In the Know: SMPH Updates for January 8, 2021

Top news:

  • Spring semester COVID-19 testing: This afternoon, an email from Chancellor Rebecca Blank to UW–Madison employees provided information about testing requirements that begin on Jan. 25 and the Safer Badger app (available now for iOS; coming soon for Android and as a web version). Please review:

a) today’s employee message

b) the COVID response FAQ, which may be searched and filtered by topic

c) testing sites that will be open starting on Jan. 11 (west campus locations include HSLC and Nielsen Tennis Stadium)

d) those with instructional and student mentoring responsibilities may wish to review today’s messages to graduate and professional students and/or to undergraduate students

Dual employees of SMPH and UW Health: All UW–Madison employees must be in compliance with campus testing requirements in order to access campus buildings. This means that starting on Jan. 25, they must have a negative test on file within the previous eight days of their visit to campus. This applies to UW–Madison employees with dual employment at UW Health who also need to access buildings on campus, including to attend meetings, use campus recreation centers, visit the unions, etc. The only exception is for employees who are simply passing straight through Health Sciences Learning Center between the hospital and the parking garage, bike racks or bus stops. Employees should download the Safer Badgers app to schedule their tests, manage their results, and access their badge to ensure they can gain access to campus buildings. Employees who do not come to UW­–Madison buildings will not need to get tested, though they may want to consider being prepared in case they should need to visit campus on short notice.

    • Learn more about our MLK Jr. Day event keynote speaker Tito Izard, MD ’96, by viewing a past talk of his on the impact of racism in health care. On Friday, Jan. 15 he will give a talk titled “Legends and Legacy: The masking of Black health in America” during our school’s event honoring MLK Jr. Day. Details are available here; submit a question for him via this form.
    • The Kern National Network (KNN) for Caring & Character in Medicine will present “Human Flourishing, Caring and Character in the Medical Profession: To What End?” on Jan. 26 from 4 to 5 p.m. During this free online event — the first in a series — Andrea Leep Hunderfund, MD, from Mayo; Bonnie Miller, MD, from Vanderbilt; and John Luk, MD, from UT-Austin will lead an interactive discussion on the concepts of caring and character within medicine and engage in a conversation with other healthcare professionals on the topic of promoting human flourishing. Continuing Education credits are available. Details and registration instructions are here. KNN is a national network of seven medical schools, including SMPH and the Medical College of Wisconsin, dedicated to advancing caring and character in medicine with the goal of promoting human flourishing.
    • The Department of Employee Trust Funds will begin distributing employees’ Jan. 1, 2021 Wisconsin Retirement System Annual Statement of Benefits in April, after 2020 account data reconciliation processes have been completed. The statement is a summary of an employee’s year-end WRS retirement account information. To learn more about the WRS Annual Statement of Benefits, watch this ETF video or visit the My Statement of Benefits web page.
    • Reminder: the Winter Faculty/Staff Meeting is on Jan. 25 from 4:30 to 5:15 p.m. via Webex. An agenda is forthcoming; submit questions for the Town Hall discussion here.
    • View this week’s Quick Linkswith valuable information for all personnel, as well as information for researchers and clinicians.

Building an Anti-Racist SMPH 

  • Mt. Zion Baptist Church is hosting a COVID-19 Vaccine Panel Discussion on Jan. 9 at 11 a.m. The event, which will be livestreamed to Facebook, will focus on providing the Black community with accurate information and expectations regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. Panelists include Sheryl Henderson, MD, PhD, Professor (CHS), Department of Pediatrics; Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, MA, UW Health VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; and Jasmine Zapata, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor (CHS), Department of Pediatrics. Read more


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“The pandemic has taught us many important lessons on an individual, community and national level. In Internal Medicine, our residents have been working the front lines since March at UW, Meriter and the VA. They have demonstrated bravery in the face of the unknown, dedication to patient-centered care and the care of families with loved ones hospitalized and/or alone at clinic visits, remarkable volunteerism, and fortitude all while isolated from their support systems who live near and far. I stand in awe of my co-Chief Residents (Lauren Banaszak, MD, Katie Fell, MD, and Victoria Gillet, MD) who work tirelessly to maintain a sense of normalcy and camaraderie, lead immaculate morning reports as if we are living in a non-pandemic world, and who prioritize the needs of the residents above all else. A sincere thank you to the Internal Medicine Residents and co-Chief Residents.” Sarah Donohue, MD, Internal Medicine Chief Resident, Department of Medicine and UW Health