Sciences and Practice (SHSP) were among a group of more than 1,2000 student volunteers in the COVID-19 Data Project, an initiative to collect data from local health departments throughout the country, including Westchester County, to display the effect of the virus on certain communities. The students, Yalda Jabarkhyl M.P.H. ’21, Shatha Alaboudi, a M.S. student in biostatistics, and Abrar Alotaibi M.S. ’21, all helped obtain and verify the data pertaining to case counts and deaths related to COVID-19.
The project was developed by BroadStreet, a company that focuses on data collection, to provide a clear and easily accessible picture of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on local communities.
“Since the pandemic, as an M.P.H. student, I haven't been able to attend classes in real-time or make any connections with any of my colleagues, so I clicked through the website and learned more about the project,” said Ms. Jabarkhyl, who volunteers for the project. “I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to make connections and learn about data entry with other M.P.H. students, epidemiologists, statisticians, data scientists and health care experts, all around the United States.
The available data includes COVID-19 cases and mortalities, cases by race and ethnicity, pandemic policies and executive orders, as well as vaccine distribution data.
The data collected is used to develop interactive maps for users to mouse over counties throughout the country and see case counts and even areas deemed as high risk due to socioeconomic status. The maps show that most of Westchester County saw a high number of cases and some communities in White Plains and Elmsford are even considered high risk.
“This project allows me to interact with data as a student in biostatistics, which expands my knowledge in collecting and analyzing data based on ethnicity and/or assessment of COVID-19 policies,” said Ms. Alotaibi.
Ms. Alotaibi has been involved with the project since March 2021 and collects COVID-19 case and death data for counties in Montana, New Mexico, South Dakota and Colorado.
Ms. Jabarkhyl, who has also been at the project since March 2021, has taken great pride in her work and hopes to become more involved.
“I love that I have a whole community of my own where I can ask for advice and learn from others in the same career path as me,” said Ms.Jabarkhyl, who is pursuing a career in epidemiology. “So, for this reason, being a part of this project means more than just a bullet point on a resume.”