All-in Support for COVID-19 Antibody Testing
First thing on a Monday morning, Collin Rogow got the call that he’d be going to Maricopa County. Five medical clinics needed technology to support COVID-19 antibody testing.
This came after Collin, a UITS systems administrator, senior, had spent Friday and Saturday with his co-workers prepping 220 laptops, 120 label printers, and 40 bar code scanners.
The project started with University of Arizona Health Sciences. Assistant dean Ed Xia, from College of Medicine – Tucson IT Services, got an urgent but exciting project from Melissa Colchado at UAHS. His team needed to set up the equipment for six pilot COVID-19 antibody testing sites around Pima County, based on the research of two COM professors.
All parts of COM-ITS worked with the researchers on the (constantly changing) configuration needed. ITS teams designed the security they’d need for medical information, documented the setup and training, deployed the equipment, and eleven team members provided tech support.
Jerry Perry at Health Sciences Library loaned Ed laptops. When Ed shared the project during an IT campus continuity meeting, he also received bar code scanners on loan from Steve Machtley at the College of Nursing. Additional offers for help came from University Libraries, the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, and UITS.
Five days later, the six pilot sites were up.
And then 33 testing sites were needed across the state. Arizona governor Doug Ducey had funded UAHS with $3.5 million to provide antibody testing for 250,000 health-care workers and first responders.
UAHS called on UITS executive directors Tom Bourgeois and Jeremy Frumkin Wednesday, April 29. They mobilized UITS resources to support the project.
The College of Medicine knew the equipment and setup requirements, and had a quote for everything needed from vendor CDW-G. They passed the quote to Sarah Swanson, program coordinator, senior for UITS Financial Management Services. She worked with COM and University financial services to get the purchase amount approved, and placed the order Thursday, April 30.
The equipment arrived from Illinois Friday, May 1.
Workgroup & Network Consulting staff, plus Nick Lopez from the Office of Student Computing Resources, worked Friday through Saturday evening. They unboxed hundreds of laptops, installed updates, encrypted them, prepped them with the needed software and drivers, and tested the label printer and bar code scanner setup. It took ILC 140’s auditorium plus CC 130’s numerous tables to lay out all the computers to work on them.
Luckily, all the hardware was ready to go when Collin got the call Monday morning to set up the Phoenix area testing sites.
WNC needed help transporting so much equipment, and teamed up with the Network Technicians & Warehouse unit. Collin and telecommunication systems technician, senior Ian Casanova loaded up a truck and got all the sites equipped that day.
Maysoon Eshelman, director of infrastructure services for COM-ITS, was incredibly happy that evening. The first sites were up in less than a week. “We were ahead of schedule. We made the impossible actually work.”
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, plus Monday, May 11, Collin and his WNC co-worker Alex Alvarez traded off working 12- to 14-hour days, paired with a field technician every day, delivering and installing site hardware. Together, Collin and Alex logged over 2,000 miles in a week.
Both the Workgroup & Network Consulting and Network Technicians & Warehouse units are used to working efficiently to go out and meet client needs, but they had never worked together before. Both groups agreed that their first time coordinating went very smoothly.
Gabe Quiroz, director of enterprise business analysts for WNC said, “It’s the perfect example of how things can really be efficient, effective, and successful when everyone gets together with a plan. We just coordinate and get it done.”
For the six northern-most sites, WNC shipped the prepared hardware. They talked site staff through the setup via Zoom. They also sent one location with a poor internet connection a cellular modem secured for medical information.
Meanwhile, IT Services Management set up a new Amazon Connect system and phone number to serve as the support line for the testing site staff. If they have any IT issues, they’ll be able to reach WNC support directly.
With COM-ITS developing the model, other units loaning equipment for the pilot, and UITS deploying at scale, Ed Xia said, “This is a very good example of collaboration from central IT and campus IT.”
Maysoon added, “It’s really cool to be a part of something so huge. I think that’s why it was important to all of us to mobilize as quickly as we did.” She noted that all University staff are thinking about being able to come back to campus safely, and this project will help. “That’s what energized us. We felt like we were part of something big.”
90 laptops laid out across the ILC 140 auditorium for setup. Photo courtesy of Nick Lopez, OSCR.
A UITS team effort:
UITS Leadership: Jeremy Frumkin, Executive Director Research Technologies, and Tom Bourgeois, Executive Director Campus IT Partnerships
Workgroup & Network Consulting: Gabe Quiroz, Art Jacobson, Alex Alvarez, Collin Rogow, Todd Craig, Marissa De La Torre, Chris Dickey, Juan Godoy, Mark Koenig
Network Technicians & Warehouse: David Lane, Karen Egertson, Gene Timmons, Ian Casanova, Fermin Garcia, Dominic Michalsky, Guillermo Robinson, Mike Urquidez
Financial Management Services: Sarah Swanson
IT Services Management: Susan Legg, Paul Radek
Office of Student Computing Resources: Nick Lopez