March 24, 2020 COVID-19 SMPH Update

Top news:

  • Answers to FAQs about vital research activities in SMPH are available.  
  • Academic affairs reminder: Please note that no health professional students, including medical students, should volunteer in any direct patient care clinical activities.


  • Kudos are pouring in. 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 a few we’ve received so far. Stay tuned tomorrow for more!

“I would like to recognize all the SMPH Research Administrators during this challenging time. They work hard to support our faculty and researchers while maneuvering proposals, contracts, protocols, disclosures, budgets, and daily incidentals, with the expectation that they are up to date on all research news and the ever-changing government rules and regulations that affect the research we do. The unexpected changes caused by this pandemic have made all of us reflect on the many times we said, ‘when you think you have seen it all.’ This is an unexpected challenge in our progress but we will continue to work together because it is our relationships and guidance that will help all of us rise above this, and continue to support the best and the brightest.” – Debbie Meltzer, assistant dean, Office Basic Research, Biotechnology and Graduate Studies

“I want to thank Deans Robert Golden, Shobhina Chheda, and Gwen McIntosh, and the staff in UW-SMPH for all their diligent work to adapt the education of Medical Students to this difficult time. We can only imagine the stress and indecision that these circumstances cause. As a medical student community, we are grateful to have leaders that care about the education of future doctors, the well-being of students, and the safety of our patients.” – Matthew Freeman, MD-PhD student

“In the last couple of weeks the rheumatology nurses have fielded doubled volumes of calls and messages from our patients on immunosuppression who are worried about the outbreak. They have gracefully handled each one and have demonstrated the UW Health commitment to remarkable care.” – Christie Bartels, MD, MS, associate professor, Department of Medicine

“So proud I work with a department that really is working together to take care of its staff during this crisis. Special shout out to Matt Schultz, Senior Information Consultant in the Dept. of Human Oncology. He worked tirelessly to make sure staff who were going to have to work from home were equipped with secure work laptops so we could continue to perform our duties remotely. Especially those of us who are considered higher risk. Besides his already heavy workload, Matt made it a priority for us to be ready when the UW asked us to stay home. And I am also so very proud of UW–Madison for going above and beyond to take care of staff who cannot perform their tasks from home by setting up extra leave banks to accommodate their needs. So proud to be a BADGER right now. Stay safe everyone!!” – Pat Lee, Cancer Biology Administrative Assistant, Department of Human Oncology

“Three HUGE cheers for Rochelle Rannow who seamlessly assisted all of ICTR with remote set ups, access to equipment and necessary software with her usual impeccable attention to detail and professionalism. Extended THANK YOU to all ICTR supervisors and managers for lending gentle but firm redirection to all of our team members, customer and stakeholders for safety and being able to continue our important work. I feel well cared for by my UW teammates and colleagues within and outside of ICTR – thank you all!” – Sarah Esmond, Director, Collaborative Center for Health Equity


Staying strong & supporting one another: 

Campus employees can receive counseling services for personal and work-related concerns through LifeMatters. These services can be accessed via phone, text, and online.

Text, call, or visit LifeMatters, available 24/7/365:

  • Call 1-800-634-6433 or text “Hello” to 61295
  • UW Health employees, including Residents and Fellows password: UWH1
  • UW Health managers/supervisors password: UWH2
  • Faculty Physicians and UW Madison employees password: BUCKY1