In the Know: SMPH Updates for February 15, 2021

Top news:

  • Remember: Spring Primary Election Day is Tuesday, February 16. Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Visit My Vote Wisconsin for voting information. 
  • Answering the call during COVID: The emergence of COVID-19 made 2020 a challenging year for all. In a year in review article, we take a look back at just some of the ways members of our school were ready and willing to help Wisconsin, the nation, and the world navigate and overcome the still-raging pandemic. Read more 
  • UW–Madison and UW Health COVID-19 updates:
    • Health Sciences Learning Center has re-opened as a COVID-19 test site. Improvements include installation of plexiglass barriers. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
    • Effective March 1 at 7:00 a.m., UW Health will de-escalate its COVID Hospital Incident Command System, returning to a level 4 (normal operations) state of readiness. This does not mean that UW Health’s pandemic response is done by any measure; safety measures will continue, for example, and vaccination efforts will extend for many months. If a a new surge in COVID-19 occurs, the health system will stand ready to re-engage incident command. However, after March 1, crisis response will go back to its traditional model with decisions made according to normal operational protocols. A small group of leaders will continue to meet each week to address any needs that cannot be managed through normal operations.
  • A reminder about two film screenings that will be available starting this coming weekend: John Lewis: Good Trouble and Black Men in White Coats. See the links for information on how to access each screening and for details on discussions being held afterward. Both screenings are part of a series of events and resources focused on anti-racism titled the SMPH Spring 2021 Initiative: Advance Health by Acting Against Racism. A resource table on the initiative’s page has a list of materials to further learning about the two films. 
  • 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 
  • Leadership search update: Due to weather-related power outages in Texas, this week’s virtual visit by Vanessa Sperandio, PhD, candidate for the chair of Medical Microbiology, will be rescheduled. 

Building an Anti-Racist SMPH 

The next Health Equity & Diversity Lunch & Learn Series session will occur on February 18th from 12-1 p.m. on the topic “Decolonizing Health Research.” Download a flyer | Learn more | Register



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.

I would love to recognize and thank the WiSOR (Wisconsin Surgical Outcomes Research) program leadership, faculty and staff for putting in tremendous time and effort continuing to support junior surgical faculty at navigating all aspects of research funding.”Nabeel Zafar, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor (CHS), Department of Surgery

Telecommuting Tip

Creating a safe workspace at home: A reminder that employees can work with their supervisor to discuss office equipment needed in order to perform work safely. If office equipment is required due to a medical condition, reach out to the SMPH Divisional Disability Representative (DDR) by emailing (As university property, any equipment that is purchased would need to return to the office when on-site work resumes or in the event of departure from the institution.)