UAB’s coronavirus testing site receives $200,000 grant from Hyundai Hope On Wheels®

A grant from Hyundai Hope On Wheels® will help UAB sustain future COVID-19 testing capabilities.

From side, a medical professional is wearing a medical gown, mask, and gloves while standing beside a parked SUV underneath a tent at the Downtown COVID-19 Testing Site sponsored by UAB Medicine and the Jefferson County Department of Health on March, 23, 2020.The University of Alabama at Birmingham has received a $200,000 grant from Hyundai Hope On Wheels® and Hyundai Motor America to help expand drive-through testing for the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak. This grant will support existing testing initiatives at the UAB Medicine appointment-based Downtown COVID-19 Testing Site, sponsored in partnership with the Jefferson County Department of Health.

“The Hyundai COVID-19 drive-through testing grants are designed to get urgent financial support to institutions on the frontline in the fight against the coronavirus,” said Jose Munoz, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor North America. 

The grant will help sustain the daily support and supplies needed to keep the testing site in operation, which includes more than 100 volunteers, seven days a week. Volunteers include clinicians and clinical and non-clinical staff from information technology, telecommunications and call center staffing, registration, laboratory and facilities professionals, and police officers. 

“The generous $200,000 donation from Hyundai Hope On Wheels® will help UAB’s drive-through coronavirus testing site and other sites in Jefferson County provide much-needed screenings for even more people in our community,” said UAB Medicine CEO Will Ferniany, Ph.D. “Support like this gift from Hyundai Hope On Wheels® helps our frontline medical staff understand that they are not alone in this fight. This grant will help further UAB’s commitment to providing access to communitywide testing.”

The grant will also be used to expand access for pediatric-specific testing services. Currently, 20 percent of UAB Medicine’s Downtown Testing Site patient population is age 25 and under, and UAB Medicine leadership — along with the UAB Department of Pediatrics and Children’s of Alabama— hopes to continue to expand testing access for this demographic.

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“We express our sincere thanks for this generous gift to support drive-through COVID-19 testing in Birmingham. This is an unprecedented time, and Hyundai’s response strongly underscores the commitment the company has to the communities in which they operate,” said Girish Dhall, M.D., director of the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s of Alabama and director of UAB’s Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, and Blood & Marrow Transplantation. “The Alabama Center for Childhood Cancers and Blood Disorders at Children’s of Alabama has long been the beneficiary of such outstanding support from Hyundai, through their Hyundai Hope On Wheels® program, which seeks to help find cures.”

From side, man wearing a safety vest is directing traffic into the Downtown COVID-19 Testing Site for the novel coronavirus sponsored by UAB Medicine and the Jefferson County Department of Health on March, 23, 2020.Those who believe they need a test can call 205-975-1881 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. to schedule appointments at the Downtown Testing Site. Appointments will be scheduled from 9 a.m.-11:15 a.m. seven days a week. Those who are given appointments will be asked to arrive no more than 15 minutes before their scheduled appointment time and to follow the detailed instructions located on-site.

The site is appointment-based to help with easy access and to avoid traffic delays and long wait lines for those coming for testing. The on-site instructions for the Downtown Testing Site include:

  • You must have an appointment to be tested.
  • You must have a cellphone to communicate with staff at the testing site.
  • Tune your radio to 90.7 FM for important testing instructions.
  • Do not roll down your window until instructed to do so.
  • Stay inside your vehicle.

Testing results should be available within seven days. Anyone who is given an appointment to be tested should remain self-quarantined until they receive their results and maintain social distancing even if the result of the test is negative.