Alameda Health System (AHS) recently updated monitors due to the implementation of our new electronic health record. Instead of disposing of the upgraded equipment, we donated the 2,000 monitors to Tech Exchange, an Oakland based company dedicated to providing digital equity to residents across the East Bay. On October 23, 2019 they held an event with Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) where interns from our HealthPATH program received free desktop computers or laptops at a minimal cost.
“Our mission to provide care for the future has begun with our HealthPATH partnership with OUSD that encourages young people to consider health careers. This computer giveaway event reinforces our commitment by expanding access to technology essential to our next generation of leaders,” said AHS chief information officer Mark Amey who attended a donation event at Oakland High School.
In the Bay Area 1.5 million residents do not have internet access, forty-one percent of low-income households lack home internet and a computer and seventy percent of high school teachers assign homework requiring online connectivity. Tech Exchange, provides computers, laptops, free or reduced internet service and basic technology training to vulnerable populations. They also provide free mobile hotspots to OUSD students.
“This is a great opportunity for me. I can use the computer to do homework or if I have free time, to watch Netflix,” said Nathan Tang, AHS HealthPATH intern and computer recipient. “As a child, I thought I wanted to be a doctor. With HealthPATH and computer access I am able to explore the medical career field even more and I see my options expanding.”
As an anchor institution, we recognize that educational attainment is critical to the health of the community and we hope that this small donation will help students on their path to academic and professional achievement.
“There are so many things those of us with computers take for granted like being able to email our doctors or access student portals where homework and class activities are posted. Believe it or not, some people still have to go into a bank to do things most of us can do online. This is what I love about my job. I get to give people access to basic resources so they could succeed. I feel like a perpetual Santa Claus,” said Seth Hubbert, executive director of Tech Exchange.
In addition to OUSD, Tech Exchange will use donated equipment to offer basic computer literacy classes at low-income housing sites and provide basic coding classes for students. To benefit from Tech Exchange services participants must be low-income, receive free or reduced lunch or be enrolled in Medi-Cal.
For more information about Tech Exchange or to donate equipment please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.