USAA and The USAA Foundation, Inc. on May 19 announced $6.3 million in assistance to military families and communities affected by COVID-19, including gifts that will expand vaccine research and critical testing capacity at UT Health San Antonio for patients and front-line health care workers.

USAA’s gifts include $500,000 that will allow UT Health San Antonio to purchase a Panther System, a fully automated sample-to-result instrument that can increase the number of tests performed. The funds also will be used to acquire reagents needed to operate the Panther, and computer interfaces needed to integrate the Panther with UT Health San Antonio’s existing laboratory information system.

UT Health San Antonio’s medical, nursing and dental practices are increasing the number of patients being scheduled for procedures in accordance with easing of restrictions in Texas.

The USAA support for COVID-19 vaccine research and treatment efforts is through the San Antonio Partnership for Precision Therapeutics. UT Health San Antonio is a partnership founding member with Southwest Research Institute, Texas Biomedical Research Institute and The University of Texas at San Antonio.

“We are indebted to USAA for providing this generous funding to further strengthen our COVID-19 rapid response,” said William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, president of UT Health San Antonio. “Expanded testing is essential to human health, and vaccine development is the long-term answer to eradication of this coronavirus.”

Other USAA gifts will provide financial support for military families, funds for preventing food insecurity in San Antonio and USAA campus locations, and support for online working and education for low- to moderate-income students and families.

“USAA’s mission calls us to help military families achieve financial security, and we believe that supporting military-focused organizations and the communities where we work and live is part of that mission,” USAA President and CEO Wayne Peacock said. “We’re proud to work with vital organizations that appreciate and respect the sacrifices of military families, to lend a hand in this time of great need.”

A previously announced additional $1 million supports the San Antonio Food Bank. Since early March, USAA and The USAA Foundation, Inc. have committed more than $10.7 million to military-focused, national and local nonprofit organizations in communities across the nation.

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KENS 5: USAA donates $6.3 million to local, national organizations to aid in the pandemic