In the Know: SMPH Updates for January 15, 2021

Top news:

  • SMPH MLK Jr. Day event recap: Today we were joined by Tito Izard, MD ‘96, for an powerful keynote on the topic of health equities — tracing their origins through history to the practice of slavery in the United States and the ongoing “malignant indifference” of individuals, structures, and systems. A recording of the event can be found on Facebook. Please note that the automated subtitles contain inaccuracies. A recording with improved closed captioning will be shared in the future.
  • SMPH Spring 2021 Initiative: Advance Health by Acting Against Racism. The MLK Day event was the kick-off of a series of events and a toolkit of resources that will be highlighted throughout the semester. A new webpage for this initiative will serve as the one-stop-shop for our anti-racism events this spring, as well as others on campus and resources for further learning. 
  • Campus safety message from Chancellor Rebecca Blank: Federal law enforcement agencies have recently shared warnings about the possibility of weekend violence or disruption in state capitols across the country ahead of the Jan. 20 presidential inauguration. At this time, there is no specific threat to campus or the State Capitol, nor is campus changing its operations. UW–Madison is closely monitoring this situation and is prepared to address any issues that arise. Read more 
  • Candidate visits for the position of Chair of the Department of Neuroscience will begin next week and continue into February. Steven Schiff, MD, PhD, from Pennsylvania State University, will give a scientific seminar on Tuesday, Jan. 19 from 2-3 p.m. and town hall on Wednesday, Jan. 20 from 2:30-3:30 p.m., both via Webex. Find information on all of the visits here. 
  • A panel discussion titled “The Coronavirus Pandemic at One Year” — next installment of the Hot Topics in Public Health Symposia series —will occur on Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 4 p.m. The event will reconvene experts in virology, infection control, global health, clinical testing, vaccine development, and health system responses who spoke at a panel in January 2020 as the novel coronavirus was just emerging. Read more and RSVP 
  • January is national mentoring month and this week marks the first release of a 10-episode podcast series on mentoring based on a National Academies report chaired by Angela Byars-Winston, PhD, Professor, Department of Medicine. Tune in 
  • Save the Date: SMPH Medical Education Day will occur on May 27, 2021 at 8:30 a.m. as a virtual event featuring keynote speaker Cynthia Nebel, PhD of Vanderbilt University. The event is open to all SMPH faculty and staff and will feature professional development opportunities, engaging workshops and oral presentation sessions that highlight education initiatives and innovation. Registration and agenda will be announced in mid-April. Read more 

Building an Anti-Racist SMPH 

  • Community events this weekend in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day include:
    • Jan. 17, 1:00 p.m. – Urban League of Greater Madison’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration, entitled “Stand for Justice.” Video will air live at 1:00 p.m. and available for later viewing.
    • Jan. 17, 4:30 p.m. — Ecumenical Martin Luther King, Jr. Service (virtual). View the livestream online
    • Jan. 18 — AfricaSong’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Tribute & Ceremony.  A one-hour tribute entitled “Together as One” will feature excerpts from previous years’ ceremonies. Governor Tony Evers will present the 2021 MLK Heritage Awards and the State Proclamation. Anticipated broadcast schedule: noon on Wisconsin Public Radio, 7:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. on The Wisconsin Channel, and 10:00 p.m. on PBS Wisconsin.
    • Jan. 18, 1:00-4:00 p.m. — The King’s Coalition MLK Day Youth Call to Service. Middle and high school youth are invited to attend the virtual MLK Day Youth Call to Service. Register
    • Jan. 18, 6:00-7:00 p.m. — City-County King Annual Holiday Observance. The event will be emceed by Wisconsin Life host Angela Fitzgerald and will feature a keynote by New York Times bestselling author Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. The MLK Humanitarian Award will be presented by City of Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway and Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. View online 



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Great thanks to my amazing colleague, Tricia Denman, senior adminstrative program specialist, who manages to always smile, share a caring reach out and who continuously receives, synthesizes and distributes massive amounts of information and updates for our All of Us (AoU) Wisconsin at UW project team. Tricia has continuously kept us apprised of AoU policies and procedures for COVID and lent enthusiasm and clarity about AoU COVID science, usually in close partnership with our exceptional Communications Director, Kevin Kiley. Great thanks to both Tricia and Kevin for always ensuring our teammates have what they need and that we operate safely through COVID with our many partners.” —  Sarah Esmond, Director, Collaborative Center for Health Equity


“I am grateful for the leadership of Lindsay Weymouth, Kara Pagano and Nicole Bowman-Farrell, PhD, who have worked to create a new Academic Lodge for the Population Health Institute (PHI). PHI and the Wisconsin Center for Education Research’s Wisconsin Evaluation Collaborative are collaborating to assist PHI staff in building culturally responsive research and evaluation capacities, skills and relationships with Native Nations and Indigenous communities. Dr. Bowman (Lunaape/Mohican), an associate scientist at WEC, is leading with us in this work. Together, Lindsay, Kara and Nicole are building new ways of collaborating and elevating traditional ways of knowing. Even as we faced furloughs, challenges in remote working environments and the multiple crises of 2020, the team brought energy, beauty and deep knowledge to the planning and implementation of this critical work. They are leading with humility and courage, and helping to assure that we have the capacity to advance a just and equitable recovery from COVID-19.” — Sheri Johnson, PhD, Director, Population Health Institute