Dr. Faustino Bernadett Supports And Advises Covid-19 Containment And Recovery Efforts

Dr. Faustino Bernadett, retired Long Beach CA physician, is taking steps to aid, support, and advise local medical professionals, NGOs, community organizations and governmental entities who are working on the front lines of the COVID-19 containment effort.

Dr. Bernadett has a long history of volunteerism, charity, philanthropy, and selfless behavior, marked by service on more than a dozen charitable boards and donation of countless hours of his time to charitable causes. Today, in light of the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Bernadett is taking his efforts one step further to provide counselling, advice, and direction to those who are working on the front lines. Additionally, he is serving as a volunteer to counteract some of the economic impacts of the virus, relying on his experience and expertise in problem solving and planning.

To that end, here are some of the things Dr. Bernadett has been doing since the pandemic hit:

1. Medical Reserve Corps of Los Angeles: He registered with the Medical Reserve Corps of Los Angeles, an organization asking physicians to assist during the COVID-19 pandemic.

2. Mask Donations: Dr. Bernadett and his wife contacted a local garment manufacturer to ask if they could manufacture masks – the first 5,000 of which he and his wife committed to purchasing. Since then, the company has begun producing masks as part of the Los Angeles LA Protect initiative, with masks now on their way to clinics, nursing homes, isolated seniors, front line workers at grocery stores, and teachers.

3. Encouraging Mask Wearing Among Youth: Early on, Dr. Bernadett anticipated that some young people may be resistant to the idea of wearing masks. He subsequently reached out to teens and young adults to gather ideas on how to best influence young people to wear masks in public. He also contacted social media influencers who committed to posting pictures and videos of themselves wearing masks online, including a TikTok video challenge.

4. Ventilator Production: Dr. Bernadett is advising, in a volunteer capacity, a company that currently produces pediatric ventilators and is looking to shift production to adult ventilators using a design reliant on previously-approved FDA parts. Production is estimated to begin in June of this year.

5. Protecting Expectant Mothers from COVID-19: Dr. Bernadett advises a large local health center on how to conduct pre-natal programs using home monitoring and reporting to minimize office visits and potential exposure to COVID-19.

6. Capacity and Recovery Planning: Dr. Bernadett served as an advisor in the re-opening of Long Beach Community Hospital to expand hospital bed capacity in Long Beach. He advised on capacity planning, including the use of hotel and motel rooms and event space for purposes of quarantine, temporary housing for first responders, health workers, recovering patients, and the homeless.

7. St. Mary Hospital Foundation: Dr. Bernadett continues to serve on the board of the St. Mary Hospital Foundation and is participating in its COVID-19 response plans related to ventilator capacity.

8. Addressing the Mental Health of Isolated Older Adults: Dr. Bernadett and his wife initiated Project Sapphire, a program to reach isolated adults, especially those in assisted living and senior care facilities, with friendly telephone calls to reduce loneliness. This program has created a volunteer pool that will rapidly reach over 100 older adults by June. Dr. Bernadett is also working with the City of Long Beach Older Adult initiatives and Culver City Fire Department to reach isolated seniors. They are also sharing a white paper on the Federal Lifeline program to help isolated seniors access cell phones and broadband.

9. Protecting the Homeless: The problems and challenges faced by the City of Long Beach to address disease transmission among the homeless in Long Beach is a concern for Dr. Bernadett. To that end, he and his wife identified hotel rooms in the city that could be used for housing and they assisted in developing guidance for a discussion around how to address longer term needs by identifying tiny home contractors for long term homeless solutions. He identified models of homes made from modular components or shipping containers at the nearby Port of Long Beach and Los Angeles and identified a 2.5 acre parcel of land that could be used for development of such a temporary community. This was prompted by interest in Project Roomkey, a joint program of the state, county, and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that places homeless persons in hotels during the crisis.

10. Internet Access and Learning Materials to Children: In an effort to mitigate the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on struggling families, Dr. Bernadett’s focus is on reaching children without access to the Internet while schools have transitioned to online learning. Dr. Bernadett and his wife donated to the National 4-H Council’s Fourward campaign to support COVID-19 impacted youth in areas where no broadband exists. They commissioned a white paper on the federal Lifeline program to provide cell phone, telemedicine, and internet access to low-income families and those with school aged children. They also supported grants of over 250,000 new books to low-income children and isolated older adults.

11. Supporting Santa Teresita Catholic School in Boyle Heights: In an effort to ensure important educational facilities in impacted communities are not closed during the pandemic, Dr. Bernadett and his wife supported necessary technology upgrades and ensured broadband access to Santa Teresita Catholic School in Boyle Heights, a Catholic K-8 school at which they had previously stocked all of the books in their library. In addition, Dr. Bernadett and his wife are also paying for the costs of operating a summer school there, as well as covering the purchase of new textbooks and laptops for teachers so they can provide remote learning.

Dr. Bernadett has not performed any function that requires a medical license and he has received no financial compensation for any of the above. With such deep roots in volunteerism and charitable work, Dr. Faustino Bernadett continues to spread good throughout the community. To learn more about Dr. Bernadett’s efforts during COVID-19 and beyond, please visit https://www.bernadett.org/