May 22, 2020 SMPH COVID-19 Update

  • Updated information on UW–Madison furlough procedures were sent on Wednesday, May 20 by Mark Walters, Chief HR Officer for the university. Additional context for SMPH personnel was sent on Thursday by Associate Dean of HR Hope Broadus, and is available on the SMPH Intranet.
  • Reminder for MD program educators and learners: Information is available about changes to MD student away rotations (no changes have been made to this information since it was released on Friday, May 15; this is a reminder for those who may wish to review the announcement).   
  • Due to the Memorial Day holiday, there will not be an SMPH COVID-19 Update on Monday.


  • 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!


“Department of Medicine faculty, residents and administrators have shown so much passion and commitment to medical student education during this time! You’ve volunteered for teaching sessions in unprecedented numbers, helped deliver a robust online curriculum and shown incredible willingness and “can-do” when it comes to re-integrating students into clinical work. We are so impressed and fortunate to work with all of you. Our learners are even luckier. Thank you!”Sarah Ahrens, MD, Clinical Associate Professor; Laura Zakowski, MD, Professor (CHS); Tara Loushine, MS, CHES. Instructional Program Manager II; Abby Douglas, Associate Instructional Specialist; and Amy Moschkau, MS, Associate Instructional Specialist, all of Department of Medicine.

“Holly Johnson, Office Operations Assistant for Department of Population Health Sciences, gets it done. Holly has always been my go-to person in the PHS office, so I’m well aware that she’s kind, knowledgeable about how things work, and extremely capable. What I didn’t expect was how these qualities would make the transition to working remotely due to COVID-19 so much more do-able than it would have been otherwise. Holly responds like lightning to my many queries, and if she doesn’t know the answer, she points me directly to the person who does, so I can get my stuff done too!” – Bootsy Harden, Research Specialist, Department of Population Health Sciences.

Telecommuting tip:

  • How to be an inclusive leader through a crisis: This Harvard Business Review article outlines ways to make virtual meetings inclusive and accessible. Pointers include how to ensure equal access to technology, make virtual meetings equitable, acknowledge all meeting attendees, and understand how gender and other biases might be showing up.

 Staying strong & supporting one another: 

  • Employee emergency loan program launched: UW–Madison has established an emergency loan program to provide assistance to those employees who are experiencing financial hardship because they have been placed on Position-Specific Furlough or are working reduced hours in a Work-Share program. The loans are available at zero percent interest. More information is available on their webpage.