COVID-19 Communications Archive

October 21, 2020
COVID-19

October 20 at 5:23 PM to RSPH-all 

Dear Rollins Community, 

I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for the steps you have taken toward preventing COVID-19 exposure and spread on our campus over the last several months. This pandemic is not over. Case numbers have risen in Fulton, Gwinnett, and DeKalb counties. Your continued vigilance will be key as we work to protect members of our community. 

As a reminder, please continue to practice the following COVID-19 prevention tactics: 

  • Wear a face covering while on Emory campus and in our buildings
  • Maintain physical distancing of at least six feet between yourself and others (i.e., do not move classroom furniture) 
  • Stay home if you have a fever or are not feeling well 
  • Disinfect surfaces before and after leaving classrooms and office spaces 
  • Utilize Emory University’s COVID-19 testing services. Regular testing is critical in accurately monitoring the spread of this disease. If you experience COVID-19 symptoms, have come in contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, or would like to know your status, please schedule an appointment to get tested using the information below. 

Emory COVID-19 Testing for Asymptomatic Individuals 

Student appointment link: https://www.emory.edu/forward/studentcovidtestschedule

Faculty/staff appointment link:  https://www.emory.edu/forward/employeecovidtestschedule

Emory COVID-19 Testing for Symptomatic Individuals  

Students, please contact the Student Health COVID-19 screening line at 404-727-7551 and press 0. Faculty and staff can call the Emory COVID-19hotline at 404-712-6843.

Additionally, please continue to practice vigilance in your social encounters off campus by following recommended prevention tactics, including: maintaining physical distancing, practicing regular handwashing, and wearing facial coverings. The CDC offers several suggestions related to social activities here. We all play a vital role in preventing the spread of this disease. Thank you all for your help. 

Protect Yourself from the Flu 

Along those same lines, we are now in the midst of flu season. If you have not already done so, I encourage all of you to get a flu shot and to take preventive measures to keep yourselves healthy. Below are resources separated according to group for your review. 

Faculty and Staff

Faculty and staff can receive their free flu vaccines at an in-network retail pharmacy, such as CVS, Walgreens, Publix, or Kroger. You will need to present your CVS/Caremark prescription drug card when you arrive. You may also choose to get a flu shot at your doctor’s office (double-check to make sure your provider is a Tier 1 or Tier 2 in-network doctor in order to receive a vaccine free of charge). More details are available here: https://www.hr.emory.edu/eu/wellness/general-health/flu-vaccinations/index.html

Students 

Student Health, in partnership with the Rollins Student Outbreak and Response Team (SORT), will be offering FREE flu immunizations to all students at Rollins on Thursday, October 29 at the Second Annual Rollins Flu Vaccine Clinic. These immunizations are free for all students and do not require proof of insurance. This clinic will take place on the Rollins School of Public Health Courtyard from 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. To ensure student and staff safety and appropriate physical distancing, all students will be required to sign up for an appointment in advance using the following link: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0D4EA5A929A3FBC43-wednesday1

If you’re unable to attend the October 29 clinic or are based outside of Atlanta, below are a few additional options for students: 

Make an appointment with student health by visiting the Emory University Student Health Services Website: http://studenthealth.emory.edu/services/appointment.html

Go to CVS, Walgreens, or your local pharmacy to receive your flu vaccine. Emory student health insurance will cover flu vaccinations received at an in-network pharmacy. You can go to https://www.aetnastudenthealth.com/  to check if your local pharmacy is in-network. 

Thanks to all of you for your continued commitment toward the health and safety of our school. Please take care and stay well. 

Sincerely, 

James W. Curran, MD, MPH
James W. Curran Dean of Public Health

 


Monday, August 31 at 5:23 PM to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community, 

I hope you are doing well and that you were able to rest and relax a bit over the weekend. Thank you as always for doing your part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by partaking in prevention tactics recommended by public health experts and the CDC (including handwashing, wearing facial coverings, and maintaining physical distancing) both on and off our campus. We encourage you to continue being vigilant as we work to keep our communities safe both when we are on campus and off and in and outside of the buildings.

As a reminder, if you have COVID-19-related questions or concerns surrounding positive case reporting or testing on campus, please contact Erin Cahill, our COVID-19 liaison for Rollins via the following email accounts: 

Students: rollinsstudentsupport@emory.edu

Faculty and staff: RSPHCOVID19@listserv.cc.emory.edu   

Rollins Café and Starbucks are Temporarily Closed + Eating and Drinking on Campus 

Due to limited sales and minimal customer volume over the past couple of weeks, both the Rollins Café and the Starbucks location within the Grace Crum Rollins Building will be closed until further notice. For those seeking dining options on campus, the following locations remain open in a to-go only format:

  • Kaldi’s at The Depot
  • Eagle Emporium at the Emory Student Center
  • The Dobbs Common Table
  • Cox Hall Food Court
  • SAAC Café

If you bring food or beverages into the buildings, please be mindful of where you are eating and drinking. Food and drinks are not allowed in many of our classrooms. Food and drinks will be allowed in those classrooms/conference rooms now designated and labeled as RSPH student study/meeting spaces. When you eat or drink in our open common areas, RSPH student study/meeting spaces, or outside, please maintain a physical distance of 10 feet between yourself and others while your face is uncovered. And, as always, please make sure you wipe down any surfaces and replace your face covering when you get up from your area.

COVID-19 Dashboard and Presentation Replay 

Last week, President Fenves was joined by faculty, staff, and student leaders for a webinar to discuss Emory’s strategies in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Among the topics discussed during the session was an introduction to Emory’s newly developed COVID-19 Dashboard — an online resource that provides daily updates on COVID-19 cases within our community. The dashboard can be found on the Emory Forward website. We encourage you to bookmark this page so you can stay informed about cases on campus. 

Seeking Faculty and Staff to Serve as an Open Expression Observer 

Emory University has extended the opportunity for Rollins to nominate one Open Expression Observer (OEO) from Rollins to serve along with Karen Andes, a faculty member in HDGH, for the 2020-2021 academic year. 

The OEO program was established to protect the rights of Emory community members to express their opinions in non-disruptive ways during events and protests. OEOs serve as an in-person, or remote presence during events and protests when requested by program organizers or the chair of the OEO program.   

Role of an OEO  

  • Connect with organizers at the start of the event to discuss their role and needs that may arise during event 
  • Protect the rights of community members to express their opinions in non-disruptive ways 
  • Serve as resources to community members regarding the policy and policy violations 
  • Act as liaisons between community members and Emory Police and/or university administrators 
  • Protect the rights of community members to pursue their day-to-day activities 
  • Provide information on how to avoid violating the policy

Requirements for OEOs 

  • Be comfortable participating as an OEO in person and via virtual environments and complete return-to-campus expectations 
  • Participate in an online training 
    • Wednesday, September 9, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. or 
    • Friday, September 11, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. 
  • Be available to serve as an OEO for events and protests (with priority for events in your School/College)  
  • OEOs will receive a small stipend for the events at which they serve

This opportunity is open to both faculty and staff. Interested candidates, please email Kara Robinson at klbrow2@emory.edu by end of day tomorrow, September 1. 

Thanks as always for your commitment to our community and to public health.  

Sincerely,

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health


Thursday, August 25, 2:57 PM to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community, 

I hope your week is off to a good start and that you are staying healthy and safe. With so many email messages flooding in over the past several days, we wanted to take a few minutes to direct your attention toward a few major updates, events, and resources that you may have missed.   

For Students 

Last Friday marked our first virtual CDC Day. If you missed the event or would like to re-watch presentations from our speakers, we invite you to view a recording of the event here:  https://rsph.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=b16d1e89-9770-461e-af90-abf70004109b

For Faculty and Staff 

Impact to Compensation Presentation and Q&As 

On August 6, the university held a town hall addressing the university’s financial situation and decision to temporarily reduce compensation for some employees. If you missed the discussion, or would like to re-watch the presentation, you can access it using the following link: 

 COVID-19 Impact to Compensation Presentation Recording (Prior to viewing the video, you may be prompted to log in to your Emory Outlook Account.)

In addition, there is now a frequently asked questions page available for your review. 

COVID-19 Reporting and Communication Flow 

Last Friday, Emory’s HR department sent an email to all managers with several links pertaining to policies, procedures, and guidance related to positive COVID-19 cases (the subject line of this email was “COVID-19 Health and Safety Response Toolkit”). Please familiarize yourself with these links and save them for quick reference. In addition, if you have questions about the university’s COVID-19-related processes or resources, please contact Erin Cahill, our COVID-19 liaison at Rollins.  

Students can contact Erin at: rollinsstudentsupport@emory.edu

Faculty and staff can contact Erin at: RSPHCOVID19@listserv.cc.emory.edu   

COVID-19 Health and Safety Response Toolkit 
Policies and guidelines
 contains information about policies that have been approved by Emory’s executive leadership, including:

Notification hierarchy for those who have contact with a community member who has tested positive for COVID

Academic Continuity Policy 

New and Modified Academic Policies and Guidance 

COVID-19 Positive Notification Policy

Face Covering Guidelines

Link to the Student of Concern Referral Form

Student Community Compact

Faculty and Staff Community Compact

The Positive Notification Policy page provides policy details, privacy information and links to: 

Instructional Guides

Notification and Communications Workflow PDFs

A downloadable illness template letter

A downloadable COVID-19 positive template letter

The COVID-19 Positive Instructional Guide provides an overview of the responsibilities related to notification and communication to the community when a student, faculty member, or staff member tests positive for COVID-19. This overview includes privacy and compliance information and links to detailed processes and protocols:

Employees webpage and downloadable PDF

Faculty webpage and downloadable PDF

Supervisors webpage and downloadable PDF

Schools and business units and downloadable PDF

Students webpage and downloadable PDF

Residence Life webpage and downloadable PDF

Student Health Services webpage and downloadable PDF

 
Rollins Virtual Staff Retreat is August 27, 2-3:30 p.m. 

Please join us for our first virtual staff retreat on Zoom this Thursday from 2-3:30 p.m. through the following link: https://zoom.us/j/92103301477

Topics will include: 

University and school updates 

The university’s response to COVID-19 

Research and finance updates

Staff initiatives and development

Thanks to all of you for taking the time to review this information. I hope you have a wonderful week, and I look forward to addressing several of you this Thursday.  

Take care,

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health

 


Thursday, August 20, 4:54 PM to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community, 

Congratulations on an excellent start to the fall semester and welcome back! We appreciate your patience over these last several months as we’ve worked to prepare our buildings, service areas, and classrooms to provide a work and learning environment that emphasizes safety through physical distancing and adherence to CDC guidelines. Thanks to all of you for doing your part to keep yourselves and those around you safe by wearing masks, wiping down spaces after use, and maintaining at least six feet of physical distancing between yourself and others as we work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

As part of our preparation and response efforts for the fall, we are pleased to announce that longtime staff member, Erin Cahill, MPH, will serve as our COVID-19 liaison for Rollins, effective immediately. In this new role, Erin will serve as a COVID-19 point of contact and advocate for Rollins faculty, staff, and students seeking university-level COVID-19 resources and support.

Please feel free to reach out to her with any questions or concerns you may have pertaining to COVID-19 resources or processes via the following email accounts.  

Students: rollinsstudentsupport@emory.edu

Faculty and staff: RSPHCOVID19@listserv.cc.emory.edu  

Though this semester will look slightly different for each of us, we are encouraged by your continued dedication toward promoting and advancing public health through your efforts in and outside of the classroom. We look forward to exploring new ways to connect with you in the months ahead and wanted to once again extend a warm welcome to all of you. 

Sincerely,  

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health


Tuesday, July 28, 2:36 PM to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community, 

As July comes to a close and we approach August, the return to school is on many of our minds. For several in our community with children, next month will bring the added stresses of at-home childcare and a return to homeschooling. We acknowledge the significant challenge this poses and wanted to reiterate our commitment to remaining flexible with faculty and staff as they strive to achieve a semblance of balance during this time.  

Yesterday afternoon, Human Resources and Emory University Senate’s Task Force on Dependent Care sent out a survey to assess Emory University community members’ childcare needs for the fall. Please take a moment to fill out this survey if you have children and will be impacted by school and daycare closures. The deadline to complete the survey is July 31 (this Friday). 

In addition, we encourage flexibility and open communication among managers as employees balance dependents’ needs with work expectations. Emory’s Human Resources is offering a number of sessions for managers related to remote work, team building, and conflict resolution that may be especially helpful in the weeks ahead. 

As Rollins prepares for fall classes, we would like to acknowledge the tremendous efforts of our staff within the Office of Student Services. Despite the atmosphere of uncertainty that has accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic, we are encouraged by our strong master’s student enrollment numbers, thanks in large part to this group’s efforts. To that effect, we wanted to remind everyone that the weeklong RollinsTogether Virtual Orientation will take place August 5-12 with CDC Day occurring virtually on August 21. The full orientation schedule is available here

As a school, we remain committed to anti-racism efforts, a more equitable work and learning environment, and overall improvements to the Rollins experience. Yesterday, we launched a web page to highlight student voices demanding a more equitable and inclusive environment at Rollins, as well as the actions we have taken thus far. This page will be updated as new developments occur as we commit to a more equitable and diverse environment at Rollins. 

Thanks to all of you for your partnership and for the work that you do for our school. We appreciate you. Please continue to take care of yourselves. 

In health,

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health


Monday, July 13, 7:17 PM to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community, 

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise both in Georgia and in the United States, we hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and well. We are aware of the emotional and mental strain the level of unknowns may be placing upon you and your families. Please keep prioritizing your health and wellness as we face these uncertainties together.

The Rollins administration continues to work with central university administrators to make decisions regarding fall planning based on recommendations from the CDC, the Georgia Department of Public Health, and the most recent scientific evidence.

We remain committed to our guiding principles to inform next steps as students return to classes this fall. Those principles include:

  1. Ensure the health and safety of all members of the RSPH community while continuing to fulfill the tripartite mission of the school;
  2. Maintain the highest standards of instructional quality regardless of modalities used for teaching and learning;
  3. Provide flexibility for faculty, staff, and students based on individual concerns and risk, including risk factor tolerance, caregiving responsibilities, health history, and other relevant considerations;
  4. Rapidly respond to illness by providing faculty, staff, and students’ access to university resources for testing for active SARS-CoV-2 infection and isolation of those who test positive, as well as contact tracing, investigation, testing, and appropriate use of recommended quarantine measures.

With these principles in mind, we would like to take this moment to reiterate our commitment to and support of our international students and scholars, and to emphasize that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's preliminary guidance regarding international students with F-1 visas directly contradicts our beliefs and commitments to our students. Our international students are a vital part of our community. Please know that you—as well as all students, faculty, and staff—are welcome at Rollins. We will continue to advocate on your behalf.

Our international students have received direct messages from Rollins’ Office of Student Services as well as Emory’s International Student and Scholar Services Office with additional information and resources. Final guidance from the university is still pending. Student Services will remain in regular contact with our international students with any updates as they become available. Additionally, Emory University recently joined 58 other universities across the country in an amicus brief that would block this policy.

Moving forward, you can expect weekly messages from me with school-wide updates as we continue to navigate the challenges and opportunities ahead. 

Thank you as always for your partnership and support.  

Sincerely,   

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health


Friday, May 8, 11:58 p.m. to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community, 

Commencement 2020 has finally arrived and we could not be more proud of all of you. While we are saddened that we are unable to celebrate you in person, we are hopeful you will enjoy the virtual commencement experience we’ve created to recognize your outstanding achievement.

Starting tomorrow morning, May 9, you’ll be able to visit our new commencement website to view video messages from department chairs, faculty, and myself, as well as photos and department awards. We invite you to visit the Rollins Y/Our moment website as well to post comments on the memory wall and explore both school and university-wide commencement addresses.

We would like to take a moment to recognize this year’s award-winners. Congratulations to all of you!

The James W. Alley Award

Grace Lenore Morrow 

The Eugene J. Gangarosa Award

Hasna Raisa Zainul 

The Thomas F. Sellers, Jr. Award

Janet R. Cummings, Department of Health Policy and Management

Emory Woman’s Club Scholarship

Ugochi Precious Chinemere 

The Provost’s Distinguished Teaching Award for Excellence in Graduate and Professional Education

Monique Hennink, Hubert Department of Global Health 

RSGA Faculty of the Year

Jodie Guest, Department of Epidemiology 

RSGA Staff Member of the Year

Pam Andrews, Rollins Café/Starbucks

Advisor/Mentor of the Year Award, presented by the Office of Student Involvement, Leadership and Transitions 

Joanne Amposta Williams

Department Distinguished Teaching Awards

Robin E. McGee (MPH program), Department of Behavioral, Social, and Health Education Sciences

Michelle C. Kegler (PhD program), Department of Behavioral, Social, and Health Education Sciences

John J. Hanfelt, Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics 

Gangarosa Department of Environmental Health (GDEH) Teaching Faculty, GDEH

Jodie Guest, Department of Epidemiology 

Michael Caudle, Executive MPH Program

Frederic E. Shaw, Department of Health Policy and Management 

Sophia A. Hussen, Hubert Department of Global Health 

We are continuously impressed by all of you. Good luck to all of our graduating students as you begin the next chapter of your lives. Please know that you will always have a community here at Rollins, and are welcome back any time.

Enjoy your weekend, happy Mother’s Day, and congratulations to all!  

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health


Thursday, May 7, 4:32 p.m. to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community, 

We hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy and safe. We’d like to take a moment to update you regarding our plans to safely re-open our buildings for research-related and educational activities. At this point in time, we do not have an official date for when this will occur, but it is likely that on-campus activities will resume in a stepwise fashion that will allow for implementation of new procedures and evaluation of those strategies.

However, members of our COVID-19 Preparation and Response Team have resumed regular meetings to discuss and make recommendations to the deans regarding building operations and solutions to ensure the safety and wellness of those in our community once it is safe to return to activities on campus. Aspects under discussion include: 

  • Enhanced cleaning protocols 
  • Small classroom numbers that adhere to physical distancing recommendations
  • Closing areas conducive to gatherings 
  • Access to personal protective equipment 
  • The installation of hand sanitizer stations and/or hand wipes
  • Adjusted building hours 
  • Staggered work schedules
  • And more

This team is composed of representatives from our service units, faculty, staff, and students. Members of the team are following guidance from the university, the CDC, and the most recent scientific evidence as they look at operations for the summer and fall. The deans will use this information to establish a date for when and how our buildings will re-open. We will share this information with you in a timely manner.

While our buildings may be closed, our school is very much up and running, thanks to the efforts of all of you. The work of our faculty, staff, and students continues to make impacts on the pandemic, particularly through the breadth of research undertaken by our faculty.

Research Update

A project led by Drs. Patrick Sullivan, David Benkeser, and other collaborators looks at the racial disparities in COVID-19 cases and deaths across the United States. The study shows that counties with predominately Black populations account for nearly 50 percent of all COVID-19 cases and more than 50 percent of COVID-19-related deaths. Their work was recently highlighted on CNN and can be viewed in detail—along with accompanying graphics—on the following website: https://ehe.amfar.org/disparities 

Thank you,  

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health


Friday, May 1, 4:29 p.m. to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community, 

With the close of the spring semester, we know that many of you are eager for answers surrounding class delivery and building operations for the fall. The current plan for both Emory University and the Rollins School of Public Health are to open on campus in the fall. 

We have been in frequent conversation with Emory’s Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response, the Provost’s Office, additional units across the university, and public health partners as we undertake contingency planning that accounts for various scenarios. Moreover, our decision-making is guided by scientific evidence related to reducing the risk of transmission. Our utmost concern for the fall—and at all times—is the safety and wellness of all faculty, staff, students, and visitors. As Interim Provost Jan Love noted in her message to the Emory community on April 30, these decisions will be informed by the best and most recent medical, scientific, and public health evidence and literature and will be compliant with all federal, state, and local laws and regulations and requirements of our accrediting bodies.

We know that the uncertainty surrounding the fall has been stressful and hope to have answers for you soon. As soon as we have additional information, we will share it with all of you. Thank you for your patience throughout this process as we work to maintain the integrity of our academic experience while balancing the safety of everyone in our community. Please continue to share any questions or concerns you may have via our COVID-19 listserv, RSPHCOVID19@listserv.cc.emory.edu . We are all in this together.

Sincerely,

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health


Wednesday, April 29, 1:55 p.m. to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community, 

With full understanding of the great challenges that faculty and staff face related to grant submission, we are pleased to report that we experienced a huge increase in research proposals for the month (a 37 percent increase from this time last year), with 120 proposals submitted for April. Faculty have invested substantial work in each submission despite the disruptions posed by the COVID-19 pandemic that largely occurred during March and April. We also greatly appreciate the work of our RAS team who are helping faculty to facilitate these submissions and are important members of our research enterprise. Submitted proposals pertain to both COVID-19 and other pressing public health issues. Congratulations to all of you who managed to get these proposals in, despite the obstacles to do so. We appreciate the work you’re doing to continue to support and advance the Rollins research mission, particularly in the midst of a pandemic.

As a reminder to all faculty, staff, and students, please continue to manage the expectations you have set for yourselves right now. Do not place productivity over your mental or physical health, and please continue to prioritize your overall wellness. Thanks to all of you for your ongoing research, teaching, leadership, friendship, and contributions to our school and to public health at large throughout this pandemic. 

Randall Rollins Building Update

Renderings of our new building and details about the forthcoming R. Randall Rollins Building—slated for a 2022 opening—are now available for review on the RSPH Expansion section of MyHub. Members of the Expansion Project Team will continue to update messaging and imagery within this space. Please reference this resource to stay informed about this exciting project in the months ahead.   

https://myhub.sph.emory.edu/EmailNotificationLink.po?handle=436519&name=Announcing_the_New_RSPH_Building_Project

In health, 

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health


Monday, April 27, 4:00 p.m. to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community, 

Today marks the final day of classes for the semester—and the last day of class at Rollins for many of you. Congratulations to everyone on a job well done! Thank you to our students, faculty, and staff for rising to the occasion and for adapting to online course delivery so quickly and efficiently. We are proud of the collective efforts of our entire community throughout this pandemic. We will remember this epidemic long into the future and how it has altered how we view not only public health, but also academia and society. 

In the next few days, we’ll share details about our virtual commencement website and activities. We hope to congratulate all of you in person at some point. For now, please plan to join us virtually to celebrate your accomplishments.  

Research Update

Many of our faculty have been actively publishing COVID-19-related articles in journals and research publications. The scope of this work has been varied and draws upon our extensive research portfolio as a school. Below are a few recent examples:

Report from the COVID-19 Virtual Summit, Disaster Experts Speak Out, March 31, 2020. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine.

Mark Keim contributed to the article. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32312355

Detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA and Antibodies in Diverse Samples: Protocol to Validate the Sufficiency of Provider-Observed, Home-Collected Blood, Saliva, and Oropharyngeal Samples. JMIR Public Health and Surveillance.
Rollins authors include Patrick Sullivan (lead author), Jodie Guest, Aaron Siegler, Mariah Valentine-Graves, Laura Gravens, Carlos del Rio, and Travis Sanchez. Colleen Kelley from the School of Medicine also contributed. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32310815

Maximizing Digital Interventions for Youth in the Midst of Covid-19: Lessons from the Adolescent Trials Network for HIV InterventionsAIDS and Behavior. 
Rollins authors include Maria Zlotorzynska and Travis Sanchez. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32306214

Centring sexual and reproductive health and justice in the global COVID-19 responseLancet. 
Kelli Hall was lead author on the article. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7146687/

Sincerely,

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health


Thursday, April 23, 7:12 p.m. to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community, 

We’re nearly finished with the semester. Thanks to all of you for your continued efforts toward your work and school commitments. The ongoing changes and stresses imposed with adjusting to a new normal can be taxing. Please take rest when you can, prioritize your health and wellbeing, and strive to be gracious and understanding with one another. We’re in this together. 

Today, we would like to send our thanks to the finance and compliance division at Rollins. This group works diligently to ensure the school maintains a healthy budget, monitors reimbursements and payables, oversees financial guidance and reporting related to non-sponsored funding, and more. We have long leaned upon this group for their extensive expertise and knowledge and appreciate everything that they do for our faculty and staff on a daily basis. Thank you for your hard work and for your contributions to our community. We appreciate you. 

COVID-19 Rollins Research Updates 

Thank you to all of our faculty who participated in our survey last week to collect information on current and planned COVID-19 research, as well as the work that our faculty are doing applying their public health skills with partners in local, state, and federal government, as well as our communities. To allow us to highlight the impactful work of our researchers to the world, we have made a list of current projects available on the Rollins News Center: https://sph.emory.edu/news/news-release/2020/04/covid-19-research.html

The results of the survey thus far have also been tabulated and organized according to key area of focus. This list can be viewed on the Office of Research MyHub site using the following link: 

 https://myhub.sph.emory.edu/EmailNotificationLink.po?handle=1900243&name=RSPH_COVID-19_Research_and_Response.

We would like to continue to collect information from all of you regarding ongoing COVID-19 research projects. We know you are continuing to expand your research and engagement around the pandemic. Please continue to complete the survey at: https://rsph.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6DUi5LAp4jaU2R7

Ongoing survey results will be used to update content on our website. In addition, our marketing and communications team may reach out to several of you to learn more about your work and expand upon your project in stand-alone articles on the Rollins News Center. We are hopeful that by sharing this information, we can form a better sense of community and collaboration within Rollins, give our researchers external publicity, open up opportunities for additional news coverage, and can educate our donors and partner organizations about opportunities to support our research mission. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to advancing public health research and practice to confront this pandemic. 

Thank you, 

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health


Wednesday, April 22, 1:29 p.m. to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community, 

Today is Administrative Professionals Day, and we could not be more grateful or proud of the administrative and support professionals working with us at Rollins. This outstanding group handles logistics for our various service units, streamlines operations, coordinates meetings and events, and handles extensive planning to ensure all offices are running as efficiently as possible. We’d like to extend our genuine thanks for the work that you do. Please know that we appreciate you.

COVID-19 Rollins Research Highlights 

Below are a few of the applied public health projects our faculty are currently engaged with (or will be soon) that are related to the COVID-19 response. We will continue to share COVID-19-related activities of our community every few days. Please note these projects are selected at random.

  • Lance Waller has been working with the Georgia Department of Public Health to coordinate the placement of students to assist with utilizing GIS mapping of surveillance data as it relates to COVID-19.
  • Hannah Cooper, along with approximately 20 Emory faculty (primarily from Rollins), is partnering with the Georgia Department of Public Health to assist with the department’s COVID-19-related surveillance efforts. Faculty’s contributions include: Geospatial analysis, PUI, syndrome surveillance, inequities and underlying conditions, injury, transmission dynamics, HIV, and applied mapping and spatial epidemiology.
  • Ajay Pillarisetti is a member of the N95Decon team, a scientific consortium that provides guidance on decontaminating N95 filtering face piece respirators. The group is engaged with hospital systems, local and national health departments, and individual health care providers worldwide.
  • Donghai Liang has partnered with the American Cancer Society to examine associations between county-level COVID-19 case fatality rates and health care capacity and to assess how associations will be further modified with surges in COVID-19 cases. The investigators plan to regularly disseminate dynamic model projections of counties with the greatest health care capacity limitations and risk of cancer treatment delays with local and national policy makers, cancer care organizations, providers, researchers, advocates, and patients.

In health,

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health


Tuesday, April 21, 4:18 p.m. to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community, 

We hope your week is off to a good start and wanted to congratulate you as we enter our final week of classes for the semester. You have all done a remarkable job during an uncertain time. We commend all of you for your efforts and your resolve to finish the semester strong.

It’s with that mindset that we’d like to focus today’s recognition on our incredible faculty. All of you have shown tremendous dedication to our students throughout this transition and have enabled us to maintain academic excellence in our virtual environment. You’ve put in long hours of hard work to redesign your classes and to learn new technologies, all while juggling family and at-home demands. Many of you are engaged with COVID-19-related research projects and continue to push public health practice forward. Please know that you have our admiration, appreciation, and support. We are so grateful to all of you and would like to thank you for all that you do.

Introducing #RollinsTogether 

A few members of the Rollins faculty, staff, and student body recently formed the RollinsTogether working group, aimed at cultivating community throughout the remainder of social distancing measures and beyond. As part of this initiative, they have introduced the hashtag, #RollinsTogether, and invite you to start incorporating this hashtag in social media posts depicting your temporary normal as an at-home Rollins student or employee. In the weeks ahead, this group will share prompts and host virtual events to promote friendship and connectivity among those in our community. Until then, as you work from home, take a walk, engage in regular meetings, or partake in activities that remind you of Rollins that you feel like sharing, please utilize this new hashtag and tag Rollins (@rollinspublichealth) in your Instagram posts.

COVID-19 Rollins Research Highlights 

Rollins faculty have been actively engaged with the COVID-19 response and are involved with impactful research across the spectrum of public health fields. We have catalogued over 40 research projects that faculty are working on related to the pandemic. Starting today, we will begin featuring randomly selected projects every few days to help illuminate the work of those in our community. 

  • Traci Leong is involved with an Emory Healthcare study for COVID-19-positive patients between March and April 2020. The study is investigating how ACE inhibitors affect acute respiratory distress syndrome incidence.
  • Julie Gazmararian is conducting a brief survey for high school students at two-three Georgia high schools to assess their COVID-19-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors as well as the impact the pandemic has had on their mental health, anxiety levels, and sleep. 

Learning and Organizational Development Zoom Sessions on Coping With Change 

Learning and Organizational Development is offering free 1-hour webinars on the Change Cycle:  A model of human behavior that explains what people experience whenever a change occurs, and how to adjust and successfully cope sooner. These classes are open to everyone at Emory University. To register, log in to the Emory Learning Management System (https://elmprod9.emory.edu/). The class is called The Change Cycle: How to Cope With Change – on Zoom.

Current dates:

DATE/TIME                      COURSE CODE

Thur 4.23  10 a.m.           200825-16924

Tue 4.28  10 a.m.             200825-16925

Fri 5.1  1:30 p.m.             200825-16926

Tue 5.5  10 a.m.               200825-16927

Faculty Update 

On Monday, April 20, Kim Maune and Carmen Marsit held a Q&A session to address faculty questions regarding the financial and budgetary implications of the COVID-19 pandemic at Emory, and considerations for research program reductions and changes due to social distancing. A recording of the session can be seen here:

https://rsph.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=007af894-ab44-42da-a2b1-aba400e52faa

This video and additional resources for research are available on the Office of Research website in MyHub: https://myhub.sph.emory.edu/EmailNotificationLink.po?handle=1857557&name=COVID-19_Research_Resources

Take care, 

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health


Friday, April 17, 6:34 p.m. to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community, 

We’ve come to the end of another week during the COVID-19 pandemic. As in weeks past, we encourage all of you to take this time to rest, relax, and to do something fun. Please continue to prioritize your mental and physical health and use the weekend as an opportunity to recover from the demands of work and school. Connect with friends virtually, spend some time outside, read a book, binge on Netflix, or do something else you can enjoy safely.

Research Update 

The NIH has created a website featuring research tools and trainings around COVID-19. This includes surveys and protocols that would allow for researchers to collect information in a standardized format for improved harmonization moving forward. The site also contains training materials for workers in order to reduce the potential for exposure outside of health care settings.  https://dr2.nlm.nih.gov/tools-resources   

Have a nice weekend. We’ll see you all virtually next week.  

Take care,

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health


Thursday, April 16, 5:22 p.m. to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community, 

We’d like to thank you for your partnership and understanding over these last several weeks. We encourage you to continue to turn to us with your questions and for support as we near the end of the semester. Please know that we are here to help and to listen to your concerns. For those of you who may be encountering technical issues during remote work and learning, please reach out to our IT department by emailing them at help@sph.emory.edu. They are eager to assist you with any problems you might be experiencing. 

Today, we would like to extend our appreciation for the research administration unit at Rollins. This group works diligently to ensure research operations run smoothly through liaising with the central Office of Research Administration and by assisting faculty with budget development, proposal preparation, and one-on-one advising throughout the pre- and post-award period. Our school’s breadth and diversity of research are among our greatest strengths and could not be possible without the guidance, expertise, or commitment from this phenomenal group. Thank you for helping us to push our research mission forward and for being the consummate professionals that you are. We appreciate the work that you do and are grateful you are part of our community. Thank you from all of us!

The Office of Advancement and Alumni Engagement is actively involved with alumni, friends, and donors in a variety of activities. Many of our alumni are working on the frontlines of the pandemic in health care settings, leading policy and educational efforts at their work sites, drafting legislation, overseeing vaccine development, and more. Rollins has established the Public Health Preparedness and Research Fund to support COVID-19 research and service. Gifts so far include a generous $100,000 for pilot research grants. The fund is accessible through the following link:  

https://securelb.imodules.com/s/1705/giving/index.aspx?sid=1705&gid=3&pgid=600&cid=1358&sort=1&dids=12248.1027.783.10418.9922.586.12101.1558.1202.2640.2978.2748.731.660.2568.11685.854.2798&bledit=1&appealcode=W0PUB

Student and Faculty Update

As many of you saw in last night’s email, the thesis deadline has been extended across all departments and the EMPH program to April 29. We hope this seven-day extension will provide relief during a stressful time. Please continue to direct any thesis-related questions to your departmental ADAPs and/or directors of graduate studies. 

Thank you,

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health


Tuesday, April 14, 3:31 p.m. to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community, 

We hope your day is going well and that you get the opportunity to take a walk or short break at some point today and can enjoy the beautiful weather. As noted in past messages, we are concerned about the physical, emotional, and mental health of all in our community. Please continue to check in with yourself and to be mindful of your health as this pandemic continues. Attached are a few distance-counseling options and emotional health resources compiled by CAPS we wanted to share that we hope will be useful to you. Please reach out if you need help and know that you have our support. 

In yesterday’s message, we mentioned members of the APE selection committee and accidentally left Michael Goodman’s name off that list. Thank you, Dr. Goodman, for your assistance—along with the rest of the committee—in selecting this year’s outstanding student applied practice experience poster presentations. As stated yesterday, I enjoyed speaking with our student winners and was impressed by the caliber of their presentations. Well done! 

While we continue to acknowledge various service units around Rollins, today we would like to extend our gratitude to our talented Human Resources staff. This team works tirelessly to support our faculty and staff at Rollins through hiring, job advancement, training and career development, flexible work options, managing conflict resolution scenarios, providing one-on-one advising, and assisting members of our community during times of life transition. We appreciate the way you provide your services with care and genuine concern and wanted to thank you for your contributions to Rollins. Thank you for helping to make Rollins a great place to work! 

Student Update 

With classes ending on April 27, we encourage all students to complete course evaluations for all of their classes this semester. This is an excellent opportunity to provide constructive feedback to faculty about the delivery of their courses. While it may be tempting to focus solely on the transition to remote teaching in your feedback, we hope that students reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of their courses over the entire duration of the semester. This will help faculty improve the course for future cohorts. Thank you for your help!  

Research Update

As a reminder, if you are currently performing any COVID-19-related research or service, or are planning research in this area, please take a few minutes to complete this survey by Friday, April 17, at 5 p.m. 

https://rsph.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6DUi5LAp4jaU2R7 

We hope to use this information to help our faculty identify collaborations, to demonstrate our school’s commitment to research on this pandemic, and to help our investigators gain support for their efforts.

In health,  

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health



Monday, April 13, 5:07 p.m. to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community, 

We hope everyone is doing well and that your week is off to a good start. Around this time each spring, we take the opportunity to highlight the most outstanding applied practice experience poster presentations of the year. We were immensely pleased by the caliber of this year’s submissions and have selected 12 finalists this year. All of the students listed below prepared poster presentations that were timely, exceptional in content and focus, and truly exemplified excellence in public health. I had the opportunity to view each poster and to speak with the finalists over Zoom and was deeply impressed by our students and their work. Thanks to Sam Ramosevac from the Office of Career Development for organizing the Zoom session. Please join me in applauding this year’s finalists! 

Outstanding Applied Practice Experience Poster FinalistsCaroline Barry, Christina Chandra, Christine Cooper, Shivani Dayal, Ilana Greenberg, Hanna Lee, Sarita Mohanty, Matthew Ryan, Surupa Sarkar, Diamond Spratling, Chelsea Toledo, and Rami Yacoub were all recognized for their outstanding abstracts and posters. Special thanks to Sarah Blake, Howard Chang, Dawn Comeau, and Laura Lloyd for their assistance in selecting this year’s finalists. 

As we recognize various units around Rollins, today we would like to take a moment to acknowledge the hardworking team that makes up the Office of Career Development. This group makes it its mission to prepare our students to land meaningful careers in public health and works hard to ensure our students receive the job counseling, resume help, interview practice, networking opportunities, and career tools they need in order to succeed after graduation—and in the years beyond. Despite our transition to remote work and learning, this group has continued to offer extensive training and support virtually to our students. We commend your high level of service, professionalism, and expertise and thank you for the enthusiasm you bring to Rollins on a daily basis. We appreciate the tremendous service you are providing to both our students and the public health workforce at large. Thank you for all that you do! 

Research Update

As a reminder, applications for the COVID-19 Rapid Pilot Program are due this Wednesday, April 15, 2020, at 5 p.m. More information can be found on the Office of Research section of MyHub: 

https://myhub.sph.emory.edu/EmailNotificationLink.po?handle=1844237&name=Office_of_Research.

The NIH has released a number of Notices of Special Opportunities around COVID-19 from nearly all of the NIH Institutes. This website provides an updated list of all of the notices as well as the parent announcements for the award mechanisms: https://grants.nih.gov/policy/natural-disasters/corona-virus.htm

Thank you for your continued commitment to the research mission of Rollins. 

In health,  

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health


Thursday, April 9, 2:33 p.m. to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community, 

Today marks one month until graduation. As we close in on the remaining weeks of the semester, please know that the dean’s office and our service units remain available to assist our faculty, staff, and students in the days and weeks ahead. Despite the obstacles posed by a global pandemic, we can finish the semester strong so long as we continue to support one another. 

To that end, we would like to take a moment to acknowledge the outstanding people in our Office of Admission and Student Services. This talented group provides personalized, ongoing support to our students throughout their time at Rollins and facilitates a variety of student programming and community engagement opportunities to our student body. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, this group has worked diligently to ensure the student experience at Rollins remains strong despite the obstacles posed by social distancing. Among their accomplishments during this time are conceptualizing and executing an exceptional virtual Visit Emory (attended by 1,000 prospective students and counting), establishing a new option for connecting digitally on Canvas, and responding to a diverse range of student requests and needs. We are perpetually impressed by this group’s professionalism and concern for our students. Please know we appreciate the work that you’re doing and are grateful for you. 

Research Update 

As a reminder and update, the RSPH Office of Research has introduced a rapid COVID-19 pilot grant program that is open to faculty of all ranks and tracks at Rollins. Pilot projects should be innovative, potentially high-risk, and transformative, with an immediacy and feasibility to be executed in one year.

In addition to funding committed by RSPH and generous donors, the Injury Prevention Research Center at Emory and Spark @ Emory —The Rollins Program in Substance Use Disorders—in recognition of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on populations beyond the infection have committed up to $30k in additional funding for a pilot grant application that studies the intersection of COVID-19 and injury and violence prevention. Studies considering the effects of COVID-19 on overdose and overdose prevention efforts are eligible for this funding and highly encouraged. A project addressing how COVID-19 is influencing injury and injury prevention efforts and providing salary support to a graduate student or postdoc will be eligible for up to $20k in additional funds. An additional $10k is available from Spark @ Emory if this project addresses overdose or overdose prevention.

Pilot awards can be awarded at the $25,000 and $50,000 level and are intended to aid our investigators in obtaining additional extramural support quickly. Additional information and details about the application process are available under the Office of Research tab in MyHub and are attached as a PDF to this email. Applications are due April 15, 2020, and will be awarded by May 15, 2020. Any questions should be addressed to Carmen Marsit, Associate Dean for Research, carmen.j.marsit@emory.edu

Thank you, 

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health


Wednesday, April 8, 1:53 p.m. to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community, 

We hope that everyone is doing well and staying safe and healthy. It has been heartening to see the way our community has come together to foster an environment where compassion and empathy can thrive. As we undergo the challenges affiliated with uncertainty and troubling news, it’s powerful to see acts of humanity, respect, and friendship play out, even when we are separated. Please continue to practice kindness to those around you; kindness can be infectious as well.  

As many of you are likely aware, several of our faculty, students, and alumni are leading the way with COVID-19-related research, response, and consulting. For those of you in the midst of the response, thank you for your service, and please take care of yourselves. We have also been proud to see various members of our community appear in the news. A few of those clips can be found here: https://sph.emory.edu/news/in-the-media/index.html

Though we are no longer congregating in our beautiful buildings, Fulfillment Services has not slowed down over the past several weeks. Thanks to their mastery of efficiency, this group has maintained mail and package delivery, has continued to manage operations affiliated with our buildings, and oversaw the logistics and execution required to help hundreds of community members move their belongings as we transitioned to remote work and learning. Many from this group also volunteered their time to assist the college with dorm move-outs. As always, this group’s selflessness and tenacity are impressive and are among the top attributes of our school. Please join me in thanking Fulfillment Services for their ongoing excellence. We miss seeing you every morning, but know you are there working hard behind the scenes. 

Student Update 

Yesterday afternoon, the Department of Homeland Security announced that if current on-campus student employment opportunities have transitioned to remote work, F-1 students may continue to engage in on-campus employment remotely during COVID-19. This is exciting news for our students! 

Remember, to maintain valid F-1 status, you need to maintain full-time enrollment and continue with Emory’s remote learning until the end of this semester. It is still limited to no more than 20 hours per week even if you have more than one on-campus job. Related information and FAQs can be found here: https://isss.emory.edu/about/news/2020/coronavirus-messages.html 

 

Happy Wednesday, 

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health

 


Tuesday, April 7, 2:18 p.m. to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community, 

With our move to remote learning and work, many of us have also increased the number of meetings and phone calls on our calendars. While our to-do lists may have grown in size, so too have the demands of work-life balance, a phrase that may seem especially unachievable right now. Though we encourage productivity, please know that we also are aware that everyone is trying the best they can. This means you should also manage your personal expectations of what you hope to achieve in a single day. Please be kind to yourself. Take breaks from screens. Move around between meetings. We understand that there will be occasions where attending every Zoom meeting is simply not feasible. When those situations arise, please stay in communication with your teams. We encourage everyone to maintain their flexibility as we are all working to adapt to a unique situation.  

Likewise, for those of you who aren’t in regular meetings, and are feeling particularly isolated or lonely, please connect with your supervisor, classmates, advisor, and members of your professional networks. We are all just a phone call or text message away. For those groups that aren’t holding regular meetings—or meetings that include all relevant members—consider potentially hosting an occasional Zoom session for the sheer purpose of staying connected (not related to work). Microsoft Teams has also been a popular option for groups to stay in contact and to discuss topics outside of work (https://it.emory.edu/office365/teams.html).

As we think about staying connected to our community, we’d like to take this opportunity to extend our sincere gratitude for the tireless efforts of our IT department. This group of people has worked around the clock to provide a variety of functions to our faculty, staff, and students, and has responded to an unprecedented number of help desk tickets in the process. Thank you for your help with software, training sessions, technical issues, classroom transitions, server maintenance, your partnership in executing a virtual Visit Emory, and more. This shift to remote work and learning would not be possible without your expertise and support. So, thank you, from all of us. 

In health,

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health


Monday, April 6, 6:59 p.m. to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community, 

April ushers in a season of several holy days celebrated by many in our community. Passover begins April 8 and runs through April 16, Good Friday is April 10, Easter Sunday is April 12, Ridván begins the evening of April 19 and ends the evening of May 1, and Ramadan is April 23-May 23. Traditionally, these dates serve as opportunities to reflect, to perform rituals, and to commune with members of shared faiths. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, various faiths have worked to find ways to move services and gatherings to online or remote formats in order to support social distancing for the benefit of the global community.  ​Please practice your faith safely by avoiding group dinners or gatherings and commemorating these holy dates from home. We know this is a major shift and one that breaks with tradition, but is one that we highly encourage to ensure the safety of everyone in our community. In case it is helpful to you or others in your  ​religious communities, Emory’s Interfaith Health Program and the Religion and Public Health Collaborative developed a comprehensive website listing COVID-19 resources for faith communities. Please share it with others in your community if you feel compelled to do so: http://ihpemory.org/covid-19-resources-for-faith-communities/

In addition, Emory’s Office of Spiritual and Religious Life has listed several virtual programs and services on its website that might be helpful to you as you seek to find ways to practice your faith from afar: http://www.religiouslife.emory.edu/News/COVID%20Resources/Virtual%20Weekly%20Programs%20and%20Program%20Services.html

We support the diversity of belief, religious practice, and opinion at Rollins and extend our respect and friendship to all of you during this time of adjustment.   

In addition to the religious occurrences detailed above, this week also kicks off National Public Health Week April 6-12. 

In addition, several Rollins student organizations are organizing community engagement activities throughout the week across social media. Please see the attached flier for specifics and follow the social media accounts indicated in the attachment to participate.   

Please take care and stay safe, 

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health


Friday, April 3, 7:17 p.m. to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community, 

We’ve made it through another week of remote learning and social distancing. Congratulations to all! As we head into this weekend, we encourage all of you to disconnect and find an opportunity to do something enjoyable unrelated to work or school obligations. While Governor Kemp’s latest shelter in place order limits our abilities to enjoy typical leisure activities we’re used to, it further supports social distancing, which all of us have been doing for several weeks.  

Though it can be difficult to keep a positive mental outlook or to find pleasure in a time of uncertainty, please at least be kind to yourself and be mindful of self care. We are all going through drastic lifestyle changes and are facing new challenges we have not had to encounter before. If you can, try to take a walk, explore a hobby, binge watch a TV show, cook a new recipe, play with your children, host a virtual pizza night with friends, or do another activity you enjoy. In short, give yourself permission to have fun. Rest. Relax. Take care of yourselves. 

Faculty and Staff Update 

Emory staff have the option to “pause/deactivate” their parking permit payroll deduction. Below is the link to submit a request. If any employee selects the option to pause the monthly deduction during the shutdown, once the shutdown is over payments will automatically restart, and their parking deck assignments will remain the same. If an employee selects to cancel their payroll deduction, they will have to reapply for a new parking permit.

Parking Permits:

Emory employees wanting to deactivate their parking permit and stop payroll deduction should submit their parking permit preference here: Parking Form

Requests must be received by Wednesday, April 15, 2020, in order to stop the April deduction. 

Happy Friday, 

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health


Thursday, April 2, 1:05 p.m. to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community, 

We wanted to take a moment today to extend our sincere gratitude to our entire staff, all of whom have stepped up to meet the intense demands involved with transitioning our work and learning environments to a remote arrangement. Our service units have worked tirelessly over the last several weeks to continue operations and to maintain a level of excellence we have come to expect at Rollins. None of these tasks are a small lift in normal circumstances. Please know that your efforts have not gone unnoticed and that we appreciate you.  

Like Emory University, the Rollins School of Public Health is committed to supporting our staff who ensure the continuation of our research and academic programs. Please know that we value all of you and thank you for the work you are doing behind the scenes to ascertain continued alignment with our mission. While we all miss our on-campus interactions, we are proud of the adjustments everyone has made to meet the needs of our community virtually throughout social distancing.  

Zoom Research Event Friday, April 3, 10 am-11 am: Diabetes and COVID-19

This Friday, Dr. K.M. Venkat Narayan will moderate a panel that includes Drs. Carlos del Rio, Mohammed K. Ali and Guillermo Umpierrez, to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on diabetes.  

Please join in for this important discussion and feel free to share it widely.  https://zoom.us/j/943721209

 

Thank you, 

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health

 


Monday, March 30, 5:07 p.m. to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community, 

We hope you had a restful weekend and took the opportunity to disconnect from school and work and to do something enjoyable at home. We will continue to keep you posted on developments as they arise and thank you as always for your commitment to social distancing and for your patience during this challenging time. 

Community-Wide Update 

In alignment with Emory University’s most recent guidelines regarding the COVID-19 pandemic (https://www.emory.edu/coronavirus/emory/faculty/), RSPH will now offer students the option to select S/U for any course taken in the spring 2020 semester. We feel this option offers flexibility for students when needed while also maintaining high academic standards for the school. Any questions about this policy may be directed to: rsphenrollmentservices@emoy.edu. Please review the updated policy attached

Update for Faculty and Staff 

Starting today, March 30, Healthy Emory is launching several free virtual fitness and wellness programming opportunities open to all Emory University employees. Please see several options listed below and attached to this email. 

Blomeyer Virtual Programming: See attached 

Recreation & Wellness Programming: See attached. Fitness classes will be posted to their social media accounts each day at 9 a.m. 

Faculty Staff Assistance Program: Emotional support during COVID-19 http://fsap.emory.edu/emotional-physical-health/emotional-support-during-COVID19.html 

Exercise, Nutrition, Stress and Sleep Resources: Healthy Emory has put together a list of resources to assist you with these aspects of health and wellness: https://www.hr.emory.edu/eu/_includes/documents/sections/wellness/mmc-covid.pdf 

Virtual Walking Group: Walking on Wednesdays will continue on Wednesdays through May 6 and will include weekly themes. Individuals are encouraged to stay active by taking a walk alone or with family. Everyone who sends a picture of their walk on Wednesdays will receive 100 points weekly that can be applied to their Healthy Emory Connect accounts. "Attend" 5 of 7 walks and receive 1,000 points toward your Healthy Emory Connect account. Register here

Daily Yoga Sessions: are being offered virtually for Emory employees. These sessions will take place daily at 5:30 p.m. and will be led by certified yoga instructors. Access these sessions through Zoom:https://zoom.us/j/587193971 

Daily Meditation: Free, live, online CBCT® “drop-in” sessions will provide a chance to connect with others and to decompress. These meditations will be offered Monday through Friday, 7:00-7:45 p.m. and Saturday & Sunday, 9:00-9:45 a.m. https://www.compassion.emory.edu/cbct-covid19-response.html 

 

Take care, 

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health

 


Message sent Friday, March 27, 4:48 p.m. to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community, 

We are pleased to end this week with some positive news. Last night, we heard back from the Council on Education for Public Health’s Board of Councilors that we received accreditation for another seven years (through July 1, 2027). Thanks to everyone on the accreditation committee for all of your hard work in preparing our extensive self-study document and guiding us throughout this process. We would also like to commend our faculty, staff, and students whose dedication to excellence enables Rollins to be an exceptional place for learning. Congratulations to all on this outstanding achievement! 

School-Wide Updates

  • While we hope that social distancing and prevention tactics will protect our community from COVID-19, as a matter of preparation, the Office of Admission and Student Services has developed a document detailing the steps students, faculty, and ADAPs should take if a student has a presumptive or confirmed case of COVID-19. Please review this information and remember to utilize the new Coronavirus Checker (https://c19check.com/start) developed by CEPAR and the Emory Department of Emergency Medicine as a tool if you develop symptoms. 
  • Faculty and staff should follow the guidance listed on the following website if they believe they are sick with COVID-19: https://hr.emory.edu/eu/_includes/documents/sections/covid19/covid-19-algorithms.pdf

Student Updates

  • Students, we would like to reiterate our promise to deliver you the best academic experience possible and to allow you to progress through your program of study expeditiously. Regardless of where you are in your studies, please know that we are here to assist you as you work to complete your theses, applied practice experiences, graduation requirements, and course competencies. During these unprecedented times, we continue to work with our faculty to provide flexibility to assure our students continue to progress in their programs.
  • The Office of Career Development continues to provide opportunities for career coaching, resume advice, job searching, and other professional development needs, which are changing and evolving throughout this pandemic experience. The team remains dedicated in assisting our students in finding public health positions, both for students looking for summer opportunities and for students graduating this spring. It is important to continue your job searching activities in the form of networking and applying to positions so that you will be in their applicant pool databases and remain on their radars through your networking efforts. Please reach out to the Office of Career Development  using the contact information below and utilize their services throughout your educational journey with us, particularly those of you who will be graduating soon. 

Career Coaching Appointments: Virtual one-on-one career appointments can be scheduled through Handshake. https://rsph.joinhandshake.com/login

Job Search Tools and Additional Career Resources:  https://sph.emory.edu/careers/current-students/job-search-tools/index.html          

Networking: MentorRollins (Virtual Networking tool) https://sph.emory.edu/careers/featured-services/mentoring-program/index.html

Office of Career Development: Contact us at  rsphcareerdev@emory.edu or 404-727-9957.

Research Updates

  • NIH has issued a notice https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-20-091.htmlallowing for all grant applications submitted late for due dates between March 9, 2020, and May 1, 2020, to be accepted until May 1, 2020. This includes all relevant funding announcements, including those that state that no late applications will be accepted. Importantly, this only pertains to applications that would be reviewed by the NIH Center for Scientific Review, and cannot supersede individual institute guidance.  
  • This notice, along with other information pertinent to NIH applicants and recipients of NIH funding can be found on the following website:  https://grants.nih.gov/grants/natural_disasters/corona-virus.htm

Among the details listed here are guidance on grants and research continuation, funding opportunities, and resources. 

Please enjoy a safe and healthful weekend! 

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health


Message sent Thursday, March 26, 4:08 pm to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community, 

With our first week of remote learning nearly complete, we wanted to take a moment to check in. How are you? 

Some of us are fortunate to live with spouses, family members, roommates, partners, or friends. While there are others in our community who may be feeling particularly isolated right now. Please know that we are here for you and that you are not alone despite the physical distance. 

Many of our faculty, staff, and students have adopted new ways of socializing and maintaining connection through technology. Zoom has been a popular forum for meetings, but it’s also an excellent opportunity for meeting virtually with friends for a meal or conversation. Microsoft Teams can be used for office collaborations, but also as a substitute for those cubicle-side chats many of us are now missing. We encourage all of you to set aside time during your day to connect with others, whether it be through one of these options, or through video call, your preferred social media outlet, text message, or phone call. 

As much as we are all doing our best to accommodate the demands of work, home, and school, we must also maintain our relationships, which can bring tremendous benefits to our emotional and mental health. Please continue to take care of yourselves and one another. 

Mailroom Update

The Rollins School of Public Health Fulfillment Services Mailroom is operating under temporary hours Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. If you receive a package, Fulfillment Services will email you to see if you’d like to schedule to pick up your package from the CNR loading dock or have it held on site until normal business operations resume. Fulfillment Services is conducting a daily mail pickup from Emory Mail Services at 11 a.m. and is notifying those who have alerted Fulfillment Services they are expecting certain mailings to schedule mail pickup options at the CNR loading dock as well. For special requests related to mail, please submit a TIKKIT to rsph.tikkit.us. 

 

Please take care, 

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health


Message sent Tuesday, March 24, 3:54 pm to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community,

Congratulations on a successful first day of class! All of you have shown tremendous resolve and flexibility during this dynamic time. Please keep up the good work in the days and weeks to come. 

At Rollins, we’ve long taken pride in the sense of community people feel when they walk through our buildings. While we are all apart and communicating with one another virtually, I wanted to reiterate that virtues of kindness, respect, generosity, and acceptance are at the forefront of everything we do and should remain so while we are engaging off campus. Please continue to support our mission and to treat everyone around you with respect and friendship—this includes those outside of the Emory community. 

Times of fear and anxiety can sometimes bring out the worst in people. At Rollins, we condemn all forms of hate and discrimination. We stand strong on our acceptance of all people, regardless of race, gender, country of origin, sexual preference, religious belief, ethnicity, or opinion. Please continue to be stewards of public health and human decency throughout this pandemic, and at all times. 

For those of you who may be experiencing extreme stress or who are in need of additional mental health support at this time, please reference the list below for available Emory resources.

Please know that we care about you and that your emotional, mental, and physical health are top of mind. 

Emory Counseling and Psychological Services

http://counseling.emory.edu/

Office of Spiritual and Religious Life 

http://www.religiouslife.emory.edu/

Emory Faculty Staff Assistance Program

http://www.fsap.emory.edu/emotional-physical-health/index.html

Emory Office of Equity and Inclusion 

http://equityandinclusion.emory.edu

Student Intervention Services 

http://success.emory.edu/SIS/

Student Health Services 

http://studenthealth.emory.edu/hs/about/contact_us/emergency.html

As confirmed cases of COVID-19 increase, please continue to follow the precautions and social distancing practices emphasized by the CDC. Please review the information outlined on Emory University’s COVID-19 FAQs page for information pertaining to COVID-19 symptoms and university reporting processes: https://www.emory.edu/coronavirus/emory/

 

Please take care, 

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health

 


Message sent Monday, March 23, 1:27 pm to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community,

Welcome back to Rollins in our new, virtual environment! Classes resume today in a remote format, and we want to acknowledge all of the hard work everyone has done to make this transition possible. Our faculty and staff have worked relentlessly over the last 10 days in preparation for this change. Thank you for your efforts in learning new technologies and for coming together to meet this challenge. We also appreciate the continued support, patience, and understanding among our amazing student body throughout this transition. Let’s continue to use COVID-19 as a learning experience that brings all of us together.  

  • An RSPH policy that speaks to the change on grading status (to S/U) is forthcoming and will be available by the end of the week. 
  • As a reminder, both buildings at Rollins will be closed as of 11:59 p.m. today, March 23. This measure was instituted to encourage social distancing and to protect the health and safety of our community. Those who need temporary access to the building can email RSPHCOVID19@listserv.cc.emory.edu to request access. 
  • When you come by the office to pick up essential equipment prior to the buildings’ closure, please do not remove furniture owned by the school from the building. Please also adhere to the requirements for checking out monitors and docking stations articulated in Mark Conde’s email to the community this morning. Desktop computers cannot be removed from the building.
  • As COVID-19 continues to spread around the world, cyber criminals are leveraging fears of the pandemic by tailoring new phishing campaigns and other coronavirus themed scams to take advantage of those anxieties. Please be mindful of this when opening your emails. If you suspect you were the victim of a phishing attack or scam, notify LITS Enterprise Security as soon as possible.  

Faculty and Staff Updates

The university is implementing a hiring freeze for all open faculty and staff positions at all levels except for cases in which an official offer was extended by March 19, 2020. All other current postings and searches should be frozen, with the exception of critical needs. A process is being finalized through which critical needs for existing and new postings and searches will be determined. We will share this information with you as soon as it is available. We understand the impact this freeze may have on your ability to continue your work and will assist individual hiring managers in accommodating these needs to the extent possible. 

​Sincerely, 

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health

COVID-19 Preparation and Response Guidance Document 

 


Message sent Friday, March 20, 4:08 pm to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community,

As stated in last night’s email, we will be closing both buildings at Rollins at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 23, for the health and safety of our faculty, staff, and students. While we know this is inconvenient, it is imperative for all of us to practice social distancing. Closing our buildings allows us to effectively support this proven public health tactic for preventing the spread of COVID-19. 

As you come to campus to gather essential items before the closure of our buildings, please don’t linger or congregate around the buildings as this defeats the purpose of social distancing. Some of you may have specific needs for accessing the buildings after their closure. In these instances, please email RSPHCOVID19@listserv.cc.emory.edu with your specific situation to gain temporary access. Those requests will be handled on a case by case basis.  

To reiterate what was stated in last night’s email, Rollins is maintaining its regular business hours and all service units remain fully operational and available to support you through a remote format.  This includes Student Services, HR, Research Administration, Fulfillment Services, IT, and Finance. We are currently working on a contact list for each of these units to assist you moving forward. 

We are currently in a trying situation that requires patience, flexibility, and creativity. As we find ourselves in the midst of a pandemic, we have to remember that this is a specific moment in time. This will not last forever. What is important is that we each do our part to protect those most at risk and one of the best ways to achieve that is through limited contact with others. Thank you for your help in this endeavor. 

Faculty and Staff 

  • To accommodate the needs of all employees throughout the transition to remote working, the RSPH Human Resources team has granted temporary remote clocking privileges to all bi-weekly employees in KRONOS for the duration of social distancing protocols for those who did not previously have this capability. Refer to the attached message from RSPH Human Resources for additional details and guidance. If you experience any issues with the KRONOS phone system or ETAS, please contact RSPH Human Resources at rsphhr@emory.edu. Please visit the HR tab in MyHub for answers to frequently asked questions.
  • To enable Rollins researchers to make a significant impact on the understanding, treatment, response, and education surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the RSPH Office of Research has introduced a rapid COVID-19 pilot grant program that is open to faculty of all ranks and tracks at Rollins. Pilot projects should be innovative, potentially high-risk, and transformative, with an immediacy and feasibility to be executed in one year. Pilot awards can be awarded at the $25,000 and $50,000 level and are intended to aid our investigators in obtaining additional extramural support quickly. Additional information and details about the application process are available under the Office of Research tab in MyHub and are attached as a PDF to this email. Applications are due April 15, 2020, and will be awarded by May 15, 2020.

 

In health, 

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health

COVID-19 Preparation and Response Guidance Document 


Message sent Thursday, March 19, 7:34 pm to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community,

Below are relevant updates from Deputy Provost for Academic Affairs, Christa Davis Acampora.  Additionally, as we at RSPH make preparations for classes to resume in a remote format on Monday, we have some important updates to share regarding our two buildings. Out of an abundance of concern for the health and safety of everyone in our community, and in an effort to do our part to flatten the curve through social distancing, both of our buildings will be closed beginning Monday, March 23, at 11:59p.m. 

For those of you concerned about your ability to gather essential items from your offices prior to the closure, please connect with your department managers for assistance. It is possible that others may be able to pick up these items on your behalf or ship them to you.  

While it will be difficult to stay away from our friends, colleagues, and beautiful facilities for the foreseeable future, we are confident that this is the appropriate public health approach. Please note that while the buildings will be closed and support services will no longer be physically present, we are still very much up and running. All service units of the school (including Student Services, Career Development, Research Administration Services, Finance and Administration) will remain available remotely.  We thank all of you for your understanding and leadership as we face these challenges together as partners in public health. 

Sincerely, 

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health

Updates from Deputy Provost Acampora

Consideration of Tenure-Clock Extension

In recognition of the significant disruptions for faculty resulting from the shift to remote learning, travel restrictions, and the ramp-down of on-site laboratory research, the Office of the Provost will seek to secure from the Board of Trustees a blanket extension of the tenure-clock for up to a full year. This recommendation has unanimous support of the Council of Deans. Details should be available soon.

Reporting Cases of COVID-19 Among Faculty and Staff

In the event that faculty or staff contract the COVID-19 virus, they should follow university guidance to contact their supervisor, department chairperson, program director, or dean’s office. Dean’s offices should relay this information to Nancy Bliwise: nancy.bliwise@emory.edu. Rest assured, we will safeguard everyone’s privacy and ensure compliance with HIPPA requirements.

All Travel—Domestic and International

As previously announced, all university-sponsored travel is indefinitely suspended. Consult the website for more details: https://www.emory.edu/coronavirus/

Woodruff, Health Sciences, Business, and Rose Libraries Access and Service

Beginning Monday, March 23, the Woodruff, Health Sciences, Business, and Rose libraries will be closed for patrons. Though the libraries will be closed, staff will be working hard to provide services to assist with teaching, learning, and research goals. This includes research consultations, access to electronic materials, instruction, assistance with teaching with technology, and curbside pick-up of materials (no access to the stacks or study carrels in Woodruff Library). For details about accessing materials, visit: https://libraries.emory.edu/ See also hours and services for other libraries:

Macmillan Law Library: http://library.law.emory.edu/

Oxford College Library: https://oxford.library.emory.edu/

Pitts Theology Library: http://pitts.emory.edu/

COVID-19 Preparation and Response Guidance Document 


Message sent Wednesday, March 18, 2:58 pm to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community, 

We know that all of you are doing your best to adjust during this time of transition and change. Thank you for your patience and support throughout this process. Please know that all of us are here for you and that your health, safety, and overall well-being remain our top priority. 

Student Updates

  •  Students with a REAL award should check the REAL Canvas course for updates. All working students (master’s and doctoral) should connect with their employer to negotiate telework arrangements, if possible, to promote social distancing. 

Faculty & Staff Updates

  • Please note that we are here to support you as you transition to working remotely. An email went out this morning to teaching faculty with training resources developed by our instructional designers. Please utilize these webinars and sign up for one-on-one sessions if you need them. Listed below are links to trainings that have been offered so far:

Zoom: https://rsph.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=c344e73e-04ba-4ce1-aded-ab8101382915

Canvas: https://rsph.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=42a16214-cfb1-4c03-ad32-ab8100f83a6d

Transitioning a Computer-Lab Based Class Online: https://rsph.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=208303bc-1f89-49a8-8047-ab81013847b8

The instructional design team is offering general office hours on any topic every day this week (Monday through Friday) at 10 a.m-11 a.m. and 2 p.m.-3 p.m. through the following link: https://zoom.us/j/876082705

If you need specific help for transitioning your class online, you can schedule a 15- or 30-minute consultation with the instructional designers. Please click on this link to schedule an appointment.  

  • The NIH has developed a website for researchers applying for or receiving NIH funding that provides up-to-date guidance on everything from timing of applications and changes in grant review to important information on clinical trials and grants management. Importantly, their Notice on Flexibilities to Applicants and Recipients states that the salaries of faculty and staff, as well as the stipends of trainees, regardless of their ability to work on the project, can continue to be allowable on NIH awards. Of course, Rollins and the NIH encourage flexibility to allow for remote working on all projects.

https://grants.nih.gov/grants/natural_disasters/corona-virus.htm

As we continue to rethink the implementation of research programs at Rollins, particularly with the reduction of on-campus and in-person research operations, investigators should consider discussing changes in their plans with the Program Officers of the funding agencies. We encourage that prior to those discussions, investigators contact Kim Maune or Carmen Marsit to prepare for those conversations or if they have questions about engaging in this dialogue. 

  • In order to assist schools and units with tracking and managing expenses directly related to COVID-19, the university has created a program code. Effective immediately, please use the program code COVID on the accounting line of all purchasing, payment requests, journals, and T&E reports that are a direct result of COVID-19. Include an explanation in your business purpose documentation that describes how the expense is a result of COVID-19. IT-related expenses should be reviewed and approved by IT prior to purchasing. If you have any questions, please contact RSPH Finance. 

Updates for the Entire Community 

As we all practice social distancing, a proven strategy for flattening the curve, many of you may be feeling lonely, anxious, or generally on edge. Please know that while we’re no longer within close proximity to one another, we are all still very much a community. Social distancing need not mean social isolation. 

We want everyone to be physically, emotionally, and mentally well during this trying time. Below are a few recommendations that might be helpful to you as you are physically away from your co-workers and social contacts. 

  • Make a point to move! Go for a run or hike (taking note to keep distance between yourself and others). Utilize streaming workouts, lift weights, practice yoga, walk your dog. Do something you enjoy that keeps you active.  
  • Meditate. 
  • Spend time outside. That could mean working in your garden or just sitting on your porch. 
  • Listen to music and podcasts you enjoy.
  • Instead of cancelling your regular social meetings, like book clubs, supper clubs, religious meetings, social clubs, or others, move them to a digital or phone format, like a Zoom meeting, phone call, online chat, or video conference. 
  • Tackle a home project you’ve been meaning to do. 
  • Learn a new skill using resources online. This could include painting, playing a musical instrument, speaking a language, or picking up a cooking technique. 
  • Schedule time to talk to friends, family, and co-workers via video chat or phone call. 
  • Get enough sleep. Eat well and stay hydrated. 
  • Utilize social media to connect on topics you care about. Many of our faculty are on social media. Follow them as well as Emory University's accounts and our main Rollins accounts. Engage in conversation. 

Facebook - @EmoryPublicHealth

Instagram - @rollinspublichealth

Twitter - @EmoryRollins 

With compassion and care, 

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health

COVID-19 Preparation and Response Guidance Document


Message sent Tuesday, March 17, 2:41 pm to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community, 

As cities around the world step up preventative measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, we encourage all of you to continue to follow the prevention tips recommended by the CDC. In particular, please take special care to practice social distancing, which is a critical measure in limiting the spread of disease. 

It is imperative that we all do our part to flatten the curve and to protect those in our community who are most vulnerable to this pandemic, including the elderly and those with serious chronic health conditions including lung disease, diabetes, and heart disease. Please do not congregate in the buildings and avoid situations when you will be within close proximity to others (six feet or less). 

Today’s Updates 

  • As of this morning, our buildings are only accessible through Emory card access. This measure applies to all faculty, students, staff, and vendors until further notice. We continue to encourage everyone to stay home when possible and to limit accessing buildings unless absolutely necessary.   
  • In our efforts to encourage social distancing, we will be closing the Rollins Cafe and Starbucks this Friday as a preventive measure. For the remainder of the week, food and beverages will be available as a take-out only option.  
  • The university has opened a COVID-19 Emory hotline to meet the demands for COVID-19 screenings and appointments as needed: 404-71C-OVID (404-712-6843).
  • We currently do not have updates related to postponing or cancelling commencement, but will share that information as it becomes available from the central university.
  • The Provost’s Office recently made the decision for the academic calendar to remain unchanged at this time. Faculty will need to ensure that lost instructional time is accommodated within the current calendar. Please note that the Dean’s Office is available to assist with plans to make up this instructional need on a case by case basis. Faculty may implement a variety of strategies to compensate for time lost due to the additional week of spring break. 
  • To assist faculty and staff, the Rollins IT department has established a Remote Work Guidance tab within MyHub, our intranet, with resources and tips related to online course delivery, conducting remote meetings, frequently asked questions, working effectively remotely, and accessing necessary software. http://myhub.sph.emory.edu. This resource will soon be made available to students as well. 
  • Non-essential research is expected to start ramping down. Official guidelines are forthcoming from the Office of Research Administration and will be followed by a school-specific message from Rolllins’ Associate Dean for Research, Carmen Marsit. 

Please continue to review Emory University’s COVID-19 website and Rollins’ COVID-19 web page for updates. If you have specific questions surrounding COVID-19, please send an email to the new Rollins COVID-19 listserv, RSPHCOVID19@listserv.cc.emory.edu

Thank you to everyone for your hard work and continued dedication to supporting public health. 

Be well, 

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health

COVID-19 Preparation and Response Guidance Document


Message sent Monday, March 16, 1:02 pm to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community, 

Thank you for your patience as we continue to adjust our operations at Rollins during COVID-19. We hope all of you are continuing to prioritize your health and well-being. As a school, we are adhering to university guidelines throughout this situation’s rapid development and appreciate your patience as we await decisions from higher levels. We are starting a daily communication to the Rollins community to address school-specific issues and to complement the ongoing guidelines issued by the university. This daily digest will include information for students, faculty, and staff. Though, we recommend reading each of these sections in their entirety to ensure you are updated on information pertaining to our school as a whole.

All Rollins

  • Starting tomorrow, March 17, at 6:30 a.m., both buildings will require Emory card access for entry for all faculty, students, staff, and vendors until further notice. This will require everyone to use their Emory ID/Prox card to gain access to the buildings, labs, and other secure locations. If you would like to confirm that your access card is properly activated, please contact the following persons for assistance:

Maurice Haines maurice.haines@emory.edu or 470-591-5755

Courtney Matthews cmatt22@emory.edu or 404-985-7596

  • To address the influx of questions we have been receiving during COVID-19 various developments, we have created an email account (RSPHCOVID19@listserv.cc.emory.edu) where you can direct specific questions related to IT, student affairs, faculty, HR, and more. This account will be monitored regularly and triaged accordingly. Please start using this email address to send questions related to the COVID-19 response.

Please continue to reference the Rollins COVID-19 web pageand the Emory University COVID-19 web page (their FAQs section is especially helpful) for university-wide messages and information.  

Students 

  • Additional information regarding student financial hardship is forthcoming. Please complete the following form if you have immediate food insecurity needs. The Emory University Center for Student Success Programs & Services will respond to your request. https://www.eclmach.emory.edu/OSSPS/view.php?id=38616.
  • Doctoral students should proceed with dissertation/proposal defenses via videoconference if possible. Please monitor the LGS website carefully for additional guidance: https://gs.emory.edu/about/coronavirus.html. Please work closely with faculty regarding the ability to complete graduate research assistantships remotely as well.
  • Master’s student workers (REAL students and students with other paid positions), please consult with your managers to see if there are opportunities for your positions to be done remotely or in a different capacity that limits your need to be on campus. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Student Services team at rollinsstudentsupport@emory.edu. For REAL students, please contact real@emory.edu.
  • Two deliverables are still required for your APE. However, there is flexibility in what those deliverables can be; they don’t necessarily need to be those initially proposed. Please work with your APE advisor on how to achieve your APE competencies.
  • A live signature is not required for your thesis documentation. Electronic signatures will be accepted. Your department will serve as your main contact for thesis deadlines and updates, so please continue to monitor messages about thesis deadlines from your department.
  • We are awaiting information from the university regarding the possible extension of the semester, which could impact various deadlines. We will keep you updated as we learn more.

 Staff & Faculty

  • Please know that we are here to support your ability to conduct research and to teach through remote mechanisms and we appreciate your patience during this transition.
  • Drawing from guidance sent from central HR on Friday, please continue to work with your supervisors to ensure all measures are in place to allow for remote working to the extent possible. 
  • We recommend that employees transition work documents from their work stations to the server for immediate access and to confirm that they have access to the VPN. It is important that Rollins employees remain both accessible and productive throughout these telework arrangements.
  • The IT department has created a Remote Work Guidance tab in MyHub, our new intranet solution, which speaks to several aspects of working and teaching remotely. Included in this resource are several webinars and tools regarding Zoom, Panopto, Apporto, and several additional remote-access tools. Please bookmark the MyHub link below. You can log in using your Emory NetID and password. IT will continue to add content to this resource and updates in the weeks and months ahead. https://myhub.sph.emory.edu/

Lastly, we hope all of you will continue to practice social distancing, stay home if you are sick, and follow the CDC’s recommended prevention guidelines as we all do our part to reduce the spread of this pandemic. 

Take care and be well, 

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health

COVID-19 Preparation and Response Guidance Document


Message sent Thursday, March 12, 7:14 pm to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community, 

As mentioned in the message that went out this morning from Dean James W. Curran and members of our leadership group, the Rollins COVID-19 Preparation and Response Team has prepared a working document that provides comprehensive guidance to faculty, staff, and students (both master's and doctoral) in preparation for the remote delivery of courses and school-wide operations moving forward. This is a living document that will be updated on a regular basis to assure the continuity of all aspects of our missions of teaching, research, and service.

The document is posted to a new Rollins COVID-19 web page. Please bookmark this page and check it regularly for school updates and the latest version of the guidance document.

Given the comprehensive nature of this document, we wanted to draw your attention to five important points, which are articulated at the beginning of the guidance document as well:

  1. Protect yourself and prevent illness by washing your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Hand sanitizer stations and wipes will also be available soon in locations throughout Rollins. Avoid touching your face, cover your coughs, and stay home when you are sick.
  2. Classes are re-starting online March 23, 2020, and will be held remotely through the end of the semester.
  3. Faculty and staff should consult with their supervisors regarding teleworking options.
  4. For the time being, both buildings will remain open for faculty, staff, and students to access resources.
  5. All non-essential travel, conferences, and meetings should be held remotely if possible or otherwise rescheduled.

Sincerely,

The Rollins COVID-19 Preparation and Response Team

COVID-19 Preparation and Response Guidance Document


Message sent Thursday, March 12, 8:38 am to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community,

Last night, the Provost’s Office sent a message to the Emory community with important updates regarding university closures and future events on campus in response to the continued spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). The decision has been made by the university to extend spring break until March 22 for students. Classes will resume in a remote learning environment on March 23 through the end of the semester. The university currently recommends cancelling all gatherings not essential to the academic mission of the school, and will send additional guidance in this area soon.

The university is making decisions based on the latest available information from the CDC and public health experts. As a school, it is important that we align with and complement university-level guidelines. We know that sudden shifts in operations can be challenging. Please know that we are here to assist and support you throughout this transition. We learned a lot about how to most effectively target faculty and staff for relevant technology training based on the survey that many of you completed earlier this week, so thank you for taking the time to provide this valuable information.

Our goal for the next 10 days is to prepare our faculty and students for the immediate shift to remote course delivery effective March 23. The Rollins COVID-19 Preparation and Response team has drafted guidance for faculty, staff, and students to support this transition and to ensure the smooth continuation of all operations. Included in this guidance are detailed instructions on how to access the necessary support to transition coursework to Internet-based platforms (this includes online support, webinars, and in-person technical support).We will share this guidance document with all of you later today. Please note that this is a working document that will be adjusted daily as the situation rapidly evolves. Please also regularly visit the Rollins website for up-to-date COVID-19-related information as it pertains to Rollins, including the latest version of the guidance document.

At this point in time, faculty and staff should continue to report to work as normal. We ask that staff work closely with their supervisors to make teleworking arrangements as needed and that faculty and supervisors be flexible in making these arrangements, particularly for those staff who are at higher risk for disease transmission. It is important for all faculty and staff to make preparations to transition to teleworking (to the extent possible) in the event that university guidance changes. This aspect of preparation is outlined in the guidance document mentioned above. 

We know that there are several in our community who are immunosuppressed or a member of a high risk group as defined by the CDC.  Please use your own discretion as you make decisions about how to manage your health concerns alongside work and school responsibilities. If you have any symptoms, please stay home and contact the Office of Injury Management. We encourage you to maintain regular communication with your instructors and/or supervisors, especially if you are ill. Controlling transmission continues to rely heavily on common health promotion efforts, such as handwashing, sanitizing work spaces, avoiding hand/facial contact, and social distancing, so let us all continue to do our part in controlling the spread of disease.

While there are very few positive cases of COVID-19 in Georgia at the time of this writing, we remain vigilant and continue to consult with colleagues in the Provost’s Office, Emory’s Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response, the Georgia Department of Public Health, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the situation continues to develop. Our top priority is protecting the health, safety, and wellbeing of our community.  Please continue to reference Emory’s COVID-19 website for up-to-date information from the university, and to refer to the CDC’s website and Georgia Department of Public Health’s website for accurate information surrounding COVID-19.

Often, times of uncertainty can serve as opportunities for fear and discrimination to take hold. Please be reminded that stigma and discrimination related to COVID-19 transmission goes against our values as an Emory community. Moreover, it undermines our desire to cultivate an inclusive environment and our ability to control the spread of transmission. To that end, we request that you continue to treat others with respect and generosity. We do our best work when we work together.

We understand that the shift to remote teaching, the indefinite suspension of all official and previously authorized travel, and cancellation of all gatherings not essential to the academic mission poses challenges. Thank you for your patience, understanding, and support during this constantly evolving situation. We will continue to update you regularly as new information unfolds. Let’s commit to adopting a spirit of inclusion, empowerment, and justice as we work collaboratively to combat this pandemic.

Sincerely,

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health

Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University

jcurran@emory.edu

 

Kimberly Jacob Arriola, PhD, MPH

Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University

kjacoba@emory.edu

 

Kara Robinson, EdD, MS

Associate Dean of Admission & Student Affairs

Rollins School of Public Health

Emory University

klbrow2@emory.edu

COVID-19 Preparation and Response Guidance Document


Sent Friday, March 6, 8:58 am to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community,

As Dean Jim Curran articulated in his message to everyone at Rollins earlier this week, we have developed a COVID-19 preparation and response team at Rollins to inform our planning and response surrounding COVID-19. The preparation and response team is composed of faculty with relevant expertise and representatives from several of Rollins’ operating units who will advise the dean and the RSPH Leadership Team to ensure our alignment with the central University and CDC guidelines. A list of team members and their respective sub groups is posted at the bottom of this message.

During our first meeting on March 5, we formed four working groups charged with specific areas of focus: faculty, students, Rollins’ infrastructure (HR, IT, staff, research administration, facilities/building operations), and communications. The working groups, along with the larger team, will meet on a regular basis in the weeks and months to come. We will provide you with regular updates regarding the outcomes of these meetings and how day-to-day operations at Rollins may be affected as COVID-19 develops. A Rollins web page dedicated to these updates is forthcoming. At the current moment, all classes and programming at Rollins are operating normally.  

We are fortunate to have substantial expertise here at Rollins to support this preparation and response effort. We continue to ask for your patience and flexibility as we continue to navigate this process. Thank you for your partnership in keeping Rollins safe and well-informed.

Sincerely,

Rollins’ COVID-19 Preparation and Response Team

Reputable Resources for COVID-19 Updates

World Health Organization

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019 

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html 

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Resources for Institutes of Higher Education

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/colleges-universities.html

Georgia Department of Public Health

https://dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus

Coronavirus Updates for the Emory Community

https://news.emory.edu/stories/2020/01/er_tn_coronavirus/campus.html

Rollins COVID-19 Preparation and Response Team

Name-Dept (sub working group)

Moose Alperin- EMPH (Faculty)

Kimberly Jacob Arriola-Dean’s Office (Faculty)

Sarah Blake- HPM (Faculty)

Allison Chamberlain-EPI (Faculty)

Mark Conde-IT (Infrastructure)

Dabney Evans-GH (Communications)

Matthew Freeman-EH (Faculty)

Prudence Goss-Student Services (Students)

Vanda Palmer Hudson-Fulfillment Services (Infrastructure)

Kelly Jordan-Student Services (Communications)

Delia Lang-Dean’s Office (Faculty)

Tiarra Lewis-HR (Infrastructure)

Ben Lopman-EPI (Communications)

Kim Maune-Dean’s Office (Infrastructure)

Carmen Marsit-Dean’s Office (Infrastructure)

Kara Robinson-Student Services (Students)

Ashaki Williams-Student Services (Communications)

Heather Zesiger-Student Services (Students)


Message sent Tuesday, March 3, 12:12 pm to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community,

As novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) continues to spread, we are working closely with our colleagues across campus to monitor risk and to keep our community safe and informed. We have formed a committee at Rollins composed of faculty with relevant expertise and representatives from several of Rollins’ operating units to help inform our planning and response surrounding COVID-19.  

Emory University is working closely with the CDC and Georgia Department of Public Health and is following their recommendations. The Emory University Center for Emergency Preparedness and Response (CEPAR), Campus Life, Communication and Public Affairs, and the Office of the Provost are coordinating resources and plans for deans and others so that disruptions to academic programs, student progress, and research are minimal. Rollins has been included in these discussions and is involved with planning related to the specific needs and circumstances of our community.

Please refer to the following resources for the most current information surrounding COVID-19. We will continue to send updates as COVID-19 guidance evolves. In the interim, please continue to take care of yourself, stay informed by relying on reputable sources, treat one another with kindness and respect, and please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns.

Sincerely

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health

Updates on Emory-Sponsored Travel

The U.S. Department of State and the CDC have advisories regarding travel in response to the outbreak and Emory has taken the following steps:

      Emory-sponsored study abroad and all other student programming in Italy are suspended indefinitely due to health concerns arising from COVID-19. Faculty and staff are encouraged to evaluate their own travel in light of the CDC and State Department advisories. Emory’s action is in keeping with the CDC advisory to avoid non-essential travel to the area. Emory continues to monitor this rapidly developing situation and follows advisories issued by the State Department and the CDC. All students currently in Italy should work with their programs or schools to make arrangements to leave.

      As Emory considers the need for changes or modifications to summer study abroad programs, they will be announced by March 20, 2020.

      Emory-sponsored study abroad and all other student programming in South Korea are suspended indefinitely due to health concerns arising from COVID-19. Faculty and staff are encouraged to evaluate their own travel in light of the CDC and State Department advisories. Emory’s action is in keeping with the CDC advisory to avoid non-essential travel to the area.

      Emory continues the indefinite suspension of all official and previously authorized travel to mainland China for students, faculty, and staff. This restriction includes travel for university-related activities such as teaching, study abroad, conferences, internships, research, recruiting, business meetings, and special events. Any requests for approval of travel to China must be made through the Executive Travel Safety Committee and submitted to: global@emory.edu.

Given the dynamic nature of the outbreak, all Emory students, staff and faculty who are planning international travel are encouraged to review the CDC’s up-to-date information on travelers’ health issues. Emory also contracts with International SOS to provide travelers on Emory business a variety of online health, safety and security resources.

Best Practices for Protecting Yourself Against COVID-19

There currently is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. CDC and WHO recommend taking general preventative hygiene measures to prevent COVID-19. These include:

  • Stay home when you’re sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw it in the trash.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces daily.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds at a time. If soap and water is not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.  

Reputable Resources for COVID-19 Updates

World Health Organization

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Resources for Institutes of Higher Education

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/colleges-universities.html

Georgia Department of Public Health

https://dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus

CoronavirusUpdates for the Emory Community (updated frequently)

https://news.emory.edu/stories/2020/01/er_tn_coronavirus/campus.html

JAMA article authored by Dr. Carlos del Rio about COVID-19

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2762510

Campus Resources

Emory students contact Student Health Services, 404-727-7551.http://studenthealth.emory.edu/hs/

Faculty and staff may seek guidance from the Office of Occupational Injury Management (OIM), 404-686-8587. If after hours or on weekends, please call the OIM Nurse Practitioner on call at 404-686-5500 and enter the ID #50464.https://www.hr.emory.edu/eu/wellness/general-health/occupational-injury-management/index.html

The Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR) serves as the center for Emory enterprise-wide planning for and coordinated response to catastrophic events affecting Emory and the broader community. http://emergency.emory.edu/


 

Message sent Thursday, January 30, 2:25 pm to RSPH-all

Dear Rollins Community, 

As you are likely aware, recently a respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus (2019-nCov) emerged in Wuhan, a city in the Hubei province of China, and has spread to several cities across China as well as additional countries. At this time, according to the CDC, there are no cases in Georgia and only five confirmed cases in the United States.

Due to the contagious nature of the virus, which can cause pneumonia, CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China at this time. CDC and public health agencies are closely monitoring the disease. On Emory campus, a team of leaders from emergency preparedness, health care, campus life, and other units has been monitoring the outbreak closely to protect students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Emory officials also continue to work closely with local and state partners.

View Emory’s coronavirus resource page.

Read Campus Life’s message to students.

If you are in a situation where essential travel to Wuhan or other areas of China are required, please refer to the guidelines listed on the CDC’s website.

As public health practitioners, we know that knowledge and preparedness are our greatest tools when faced with outbreaks of this nature. Since we are also in the midst of the flu season, please take care of yourselves, and follow the CDC-recommended steps to prevent the spread of viruses. To stay up to date on the latest developments, please refer to the CDC’s website mentioned above and the World Health Organization’s website.

To all of our faculty, staff, and students with family, friends, or research projects in Wuhan or surrounding areas, please know that we are here to support you during this time. A few campus resources available to you are listed below:

 

Sincerely, 

 

 

James W. Curran, MD, MPH

James W. Curran Dean of Public Health