Earlier this month, I wrote about the health and socioeconomic inequities amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic and shared just a few examples of how “We work together to eliminate inequity” in the spirit of our Cultural North Star. One of those examples – UCLA’s role in mitigating the impact of COVID-19 among one of Los Angeles’s most vulnerable populations – has made significant progress in the last several weeks.
For more than three decades, our Department of Family Medicine faculty, staff and trainees have provided free medical care to countless people who are homeless and underserved. Today, in response to unprecedented public health challenges, faculty and staff from Family Medicine have been called upon by the City of Los Angeles to help provide medical oversight and services at newly converted recreation centers for the unsheltered. Together with county officials and hospitals and the Venice Family Clinic, UCLA is currently supporting 12 sites across the greater Los Angeles area, from Hollywood to Northridge to Westwood. These actions – organized with great urgency by Dr. Patrick Dowling, Dr. Mary Marfisee, Wendy Songer and others in Family Medicine, as well as with crucial support from our Materials Management and Pharmacy departments – will help slow the spread of COVID-19 by helping those with a higher likelihood of compromised immunity and limited-to-no access to care.
No matter our roles or where we may be located, there are always opportunities for positive change. Whether through collaborative interventions like our homelessness initiative, or through the daily actions within our control – in our efforts to guard against bias, in how and with whom we choose to solve problems, in the diversity of our datasets, in the accessibility of our resources and systems, and so much more – we can each do our part to make things better by building a more equitable world.
To submit your or your team’s efforts to eliminate inequity, email COVID19DGSOMComms@mednet.ucla.edu with your story.
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.
You are now required to monitor yourself for symptoms of the coronavirus and are required to receive a clearance certificate from the UCLA symptom monitoring website before beginning work each day. See complete instructions and details here. Highlights:
As a reminder, if you are on campus (indoor or outdoor), you must wear cloth face coverings if: 1) you will be in contact with others for 10 minutes or more, and 2) a distance of 6 feet or more cannot be maintained. This policy will therefore pertain to all researchers except those working in isolation.
UCLA Health has partnered with the Mayor’s Office to implement several programs to address child care issues including a Child Care Stipend, an Emergency Child Care Program and three Referral Services. These programs are available to all DGSOM, medical center, ambulatory and Faculty Practice Group employees. Learn more →
The UCLA Health Office of Environmental Health & Safety has developed the Ergonomics and Telecommute page, which includes guidelines, tip sheets and the newly launched “Shifting to Remote Work” module for staff (select “UCLA”). The program directs learners to resources from Ergonomics and ISS services. Additional support, telephonic consultations and Zoom Q&A sessions are available by contacting email@example.com or submitting an EHS Service Request.
UCLA is weighing various factors and scenarios for the 2020–21 academic year, gathering data and working closely with public health officials before making any decisions. At a minimum, UCLA plans to offer the option of remote learning at least for fall quarter, even if some classes are held in person. As previously announced, remote instruction will continue through the end of this year’s Summer Session A, and plans for Summer Session C will be announced soon. More details here →.
A Los Angeles Magazine cover story featured numerous members of our UCLA Health/DGSOM community as “Heroes of the Plague,” including Omai Garner, PhD, director of the clinical microbiology laboratory; Otto Yang, MD, professor of infectious diseases and microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics; Lisa Dabby, MD, an emergency physician at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica; Mark Morocco, MD, an emergency physician at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center; and Marcia Santini, an emergency medicine nurse at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Read full story →
As you navigate this emotionally and physically challenging time, don’t forget to take care of yourself. UCLA Health Sports Performance is offering live 30-minute fitness sessions via Instagram three times a day, Monday through Friday, and Sports Performance classes Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. If you can’t fit those into your schedule, there’s also an archive of past workouts to keep you moving.
Contacts: For curriculum questions, please contact Ashley Siemer. For event questions, please contact Brandon Susselman. For support and other questions, please contact your Assistant Dean. For additional support, please reach out to the Behavioral Wellness Center.
The April 23 GME virtual town is available to view online (mednet login required).
Reusable face shields: New injection-molded face shields (UShields) are being distributed to all health care workers over the next few weeks, starting with the teams caring for COVID-positive patients, and now being distributed to all residents and fellows. Learn more here →
Clinical trial volunteers needed: UCLA is recruiting volunteers to participate in a prospective clinical trial to research the incidence and prevalence of COVID-19 among asymptomatic health care workers. Learn more here →
PPE training: If you haven’t already done so, please complete the online PPE training on the MedHub.
Interested in UCLA Serology testing? Please click here for FAQs.
Resources for mental health and well-being are available virtually. New information:
Affiliate sites: Find the latest PPE policy for VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System here. Scrubs are now available at the VA. Please contact the VA Department of Medicine for distribution details.
Clinical care activities: Over the next few weeks, we will be planning for careful resumption of clinical care in all settings. We welcome your feedback. Please click here to submit questions or suggestions.
Clinical psychology interns and postdoctoral fellows should follow the guidance from their respective training programs in the Department of Psychiatry and the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.
Resources for mental health and well-being (available virtually): ucla.edu/coronavirus-information/wellness-resources
To view the latest information pertinent to you, visit ucla.edu/coronavirus-information/graduate-medical-education.
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.
Access wellness resources virtually through the Staff and Faculty Counseling Center.
Clinical psychology postdoctoral fellows should follow the guidance from their respective training programs in the Department of Psychiatry and the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.
As announced on Monday, DGSOM has launched a universal intake process for registering COVID-19 research projects and requesting COVID-19 research funding and resources. This streamlined process will help the recently established COVID-19 Oversight and Governance Committees better monitor systemwide activities and allocate resources to maximize benefits to human health. Learn more about the intake process and steps.
Preliminary results from a multisite NIH study, which Dr. Otto Yang spearheaded in opening at UCLA, show that remdesivir – an anti-viral drug – accelerates recovery from advanced COVID-19. The NIH trial (known as the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial) is the first clinical trial launched in the U.S. to evaluate an experimental treatment for COVID-19. Learn more. Based on these results, the FDA also plans to announce emergency use authorization for remdesivir.
Congratulations to Drs. Brigitte Gomperts, Gay Crooks and Christopher Seet from the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA for receiving awards to pursue treatments and vaccines for COVID-19 from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the state’s stem cell agency. Read more →
Additional private-, public- and university-sponsored COVID-19 research funding resources have been posted to our website.
To stay up to date with information pertinent to you, visit ucla.edu/coronavirus-information/researchers.
Individual concerns or questions: Route to your PIs, program/home area directors, division chiefs, department chairs, and then CAOs; they can then provide responses and/or escalate questions to the Dean’s Office.
Resources for mental health and well-being are available virtually. New information:
To stay up to date with information pertinent to you – including planning, technological and data-protection resources for remote teaching – visit medschool.ucla.edu/coronavirus-information/faculty.
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
DGSOM hosted a Town Hall for Staff Managers on Friday, April 24 to address questions on a variety of topics, including the UC’s new leave options, plans for transitioning back to on-site work, staff operations and more. Managers will receive a copy of the presenters’ slides in the next several days.
COVID-19-related layoffs: On April 2, 2020, the UC President and Chancellors announced that there will be no COVID-19-related layoffs for career employees through June 30, 2020, and that the University is committed to doing its best to keep people earning a paycheck whenever possible. We have not yet received guidance from UC beyond the June 30 date, but as soon as we do, we will communicate the latest information to you. As we await longer-term guidelines from UC, we do not yet have answers to many of your questions regarding this topic, but we are working daily with our campus and UC colleagues to plan, project and adapt to the changing city and state ordinances. On behalf of the DGSOM leadership team, we would like to express our gratitude for your patience and flexibility. We understand that this period of uncertainty is stressful. As soon as more concrete information is available, we will share it with you.
Communication survey: Please use this form to share COVID-19-related topics or questions that are most important to you/your team. *Please note: Questions related to UCLA health system policies and guidelines (e.g., on masking or hospital/clinic operations) should be addressed during huddles, escalated up your clinical chain-of-command and, from there, directed to health system area leaders.
Health care workers required to perform essential functions onsite can access child and senior care resources contracted through UCLA Health and Bright Horizons.
See additional resources and referral services for family members and children.
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 →
If you are required to work on campus and you notice any suspicious activity, please alert the appropriate security or law enforcement personnel. Learn more →
Information and resources, including how you can address bias and prejudice, are available online. Contact DGSOMEDI@mednet.ucla.edu with any questions or concerns. In addition, UCLA students and faculty who experience a bias incident should report it by completing a UCLA Incident of Bias Reporting Form.
DGIT offers a virtual helpdesk via zoom Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm. Learn more →
Take the Stop COVID-19 Together survey, a new web-based app that will enable the public to help fight the spread of the coronavirus.
Recognize your peers or colleagues for their contributions by submitting a digital Cultural North Star card.
Donate blood. The UCLA Blood & Platelet Center is experiencing a shortage of donated blood. Across its donation sites and blood drives in Westwood, Santa Monica and Ackerman Union, the Center has implemented numerous safety measures to protect donors and staff during the COVID-19 outbreak. Find a donation site // Make an appointment // Learn more →
Volunteer to support our frontline health care teams: org (website is not managed by or associated with UCLA or the DGSOM).
Consider a donation to UCLA Health’s new 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.
If your research lab has Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to spare, consider a donation. Learn more →