LONGWOOD, Fla. – A sibling duo just received another prestigious award for their not-for-profit work connecting seniors in need of telehealth services.
It’s been a busy couple of years for Hannah Verma, 2021 Yale graduate and first year medical student from Central Florida.
“This was definitely just a little aspiration my brother and I had, and now it’s turned into over 400 volunteers who are all inspired by the same mission,” Verma said.
The last time Verma was interviewed, the pandemic had forced lockdowns, and people were still waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine.
She and her brother Arjun Verma began asking neighbors and friends in Central Florida to donate old or recyclable phones and tablets to their nonprofit Telehealth Access for Seniors to provide better access to healthcare during the pandemic.
“Help from the news has really spread the word and we got so many mail-in devices,” Verma said.
Since 2020, the organization has grown dramatically. Verma said their volunteers have expanded nationally and raised about 250,000 dollars and donated almost 4,000 devices to 4,000 patients across the country.
In 2022, the Verma siblings’ nonprofit was recognized as part of the team winning a SILVER AWARD in Health nonprofit innovation for the 2022 Inaugural ANTHEM AWARDS. Telehealth Access for Seniors is now collaborating with AARP and the National VA and Rotary International.
“I’ve had the privilege of volunteering with homeless patients and veterans, and they really inspired the mission and they’re who we’re really targeting,” Verma said.
Telehealth Access for Seniors has a team of over 20 volunteers on standby to help volunteers with tech-issues via phone or email.
Verma said while COVID-19 infection numbers continue to drop, the efficiency of telemedicine during the pandemic proved it is here to stay. The American Medical Association recently released a press release on an extension of telehealth provisions.
“These virtual appointments are just so much easier and so I think this is a really important cause, it’s just not going to go away,” Verma said.