March 20 2020 COVID-19 SMPH Update

Top news:

  • Virtual Match Day was an inspiring success: More than 900 people tuned into the livestream this morning to view members of the MD Class of 2020 celebrate and announce their residency destinations. For a highlight video, photos and links to news coverage,  visit
  • Advisory regarding graduate students: Please note that UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD A GRADUATE STUDENT BE FORCED OR PRESSURED TO WORK ON CAMPUS, including in labs where permission has been granted for the continuation of limited research activity.
  • From the SMPH Office of Global Health: The difficult decision has been made to cancel all UW-Madison spring and summer global health programs. This affects all SMPH faculty-led field programs, independent student projects, and elective clerkships. More information about alternative experiences will be sent next week to affected students.


  • You. Are. Amazing. So many SMPH colleagues and learners are rising to the challenges of this intense time. Honor someone at and we’ll share the stories. Here are some we’ve received so far:

“I want to sincerely thank all of the oncology nurses who are working tirelessly despite the COVID19 situation to care for our cancer patients.” – Dustin Deming, MD, associate professor, Department of Medicine

“I am immensely grateful for the talent, tenacity, time, and thoughtful service that Jeff Korab (Director, Academic Information Systems) and Kristin Simon (Manager, Educational Technology), as well as their team members, have brought to our SMPH community day after day to serve our health professional degree programs in this time of incredible upheaval and uncertainly. They have done a truly remarkable job responding to the information and educational technology needs of multiple programs and units as the amazing faculty and staff in those programs have tried to quickly develop and deploy virtual courses for all of our health professional students when face-to-face classes and hands-on clinical learning were abruptly suspended due to the growing concerns about COVID-19 in our community. We are poised to help our seniors graduate on time and have creative plans in place to support ongoing virtual learning for all students thanks to the often behind-the-scene extraordinary efforts of Jeff and Kristin as they work with our curriculum focused faculty and staff – faculty and staff who have repeatedly told me how much they appreciate Jeff and Kristin’s help. I share my deepest appreciation!” – Elizabeth Petty, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

“Alec Lerner posted on the Class of 2021 UW SMPH Facebook group some easy ways to do some good for Madison. He provided links for and COVID-19-specific details on American Red Cross blood donation and on volunteering with Second Harvest Foodbank. I was so caught up in my own school woes that I almost completely lost sight of who really needs help. Thank you for bringing me back to Earth with such useful suggestions, Alec.” – Camila Khan, SMPH MD student

“Laddie Johnson has kept us moving in our department since all the changes in COVID-19. He has worked on setting up programs and instructions for other conferencing options and ways to keep us working from home. He has given us ways to be able to do our daily jobs and keep our faculty able to keep up with their research and research contacts by setting this all up. As systems became overloaded he has given us new ways to connect and other options. I am very grateful for his help and the knowledge that he has in computer programs and their ability to keep us all connected. Thank You!– Ruth Simmons, Medical Program Assistant Senior, Department of Medicine

“I would like to give a shout-out to the Department of Anesthesiology Critical Care Division. While the pressures and stresses from the university, community & governments increase, the expectation to succeed also increases. Through this difficult time this team has unconditionally stepped up to and adapted on the fly to every challenge and hurdle thrown at them these past weeks. While the worst has yet to come, this team still manages to stay calm, cool, and collected. They have given up sleep, academic projects, and what little personal time they have, to devote themselves to being prepared for an unknown unprecedented number of critical care patients in the future. Through the darkest part of this pandemic this team will be continually fighting for those affected the most in our community to overcome this. While this group of individuals does not do what they do for the money or recognition, but simply for the love of there community and patients. They deserve to be recognized and know that a thousands of people are rooting and supporting you! Go team!” – Austin Gokey, Medical Program Assistant Associate, Department of Anesthesiology


  • Here are some teleworking tips that we’ve received from SMPH colleagues in response our call for suggestions. Have others to recommend? Let us know.
    • “”[For colleagues needing to] recreate workspaces with second screen at home, Here is a hint for those with a Macintosh and an iPad. – Eric Schauberger, DO, PhD, Assistant Professor (CHS), Department of Pediatrics
    • “To edit documents in UW-Madison Box, click on the three dots indicated below, select “Open with” and “Word Online.” This way you don’t have to worry about backups (i.e., if you spill coffee on your home computer).” – Elizabeth Way, MS, Medical Program Assistant Senior, Department of Pathology and Lab Medicine

Staying strong & supporting one another: 

  • Recommended by Mariah Quinn, MD, MPH, assistant professor (CHS), Department of Medicine: Consider “three good things” at the end of the day. This simple positive psychology exercise has been studied in healthcare workers. It’s easy. For about 5 minutes, write down your responses to: “What are the three things that went well today?” and “What was your role in bringing them about?”
  • Corrected link: UW Health is launching a process to match the childcare needs of their essential healthcare workers with individuals available to provide care. If you are available, willing and able to provide childcare, please complete the survey.