Thursday, April 2nd, 2020
Dear DGSOM Community,
Over the last several weeks, we have received dozens of inspiring Cultural North Star recognitions, a few of which I’d like to highlight here:
- “Omai Garner’s integrity and leadership have been invaluable during the COVID-19 outbreak – guiding his clinical microbiology team through the validation and implementation of critical testing, developing protocols with hospital administration and the emerging infectious disease team, and educating faculty, residents, and staff about the novel coronavirus.” – Alyssa Ziman, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
*Omai Garner, PhD, Associate Clinical Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and Section Chief of Clinical Microbiology, and his lab were also featured in the Los Angeles Times yesterday for their crucial efforts to expand COVID-19 testing (non-subscriber link here).
- “The entire DGIT team has been invaluable as we have migrated to remote working and delivering educational content remotely. Their dedication, tireless effort, selflessness and commitment to excellence are inspiring.” – Sharon Younkin, Office of the Vice Dean for Education
- “Laura Baybridge's leadership has been critical through the onset of COVID-19's impact to divisional operations, and it's always nice to have the knowledge that leadership's utmost priority is the safety of their team.” – Rex Delos Santos, OB/GYN & Urology
I would like also to personally recognize the cross-disciplinary team of student, faculty, and staff volunteers across DGSOM, the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering and the UCLA health system who have come together to design, assemble and deliver more than 1,500 single-use face shields for our health care providers. Students have also self-organized and created a COVID-19 volunteer website (which is not managed by or associated with UCLA or the DGSOM) to support our frontline health care teams by providing child care, running errands, coordinating donations, and constructing PPE.
Thank you to our incredibly resourceful DGSOM trainees for mobilizing to support and protect our colleagues and community.
Neha Akkad, fourth year medical student
Kelsey Martin, MD, PhD
Dean, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
For the latest COVID-19 information and resources pertaining to medical school staff, faculty, students and trainees, please see my fifth biweekly “COVID-19 Update” below. You will find general updates toward the top, followed by area-specific updates and support resources at the bottom.
COVID-19 clinical trials
Over the past two weeks, Chief Medical Officer for Clinical Research Arash Naeim and Infectious Diseases Division Chief Judy Currier, co-chairs of the DGSOM-CTSI COVID-19 Clinical Research Task Force, have led efforts to identify opportunities to facilitate COVID-19 clinical research. This work has already resulted in remarkable achievements, including rapid approval and opening of a remdesivir trial for COVID-19 patients at UCLA Health within 14 days; opening of a Regeneron-sponsored clinical trial for sarilumab within a record 75 hours, and 10 other trials in the queue at different stages; supporting a UC-wide initiative to use convalescent serum as a treatment option based on an approved FDA protocol; and approval to create a global COVID-19 registry for access to de-identified data and biospecimens for researchers. These achievements highlight a significant CTSI effort and what DGSOM faculty and leaders can do when they come together to address a challenge.
I want to thank the entire team – including Steve Dubinett, Sr. Associate Dean of Clinical and Translational Research and Director of the UCLA CTSI; Steve Smale, Vice Dean for Research; and a broad team of experts – for their tireless efforts to maximize the impact UCLA has on this pandemic.
Equity and diversity inclusion during the COVID-19 pandemic
New information and resources, including how you can address bias and prejudice, are available online. Contact DGSOMEDI@mednet.ucla.edu with any questions or concerns.
Child and senior care resources
UCLA Health has secured a contract with Bright Horizons free access to Sittercity for health care workers required to perform essential functions onsite. Find support now → (*new link)
UCLA Health permissive masking update
Masks may be worn throughout UCLA health system facilities at the health care workers' discretion. More information is available here and here.
EDUCATION (students & trainees)
- To stay up to date with information pertinent to you – including on testing, wellness resources, remote education, clerkships, events, virtual town halls, and more – visit medschool.ucla.edu/coronavirus-information/md-students. Students should also stay informed by reading any curriculum-update emails distributed by Ashley Siemer, director of curricular affairs.
- Child and senior care resources: UCLA Health has secured a contract with Bright Horizons for free access to Sittercity for health care workers required to perform essential functions onsite.
- DGSOM hosted a GME virtual town hall on March 31. The recording will be available on our website soon.
- Permissive masking update: Masks may be worn throughout UCLA health system facilities at the health care workers' discretion. More information is available here. Please stay up to date with the latest self-care and PPE information and protocols and reach out to GME with any concerns or suggestions.
- To stay up to date with information pertinent to you – including working remotely, virtual town halls, new clinical research policies, our ramp down of research activities, minimized time in communal lab facilities, and more – visit medschool.ucla.edu/coronavirus-information/phd-trainees and the Graduate Programs for Bioscience website.
- Contacts: If you have specific concerns or questions related to your training situation or program requirements, please reach out to your Program/Home Area Director or Greg Payne, GPB Director.
- Contacts: If you have specific concerns or questions related to your training situation or work requirements, please reach out to your mentor.?If your mentor is out of reach or you need to escalate a concern above your mentor, please contact Greg Payne or Lynn Talton. If you have further concerns or if issues arise, contact Graduate Division at firstname.lastname@example.org 310-825-3819 and you will be connected with the appropriate resource.
- COVID-19 clinical trials: Over the past two weeks, Chief Medical Officer for Clinical Research Arash Naeim and Infectious Diseases Division Chief Judy Currier, co-chairs of the DGSOM-CTSI COVID-19 Clinical Research Task Force, have led efforts to identify opportunities to facilitate COVID-19 clinical research. This work has already resulted in remarkable achievements, including:
- Rapid approval and opening of a remdesivir trial for COVID-19 patients at UCLA Health within 14 days;
- Opening of a Regeneron-sponsored clinical trial for sarilumab within a record 75 hours, and 10 other trials in the queue at different stages;
- Supporting a UC-wide initiative to use convalescent serum as a treatment option based on an approved FDA protocol; and
- Approval to create a global COVID-19 registry for access to de-identified data and biospecimens for researchers.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) donations: If your laboratory has any procedural/surgical masks, N95s, gowns, gloves, face shields, Sani wipes, hand sanitizer, and/or any re-usable, plastic, cleanable goggles, safety glasses, and face masks that can be spared (example), please bring them to the BSRB/OHRC Loading Dock Receiving Room or the MRL Loading Dock Receiving Room, Monday - Friday, 7 am - 3 pm. Please do not forward this email to external colleagues as we are not seeking outside donations at this time. Please contact COVID19ppesupport@mednet.ucla.edu with any specific questions.
- Contacts: Individual concerns or questions should be routed to your division chiefs/department chairs/CAOs; they can provide responses and/or escalate questions to the Dean’s Office. Academic personnel matters that cannot be answered in departments should be sent to DGSOM Academic Affair
- There have been no new campus directives or DGSOM policy or resource changes since my last “Update” email on March 30.
Child and senior care resources
UCLA Health has secured a contract with Bright Horizons free access to Sittercity for health care workers required to perform essential functions onsite.
To ensure your and your families’ safety, we are providing overnight accommodations to those caring for patients on our designated COVID-19 units. Contact the Command Center at (310) 267-7115 for accommodations.
Virtual wellness services are available for staff, faculty, trainees and students. A new COVID-19 Mental Health Workgroup also offers facilitated group and individual check-ins, grief support, training, and materials for trauma-informed peer support for those on the COVID-19 frontlines. Learn more →
UCLA Health has created two new funds to support our mission: the COVID-19 Coronavirus Patient Care Fund and the COVID-19 Coronavirus Research and Education Fund. Details on each are available online, as are additional opportunities to support UCLA Health’s COVID-19 response efforts.
Cultural North Star: The values that guide us
See more information about this and other initiatives to help unite us →
DGIT offers a virtual helpdesk via zoom Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm. Learn more →
Perimeter doors of DGSOM buildings require badge entry until further notice. Learn more →
Please check DGSOM’s COVID-19 website and the UCLA Health Coronavirus Information website frequently to make sure you have the latest information