Message from the President

CUSM's response to the COVID-19 situation

Dr. Paul Lyons

CUSM Community and Friends,

Through all of the developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, CUSM has focused exclusively on ensuring the safety of our students, staff and faculty while fulfilling our clinical, education and research mission. Our focus has not changed but the circumstances have shifted (and continue to shift) rapidly worldwide and within our own region.

As we noted previously, CUSM recognized that we might need to operate with limited onsite functions including distance learning for the MD and MBS curriculum. I am pleased to recognize the extraordinary work of the leaders who have developed comprehensive plans for all core functions including education and student affairs, research, clinical care and administrative function.

Throughout this period, we hoped--along with everyone else--that preventive and public health measures would make it unnecessary to ever activate these plans. While there is much reason for optimism as we dramatically scale our national response to the pandemic, it is apparent that this response will take time and requires contributions from all of us to ensure public safety and decrease transmission risk. For this reason, our contingency plans have now been operationalized and we have transitioned to offsite distance learning and operations.

CUSM will be on spring break 3/16-20. Beginning 3/23/2020, CUSM will convert all educational activities to off-site, distance learning. All education will be online and students will be asked to stay home (or alternative safe environment). Only faculty and staff required for essential onsite functions will remain on school premises. All other faculty and staff will be asked to work from home (with appropriate technical support and accommodation).

Over the course of events so far, the one clear lesson has been that predicting the future is complex and uncertain. We will continue to monitor the situation. When it is safe to resume onsite, in-person activities we will do so. We are, however, prepared to operate safely and effectively for the full duration of the block.

More detailed information will be shared as it is available. I want to thank CUSM faculty and staff who have worked extraordinarily hard to create this plan. I also want to thank each of you personally for your persistence, patience and understanding. It has been humbling to watch our community as it comes together in this challenging moment.

If you have questions, feedback or comments I would welcome your input as always.

Dr. Paul Lyons
President and Dean