Hyundai Hope On Wheels® and San Antonio-area Hyundai dealers have awarded UT Health San Antonio a $100,000 grant for COVID-19 testing. The university is one of 22 health institutions throughout the nation to share in a total of $4 million awarded this year through the Hyundai Hope On Wheels program.

The gift will be used to provide on-campus COVID-19 testing for UT Health San Antonio faculty physicians, medical residents, researchers, nurses, students and all employees. Funding will also be used to test patients with COVID-19 symptoms who are referred to the drive-through testing site by UT Health San Antonio primary care physicians.

“We are very grateful for this funding,” said UT Health San Antonio President William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP. “Our university is devoted to public health through our missions of caring for patients, discovering cures and educating the next generation of health care providers. As we are integrally involved in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the region, this funding will help us prevent the spread of the new coronavirus to our patients, to our workforce and to their families.

He added, “We also are happy to be able to extend COVID-19 testing to our primary care patients. This will help us ensure that they receive testing that will help us evaluate and monitor them.”

Many UT Health San Antonio faculty are front-line health care providers deployed throughout the city and county to provide care for COVID-19 patients. Others are working in dozens of research labs newly dedicated to seeking vaccines and treatments for the disease. Faculty also are educating hundreds of new health care providers including doctors, nurses, dentists, respiratory therapists and scientists, and are serving in advisory roles to community leaders related to the pandemic.

While this is the 12th year that Hyundai Hope On Wheels has provided funding to UT Health San Antonio, it usually is awarded for research and care for pediatric cancer. With the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s focus is different.

“As a global automaker, we continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and its potential harm to the U.S. and beyond,” said Jose Muñoz, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor North America. “A best practice that was crucial in South Korea’s handling of the coronavirus was drive-through testing. This approach protects the health care workers and patients from the potential spread of the virus, while diagnosing those most in need.”

Since 2007, Hyundai and the Hyundai Hope on Wheels foundation have provided more than $1.7 million to UT Health San Antonio.