April 13, 2020 COVID-19 SMPH Update

Top news:

  • Events and meetings canceled through June 30: UW–Madison has extended the cancellation of non-essential in-person campus events and meetings through June 30. In-person meetings of essential personnel should be limited to only those that are absolutely critical and should never include more than 10 people. Virtual or alternative formats for meetings should be used whenever possible. 

Other news:

  • Overnight entrance points closed at University Hospital: UW Health indicates that two entrance points to University Hospital will be locked (no entry permitted) nightly from 6:00 pm to 5:00 am. The affected doors are the ground-level entrance to the hospital that is across from the Medical Foundation Centennial Building (MFCB), and the entrance point that is accessed from the walkway bridge between MFCB and the hospital. Closures are occurring because health screenings are required upon entry, and these locations will not be staffed for such screenings overnight.
  • Email scam alert: The Cybersecurity Operations Center at UW–Madison is aware of an active phishing campaign targeting Webex users. While UW–Madison is not currently a target, please be vigilant if you receive emails stating your Webex software is out of date. If you receive such an email, select “Report phish” in Outlook. If you accidentally clicked the “join” button in such an email, immediately change your NetID passwordMore information


  • 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!

“Dr. Michael Fiore, Director of the UW Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention, has earned a well-deserved shout-out for coordinating with other colleagues to protect the health of the Center staff while implementing a valuable online format for the business of this Center to continue. As with other university programs, it has been necessary to curtail research participant/staff interactions. Yet much of the Center business is able to continue through at-home work stations, Sunday email updates from Dr. Fiore and plans for the week, Monday brown bags held through WebEx meetings and, especially, endorsing a daily staff photo-share, in which staff submit photos of their stay-at-home trials, tips, adventures, and misadventures. The photo-share has been enlightening and amusing and has kept us connected throughout our separation.” – submitted on behalf of members of the UW Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention

“As many would appreciate, our new Chief Clinical Research Officer Betsy Nugent is getting a real workout during her first six months with UW! Thank you to Betsy and her rapidly growing clinical trials enterprise team for your unwavering commitment, and to rapidly mobilizing resources and expertise from many corners to ensure diverse campus and community stakeholders are part of SOLUTIONS TO COVID 19!” – Sarah Esmond, MS, Director, Collaborative Center for Health Equity

“We would like to thank our leadership and co-workers at the Population Health Institute (PHI) for their continued dedication during this challenging time. Director Dr. Sheri Johnson continues to be an exceptional leader and has prioritized mental health and well-being for the team. To help the team remain connected, she is hosting informal weekly huddles to keep everyone informed, share positive stories, and promote connection and self-care. Dr. Johnson is helping lead the team as we consider our contributions to the COVID-19 crisis. Other leaders and team members in PHI have coordinated a volunteer response to assist health departments throughout the state and DHS’ statewide response. A team of action researchers mobilized in 48 hours to compile over 190 COVID-19 response strategies for vulnerable populations and is working on a shareable resource. Some members of PHI are working with the DHS response team. More volunteers continue to mobilize and get trained for a direct response. The team has rapidly transitioned to these other roles to contribute their time and population health expertise to address this pandemic. Thank you to the team and, thank you for your leadership, Sheri!” – Erin Schulten, MPH, MBA, Program Manager, on behalf of colleagues at the Population Health Institute

Telecommuting tip:

  • Leave your telecommuting workspace when you’re done. When work is over for the day, remove yourself from the space or at least shut down your computer and put it away. It will give you a needed mental break and also help create a separation of work and personal life.

Staying strong & supporting one another: 

  • Normalizing quarantine: It is normal to experience negative emotions when quarantined. By recognizing these emotions, we can support ourselves and each other to get through the experience. It may be helpful to remember that by staying home, you are supporting the well-being of patients and colleagues, which is greatly appreciated. Adapted from Mariah Quinn, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor (CHS) and Director of Provider Well-Being in the Department of Medicine