April 7, 2020 COVID-19 SMPH Update

Top news:

  • We give thanks to poll workers and election officials across Wisconsin who helped with today’s election, as well as to the city and county clerks who went the extra mile to assure that polling places could be as safe as possible in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are also grateful to voters who adhered to public health measures such as social distancing, use of masks, or use of drive-by voting.

Updates for clinicians:

  • Clinical toolkit released:  A new clinical toolkit called Best Case/Worst Case: ICU (COVID-19) has been released by the SMPH Health Innovation Program. This toolkit is designed to help clinicians navigate daily conversations with patients’ families who are not permitted to visit the hospital due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was developed by Gretchen Schwarze, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Surgery and her team along with Toby Campbell, MD, MS, Associate Professor (CHS), Department of Medicine.
  • FAQs about provider liability coverage are available. This guidance applies to all those who provide clinical care at UW Health facilities, whether or not they currently have privileges and whether or not they are employed by the University, UWHCA, or UWMF. Learn more (U-Connect intranet)


  • Please send kudos about your colleagues. Honor someone at go.wisc.edu/shoutout and we’ll share the stories. Visit this page to see a collection of shout-outs to date. Stay tuned tomorrow for more!

“My supervisor, Department Administrator Rachel Kulow, has been very proactive ensuring we (her staff) have adequate resources to work remotely. Additionally, and most importantly, she has maintained a very positive and encouraging attitude during these difficult times, making the transition to working from home less cumbersome as well as helping all of us remain hopeful that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I’m really appreciative to work with her during such an uncertain time!” – Emily Kammerud, Medical Program Assistant Associate, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

“Senior Outreach Specialist Aimee Tobin coordinates an annual Diaper Drive for our department. Our donors include department staff and faculty, UW Health staff and patients, and community members. Thanks to Aimee’s creativity and dedication, this year’s diaper drive was one of our most successful. The diaper order was delivered to McConnell Hall days before the Safer at Home order. Aimee connected with several non-profit organizations and coordinated the distribution of thousands of diapers over the past few weeks. Thanks so much to Aimee and our donors for getting these much-needed supplies to families during the pandemic.” – Melody Bockenfeld, MPA, BSN, Outreach Program Manager, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology


  • Build trust in a remote environment: The key ingredient for supervisors and their teams is trust. Many supervisors are now managing a remote team and may be wondering how to measure employee productivity and quality of work. Of course, there’s no reason to believe that people won’t do the work they’ve been assigned, but your review may have to adapt to be based more on outcomes. Adapted from “15 Questions About Remote Work, Answered,” in Harvard Business Review.

 Staying strong & supporting one another: 

  • Keep calm and carry out: You can still sit back and enjoy your favorite restaurant meal from home, and support local businesses, by ordering take out or delivery. See this list of restaurants in the Madison area offering these options. Tip courtesy of Anne Stahr, MS, Director of Faculty Development Programming.