From Kevin’s Desk: We are in this together (3/27/2020)

Dear Colleagues:

Happy Friday!

First, I would just like to thank everyone for moving quickly to help the university comply with the new mandates in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Everyone has done an amazing job of adjusting to these changes while also keeping the essential functions of the university on track. I want to give a special thanks to our B&F staff who remain on campus to serve in critical roles that cannot be performed remotely. Your work is vital to our campus community, especially to those working on the frontlines of our hospitals and health centers. THANK YOU!

Our colleagues in UHR have put together a wonderful new wellness campaign that I think says it best: We Are All in This Together. Practicing responsible social distancing doesn’t mean we have to face this situation alone. Please reach out and offer support to your colleagues – over the phone, via video chat or by text. This is not an easy time for anyone, and we all need connection with a friend or colleague. I also recommend that you check out UHR’s Guide to Well-being and encourage your colleagues to do the same. Let’s all commit to taking the time needed to care for ourselves, our loved ones and our colleagues.

And speaking of caring, I continue to be blown away by the compassionate response of our B&F community to this situation. Our colleagues in F&O’s Maintenance and Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) teams, in collaboration with UHR, donated more than 80,000 surgical masks from their emergency supplies to Michigan Medicine. UHR also donated 3,000 exam gloves and 135 boxes of sanitizer. How awesome!

The EHS team has also been busy responding to concerns about exposure to COVID-19 on-campus, providing resources to staff, and maintaining safety in research labs. In addition, the teams in our U-M Children’s Centers continue to provide in-person childcare for Michigan Medicine employees and they are supporting other families they serve by sending recordings and activity ideas to help parents keep kids engaged at home. UHR’s Family Helpers program has also increased support for in-home childcare for university employees. You can read more about these and other wonderful efforts on our website.

Whether you are working on campus or at home, please remember that following the health guidelines and doing your part to stop the spread of COVID-19 is the most important thing each of us can do to help. While we may be working apart, we can still be united in our commitment to take care of each other.

We are all in this together!

With much appreciation and gratitude,

Kevin