Rising to the Challenge: OSU Develops COVID-19 Relief Portal

AFFORDABLE has the primary objective of simplifying the healthcare network for individuals in their community. By making a direct onboarding profile, other organizations should be able to find the people that most need their resources, and individuals can better explore their options for care. This has been the central focus of development for our leadership team. However, COVID started having confirmed cases in the United States around February, and people on our team have family members that were quarantined early during the outbreak. With classes all switching to virtual and the cases rapidly on the rise, we made the decision to rescope our development priorities to start building a system that could help communities this year!

This was the objective of The Ohio State University development team. Nick, Jake, Troy, and Natalie were tasked with refining the system to be able to support a COVID-19 Relief program sponsored by AFFORDABLE and other community backers. They scoped out and designed the system seen below seen below:

They worked around the clock to deliver the software that would be able to effectively work by taking the information from the people that are need of support, and refer them to admins to review their documentation. This would integrate the two programs we are currently supporting: One to address healthcare complications of COVID-19 if they lack full coverage for their care, and a Health Utilizing Grant that are small funds to help out people that have been impacted by the socioeconomic ripple effects of COVID-19. Furthermore, there was a lot of work that went into ensuring everything that occurs on the system Is secure. They improved current systems for managing a username, password, data encryption, and page permissions. We want to ensure that people will feel secure seeking support with our programs, and this team put in a lot of work to ensuring this system was put into place.

When completed, they created a video overview of all the functions and user interfaces they generated during the semester. This team was dedicated to having their work help the community as COVID rapidly grew into full scale lockdowns in their county while they were working on this project. Their professional work was used as a foundation to improve the financial transfers for our organization handled by The University of Maryland software development team overseen by Professor Jim Purtilo as part of the SEAM lab. AFFORDABLE is very proud of their accomplishments during the crisis and expect great things in to come in their future careers.

As for the AFFORDABLE platform, there is still a lot more work to be done, and OSU student developers were there to pick up the torch. Currently, a high level of technical expertise was required to manage and control the administrative work required to administer COVID-19 grants. Most of our volunteers lack this level of expertise, and therefore needed a secure way for individuals to serve as managers of our future programs, and for third party organizations that are looking to get on board with our mission. This was the task for summer developers Andy, Konrad, Yunseong, and Jake.

 They build out robust systems for people to have permissions to control applications and review the whole process from start to finish. Furthermore, they were able to implement a robust system of notifications for any activity on the AFFORDABLE application. If there is any suspicious activity, the software records all the actions performed and will allow accurate tracking of errors, bugs, or malicious activity. Should anything change that they need to be aware of, the system will alert them with customized email reports about changes to their account. Furthermore, they improved the two-factor authentication for admins such that they can reduce the risk of hackers taking their account information by using their cellular devices to verify their identity. To top it all off, the team has built a thorough suite of unit tests for the pages to ensure that they are all working as expected. Should there be any flaws, they will be able to quickly track down the functional issues and return the system to normal ASAP.

These two teams came a long way to refactor the AFFORDABLE system to adapt to the COVID-19 crisis. We are all unified in our mission to use cutting edge development tools to build a platform that will reduce barriers to healthcare. Here, they were able to build a secure system that is able to allow us to directly support the healthcare needs of their community. We sincerely appreciate their hard work and the support of The Ohio State University to sponsor projects and enable us to work together to tackle big healthcare issues.

Learn more about the developers:

My name is Natalie Hartsook and I’m a graduating senior at The Ohio State University studying Computer and Information Science. I’m from Akron Ohio but will continue to live in Columbus after I graduate to work as a software engineer. In my spare time, I enjoy playing piano, hiking, and cooking Italian food!

My name is Troy Ellison. I’m a graduating senior at The Ohio State University, majoring in Computer Science and Engineering with a minor in creative writing. I am currently working at the Ohio Supercomputer Center as an HPC Client Services Intern, and following graduation I have accepted a position at JPMorgan Chase & Co. as part of their Software Engineer Program. My hobbies include writing, reading, and video games.

My name is Nick Grosenbacher. I’m a graduating senior in the CSE program at The Ohio State University. Outside of school, I assist research at the OSU Comprehensive Cancer Center, work on collaborative research software for Sage Bionetworks, play trumpet in a jazz combo at OSU, play board/tabletop games with friends, and try to go camping when I can. After graduation, I plan to work in software engineering.

My name is Jake Taylor and I am a senior wrapping up my studies as a Computer Science & Engineering major at OSU. I have lived in the central Ohio area my whole life plan to stick around for a while. I like to stay in shape and currently coach group classes at a local CrossFit gym. Most of my development experience outside of class comes from personal iOS mobile apps. After graduation I want to get a job in software development as well as begin freelance and startup work on the side.

As a bit more introduction about myself, I’m from Lima Ohio. I went through middle and high school at Lima, plus the two years of college at OSU Lima campus. After that, I came to Columbus to finish off my degree. I was actually a psychology major, but then changed my major to computer science in my first year at OSU. As I said in the previous email, I don’t have any internship experience, but I really like React and JavaScript, so hopefully that is useful for our project.

My name is Konrad Kappel. I was born in Columbus, Ohio. I went to high school at St. Charles in Columbus, and currently I am a senior in the CSE program at OSU. I will be graduating in December 2020. I work at Ohio Supercomputer Center on the HPC Client Services team. I help clients through service ticket, but I also work on many projects there. Currently, I am working on creating automated tests for our Client Portal using Behave and Python. After graduation I would like to get a job in the web development space. A little bit about myself when I am not programming, I love to learn more about the Polish language and other Slavic languages, as I am the child of Polish Immigrants.

My name is Andy Zawada and I am from Columbus, Ohio. I attended Columbus St. Charles for high school, and I am currently a senior in the CSE program at Ohio State. I will be graduating in December 2020. This summer I am working at Nationwide Financial full time as a contractor, working on cloud migration efforts and cloud skill uplifting for our different teams. I have a background in application run support at Nationwide, and between work and personal projects have touched everything from React Native and Angular to Oracle and ESP batch processing. After graduation I am looking for an opportunity in cloud development, cloud migration, application modernization, DevOps, or site reliability engineering. A little bit about me away from the keyboard I am passionate about strength and conditioning, and am a big hockey fan. Most weekends between September and March you will find me in a hockey rink.

Hello, I’m Jake. I am a Senior Computer and Information Science Major who will be graduating in the end of August. I currently work as a Student Web Developer for the Knowledge Exchange at the College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Science. After graduation, I hope to find work as a full stack web developer.

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