May 29, 2020 SMPH COVID-19 Update

Top news:

  • Guidance for “Research Reboot” has been released by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education and SMPH. SMPH guidelines for restarting activities in research laboratories are available online, and SMPH Research FAQs have been updated to address common questions about Phase 1 of Return to Research.
  • In wake of the abhorrent acts of racism and violence that are occurring across the nation, a message to the SMPH community has been issued by Associate Dean of HR Hope Broadus, Associate Dean of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs Tracy Downs, and Dean Robert N. Golden.
  •  Recent opinion articles on COVID-19 topics penned by SMPH members include an article about the need for blood donors in Cap Times by MD students Rory Bade and Megan Walusiak, a commentary on the impact of the pandemic on medical student education in Wisconsin Medical Journal co-authored by Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Elizabeth Petty and Medical College of Wisconsin Senior Associate Dean William Hueston, and an article about managing risk of COVID-19 exposure in public and social settings in Wisconsin State Journal by Professor of Medicine James Stein. Thinking of contributing an op-ed article to a news outlet? Please feel free to contact Director of Strategic Communications Robyn Perrin to coordinate.
  •  Share your creative side: Call for submissions to the inaugural issue of Ebling Library’s online arts journal, Corpus Callosum. Submissions close June 10 and can take the form of original visual, written, and multimedia art from students, faculty, and staff of the UW-Madison health sciences departments and schools. See Submission Guidelines for more information.
  • UW-Madison has established an employee emergency loan program that provides assistance to 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. Information is available through campus Division of Business Services.


  • 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!

“Kudos to my colleagues Raymond Neal, Liz Feder, and Abra Vigna of the Population Health Institute! They led an amazing discussion with all PHI staff last week about health equity and the COVID-19 pandemic. The activities led to meaningful interaction across PHI sectors and thoughtful discussion about how we can do better than ‘return to normal’ moving forward. I am so grateful for their efforts to build PHI’s health equity capacity and excited to see how we grow as an institute. Great job!”Jessi Corcoran, MPH, Narrative and Resource Development Coordinator, Population Health Institute  

“Dr. Dempsey, Manucher J. Javid Professor & Chairman for the Department of Neurological Surgery and Greg Zalesak, Administrator for the Department of Neurological Surgery have done an outstanding job in keeping faculty and staff informed and educated of how COVID-19 is affecting our department and the hospital. Their reassuring words have kept the staff’s stress level down and morale high. They have continued to mentor remotely and make all staff feel supported. We cannot thank them enough – thank you Dr. Dempsey and Greg!” – Cassie Whiting, Operations Manager, Department of Neurological Surgery

Telecommuting tip:

  • UW Certified Professional Coach Program offers free coaching: The UW–Madison professional coaching program is offering campus employees free career coaching services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  A number of certified coaches who are graduates of the program, offered through the Division of Continuing Studies, have volunteered to support UW employees at this time.

Staying strong & supporting one another: 

  • Teaching youth about the pandemic: The Smithsonian Science Education, the WHO, and a global network of national academies of science, medicine, and engineering launched a guide for youth ages 8-17 to better understand the current pandemic. The resource walks students through the science behind COVID-19 as well as ways to stay physically and emotionally healthy. Tip from STAT News.