Medical workers doing analysis in laboratory during corona virus outbreak

NOVA Medical School and the COVID-19 pandemic: a unique contribution

Health and Life Sciences


NOVA Medical School (NMS) of the NOVA University of Lisbon, according to its triple mission – teaching, research and community service – created the exponential medicine unit: u. me. This unit promoted the initiative “heals: healthy living systems” with the aim of materializing and accessing public and private spaces that support the quality of life and promote the health of its occupants and users. In addition, he constituted the VICTORIA Insurance Chair in Healthy Building and several associated Living Labs (especially the Living Lab APPII SI: Health and Real Estate powered by VICTORIA Seguros @ NMS, foundational pillar of the Chair).

The current COVID-19 pandemic globally revealed the enormous importance of this line of action. So in this context, the u. me: exponential medicine unit of NMS, structured the initiative “co/vida20 by NMS”, with the objective of assisting in the response and efforts to reduce the impact of this pandemic by COVID-19, in Portugal.

This initiative consists of a qualification program of the building, based on support and information, which aims to assist the manager(s) of a given building in the development and operationalization of its specific contingency plan in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this way, it translates, in its context and in its appropriation of space, the guidelines and norms of the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) and other health authorities.

The implementation of these plans raises numerous questions and even local doubts. It is therefore up to NOVA Medical School, within the framework of this initiative, to assist in its clarification through accredited and quality information, based on biomedical evidence. In this way, it not only gives direct support to the development of its own contingency plan (with certificate “co/vida20 by NMS”), but also its continuous reinforcement (continued support line and updating of technical and practical guidelines).

NOVA Medical School will also, within the “co/vida20 by NMS” framework, reiterate everyone’s efforts to help the occupants and users of the building to translate, for their micro-scenarios of use and harmonization of space, the guidelines determined by both the DGS and the health authorities, expert panels and existing biomedical evidence (as translated into their own adopted contingency plans).

Thus, in each certification process, a webinar will take place, with a panel of experts from the NOVA universe, to clarify any issues of the occupants and users of this building. These panels are also suitable for the spatial, temporal context and profile of the inhabitants of each qualifying building. We also have the availability (and in the format determined as most appropriate) of the various laboratory services of NOVA Medical School, but always in the context of a contingency plan developed in a personalized way according to the particular needs of the occupants and users of each building.

This initiative is clearly a cross-cutting and multidisciplinary response, involving all agents – inhabitants and visitors – and including all purposes – work, commerce, leisure, housing – of this ecosystem. Thus, NMS will be promoting essential principles and values of citizenship and contributing to the minimization of the epidemiological risk of all as a society.

This is truly a good example of nms’ academic service, which is integrated into interaction with the community. To this extent, the outcome of university learning and research applies in practice, focusing on working in partnership with institutions, companies and organizations. In this way, we seek to associate the best and most innovative actions of community
intervention to the fulfillment of our designs, aiming at the development of the social collective and the individual valorization of citizens.

“The current COVID-19 pandemic globally has revealed the enormous importance of this line of action. So in this context, the u. me: nms exponential medicine unit, structured the initiative ‘co/vida20 by NMS’, with the objective of assisting in the response and efforts to reduce the impact of this pandemic by COVID-19, in Portugal”

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