In the Know: SMPH Updates for January 29, 2021

Top news:

  • Safer Badgers/COVID-19 Testing updates:
    • Reminder: Enforcement of Badger Badge restrictions related to university building access will be delayed from Monday, Feb. 1, to Monday, Feb. 8.
    • Reminder: the Health Science Learning Center (HSLC) site is temporarily closed in order to modify the site’s configuration. Nielsen Tennis Stadium site or any other site can be used during the closure. The HSLC site is scheduled to reopen Feb. 15.
    • Watch a recording of the COVID-19 information session presented on Thursday. View the video
    • The contact tracing process at UW–Madison has been enhanced to catch potential cases of new SARS-CoV-2 variants that are being monitored by public health agencies due to mutations that may allow them to spread more rapidly and easily from person to person.
    • Meet some of the student workers who make Safer Badgers work.
  • New UW–Madison workplace safety training for spring semester: All employees are expected to complete the COVID-19 Spring Semester Training, available at This training covers guidelines and expectations for UW–Madison employees in the workplace and for visitors to campus. Most people will be able to complete the training in ten minutes or less. Please note that all SMPH employees currently working onsite are expected to complete the training no later than Feb. 19. Any SMPH employee approved to return to work onsite should complete it during the preparation process. If you previously completed the fall semester version of the training, please take this new version, as it covers updated information for spring. 
  • Per UW Health and UW–Madison, employees should refrain from conducting meetings in person. UW Health states, “It is imperative that all staff and providers follow existing guidelines on interacting with other providers and staff to reduce the spread and exposure to this virus, including some new ones related to in-person meetings.” If you are a UW Health employee, a) use WebEx for meetings unless face-to-face interaction is required to provide safe patient care, and b) do not eat in close proximity to colleagues, patient or others. Similarly, the university recommends that events and meetings continue to be held virtually whenever possible.
  • Three candidate visits for two leadership searches will take place next week for Chair of the Department of Neuroscience and Chair of the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. Visit the leadership search candidate visit page for details. 
  • The Department of Pediatrics is seeking a Department Administrator. Please share with those who may be interested. Apply by Feb. 15.

 View this week’s Quick Linkswith valuable information for all personnel, as well as information for researchers and clinicians.

Building an Anti-Racist SMPH 

  • The Native American Center for Health Professions is hosting a Distinguished Lecture Series titled “Menominee’s Journey to a Culture of Health” on Friday, Feb. 19 at 11:30 a.m. via Zoom. The lecture will feature Wendell Waukau and Jerry Waukau Sr. of the Menominee Nation and focus on the story of one Tribal community’s path to heal their invisible wounds of Historical Trauma. Register

Find more on the school’s Spring 2021 Initiative: Advance Health by Acting Against Racism page, including resources and events co-sponsored by UW Health and SMPH. 

  • The Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity asks one question: Are you funding predominantly white organizations to do racial justice work? Read their blog post to learn more about how where resources are concentrated can make a difference in racial equity. 


Please send kudos about your colleagues. Honor someone at and we’ll share the stories. Submit your thoughts and we’ll share them in a future issue.

The Department of Medical Physics held its first virtual student poster presentations and T32 Symposium on January 22. Administration team members Alyssa Mohr, Lyddia Ruch-Doll and Charles Reinke worked very hard and pulled together over 35 online recorded poster presentations for previewing on a web-based platform. People had a chance to look at the student-recorded presentations in advance and then, on the morning of the 22nd, students gave their elevator speeches and fielded questions via WebEx. This trio also built a web-based platform for our annual T32 Symposium presentations. The Symposium was held virtually the afternoon of the 22nd, and 10 trainees presented their work. Faculty, staff, students and alumni attended both events. Great Job! Thank you for your hard work!” — Carol Aspinwall, Educational Programs Coordinator, Department of Medical Physics