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5 Quick Things: June 3, 2020

  1. Message from the ChancellorFaculty, Staff, and Students,

    We are facing serious issues right now in our country and our state, with racial inequalities and disparities being at the forefront, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic still a serious concern. These issues are weighing heavily on all of us. At UTHSC, our mission is to acknowledge, identify, and combat social injustice, as well as threats to the health of our communities. I truly believe these issues are curable, however they require empathy, intervention, and management. We must do better.

As an academic health science center, we are focused on better understanding the racial disparities and inequities in health care – Why do more African Americans get and suffer from COVID-19 than other groups in the U.S.? Why do poor and underrepresented individuals get diabetes more than other groups in the state? How can we better understand the social determinants of health that are playing a large role in the limited accessibility of health care for specific races in specific zip codes?

The University is actively working toward a remedy. That means working to create equal health care access for all Tennesseans – in both rural and urban locations. It means making good nutrition and preventive care readily available to all. It means creating a work force of highly-skilled Tennesseans who not only represent and reflect the entire state, but who are continually working to better understand the cultures and to accommodate the challenges of all patients through cultural humility. Only then will we begin to make the progress necessary to improve health care for all.

UTHSC is committed to providing an environment where racism, oppression, and social injustice will not be tolerated. We continue to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. We are dedicated to improving the health of those in our state and our country.

Steve J. Schwab, MD

2. Continued Ramp Up to Fall Semester

The New Normal: This resumption of UTHSC activities is accompanied by stringent COVID-19 safety measures. We fully understand that COVID-19 is not eliminated, but is minimized by these safety measures. We expect to maintain these safety measures as the new normal until the disease is controlled. In the absence of a vaccine, this may be some time. In the new COVID-19 normal, it remains our expectation that all work that can be done at home, will be done at home. Individual supervisors will be making these decisions with assistance from the campus. Student work that can be done at home should also be done at home.

The Chancellor’s full message is posted to the “Campus Updates” section of our Coronavirus website.

  1. Changes to Building Access on Campus

    As our campus activity begins to ramp back up, the safety of our faculty, staff, and students is our most important concern. Therefore, in addition to wearing masks or face coverings at all times and practicing social distancing on the UTHSC campus, access to buildings on campus is limited to main entrances so that every person entering can have their temperature checked.

Anyone with a temperature greater than 100ºF will not be allowed to enter the building and will be directed to contact University Health Services at 901.448.5630 for care recommendations.

Below are the building entrances that are open:

  • Cancer Research Building (CRB): south entrance at breezeway
  • Coleman Building: main entrance at Court Avenue
  • Dunn Dental Building: southwest entrance (by patient lot) and N-Lot entrance
  • General Education Building (GEB): E-Lot Garage entrance (by security desk) and the Monroe Plaza entrance
  • Hyman Building: main entrance at Dunlap Street
  • Lamar Alexander Building: first floor main entrance facing the Pharmacy Building
  • Madison Plaza: main entrance at Madison (by security desk), 930 Madison Building front entrance, and east entrance at Food Court level (by Soi No. 9) from H-Lot garage
  • Molecular Science Building (MSB): main entrance at Madison Avenue
  • Pauline Building: main entrance on the north side
  • Pharmacy Building: main entrance at Madison Avenue
  • Physical Plant: main entrance at East Street
  • Regional Biocontainment Laboratory (RBL): main entrance at Monroe Plaza
  • Student-Alumni Center (SAC): main entrance at Madison Avenue
  • Translational Science Research Building (TSRB): north entrance at breezeway
  • Van Vleet: main entrance at Dunlap Avenue

4. Health Sciences Library is Open

Health Sciences Library reopened this week and will be limiting the hours open to Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. In this first step of reopening, much of the space will be unavailable. Access will be limited to individual study carrels and rooms. Students must make reservations for the next day via the Library’s website beginning at 12:00 pm on a first come, first served basis. Reservations will close at 8:00 pm. Only students with reservations will be admitted to the Library. Please read the other policies in place at the Library here.

5. Fitness Center is Open

The UTHSC Fitness Center has reopened in accordance with new COVID-19 safety protocols for faculty, staff, and students. Reservations are required, and can now be scheduled via the online portal on the Campus Recreation reservations website. You must have a reservation to enter the Fitness Center. Reservations are available up to two days in advance. Cancellations must be done within 30 minutes of the scheduled session.

If you have any questions, please call Campus Recreation at 901.448.5973.