May 6, 2020 SMPH COVID-19 Update

  • A total of approximately 1,000 SMPH employees attended two Webex information sessions today about the campus-wide furlough program. The SMPH HR team is preparing answers the many questions that were submitted during the two sessions. An updated FAQ will be available on the SMPH Intranet by Friday, in addition to a copy of the presentation. Please continue to refer to the campus-wide furlough website, which is being revised frequently.
  • Updated guidance has been released by the campus Office of Human Resources about the use of cloth face coverings in the workplace.
  •  Be alert for e-mail scams involving human resources phishing attempts. Actively circulating scams impersonate Chancellor Blank or the recipient’s human resources department. If you receive such a message, click “Report phish” in Outlook. Do not click on any links. If you did click on a link, immediately change your NetID password using these instructions.


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

“Nephrology fellowship coordinator Samantha (Sam) Strennen has been a complete rock star in continual support of our fellowship program. She has investigated the best way to conduct fellow conferences to ensure social distancing and most recently, she seamlessly pulled together an afternoon of simulation experience for our fellows that allowed them to interact with a “patient” while being observed by a faculty advisor and redo omg the entire experience for feedback from the program director. Sam is a shining star who always finds a way to make it happen!” – Audrey Nelson, MHA, CPME, Division Administrator, Department of Medicine

Telecommuting tip:

  • Reducing decision fatigue during remote work: The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing us to rapidly grapple with difficult decisions in an unsettlingly new context, which can lead to burnout and “decision fatigue.” Advice includes establishing daily routines that minimize decision making and focusing on how the situation is not permanent. See these BBC and Trello articles for more information and tips.

 Staying strong & supporting one another: 

  • Curated resources for the Madison community: A group of volunteers has gathered a crowdsourced, robust list of resources to address financial, logistical, and emotional challenges of COVID-19. An additional resource collection has been generated by the Office of Community Health in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health.