Faculty and Staff News
COVID-19: News you need to know
Editor’s note: In the coming weeks, look for “News you need to know” in INScope. This weekly update will include key messages of importance to the IU School of Medicine community as the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.
News you need to know – April 2, 2020
- IU School of Medicine leadership teams are diligently working with the state and health system partners to provide guidance on the implementation of Governor Holcomb’s recent Executive Order.
- In response to the executive order’s new early graduation option, IU School of Medicine has prepared a pathway for fourth-year students to volunteer for this opportunity, with an early graduation date of Wednesday, April 15. This is optional; those who prefer to continue on their current schedule for graduation may do so.
- Additionally, Medical Student Education leaders redesigned the Phase 2 and Phase 3 curricula to provide online and virtual learning opportunities through Monday, June 29. We anticipate students will return to the clinical environment in July 2020.
- Having technical issues with Zoom meetings? Learn how to maximize your experience here.
- It’s a difficult time – don’t struggle alone. IU created a list of resources to support the IU community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wellness in the midst of a pandemic: The role of “PPPE”
In times of crisis, engaging in mindfulness, taking deep breaths or tapping into wellness resources can feel out of place when so much time and energy are needed to meet basic needs. However, that’s when this kind of PPPE—preventative psychological protective equipment—can be most valuable.
“Messages to engage in mindfulness, to take a deep breath, or to seek counseling can feel disingenuous when we are spending most of our mental and physical energy just trying to meet our basic needs. However, it’s particularly at times like these when we should be more deliberate about our psychological needs. If we understand the hierarchy of needs as overlapping and fluid, not as a rigid ladder, we can recognize the value of ‘Preventative Psychological Protective Equipment (PPPE).’ PPPE can take many forms: taking a walk outside, talking to a friend, or joining a virtual support group.”
Read their full message in this Spirit of Medicine blog post.
Wellness resources are availabletips for both providers and patients/patient families. Also for providers, the CDC offers guidelines for identifying burnout and secondary traumatic stress, as well as self-care strategies. For details, visit Emergency Responders: Tips for taking care of yourself.
For IU employees, there are resources to help cope during this time.
IU School of Medicine to honor graduates with virtual ceremony on May 15
IU School of Medicine is moving forward with plans to celebrate the Class of 2020 with a virtual commencement and graduate recognition ceremony on Friday, May 15, at 10 am. The transition to a virtual recognition event coincides with the university’s postponement of all in-person spring commencement ceremonies due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a message sent last week to the Class of 2020, Bradley Allen, MD, PhD, senior associate dean, Medical Student Education, wrote, “Our Medical Student Education team has begun formulating a plan to make commencement meaningful through a virtual celebration.”
MSE is asking graduating students to submit ideas or suggestions to celebrate the outstanding achievements of this year’s graduating class.
Check these sites for current COVID-19 news and resources
If anything is assured about COVID-19, it’s that the situation is constantly changing. Check the following links often for the latest coronavirus-related news at IU and IU Health, in Indiana and with evolving public health guidelines.
- IU updates: coronavirus.iu.edu
- IU Health COVID-19 resource page (for IU School of Medicine faculty and staff with access): myiuhealth.org/covid-19.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Indiana State Department of Health
Events calendar has the latest updates
Many IU School of Medicine events have been cancelled, postponed or are transitioning to Zoom. Check the school's events calendar regularly for updates. Organizers are reminded to update the calendar if changes or cancellations occur or to add virtual access information.
On the blog: A future urology resident turns grief into new goal to help others
Few things can prepare a 15-year-old boy and his family to move to the other side of the world. But for Andre Alabd, that new world was turned upside down after the sudden death of his father.
“He taught me everything,” Alabd said. “He was a very persevering man and all about hard work. He instilled that in my brother and me very early on.”
In July 2009, when Alabd was 15 years old and his brother 21, his family moved from Egypt to the United States—settling in Philadelphia. One month later, his dad suffered a heart attack.
Though friends from church offered Alabd’s family help and support, they still experienced intense sadness, grief and anger. But it was a newfound interest in medicine that helped Alabd heal.
“I saw all the doctors did to try and help him. I knew they did everything they could,” said Alabd. “In my mind, I realized doing that would make me feel so satisfied, like I’m doing something that matters. I became really goal-oriented and worked my way through high school and undergrad to make it into medical school and that was kind of like my way out of such a tough time.”
Alabd, who graduates in May from Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, will take the next step on his journey later this year, joining the IU School of Medicine Department of Urology as a new resident.
Learn more about Alabd’s aspirations to become a physician in this Spirit of Medicine blog post.
New, real-time COVID-19 diagnostic tests in development by IU research collaboration
Indiana University researchers from the School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI and IU School of Medicine, in collaboration with Indiana University Health, are developing new diagnostic tests that combine speed and sensitivity for rapid detection of the viral strain.
These tests can eventually be employed for faster diagnosis of health care workers and others who are on the front lines and exposed to COVID-19 patients.
"The issue with current accepted approaches for COVID-19 tests is that, while effective at detection, they are slow, with results taking up to a day or longer. We are testing our benchtop sequencing approach, which can potentially be done in two to three hours or even less," said Sarath Chandra Janga, PhD, associate professor of bioinformatics and data science at the School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI.
An additional advantage of this novel approach is that testing may be performed at point-of-care in the clinic, rather than transferring samples to the lab, further reducing time and the risk of more infections.
For more on the new testing, visit News at IUPUI.
Faculty and Staff News
Kelley School launches webinars for health care professionals managing the pandemic
Physicians and IU Kelley School of Business faculty are teaming up to offer a free webinar series to help guide health care professionals through the COVID-19 crisis.
The series, which begins tonight at 7 pm, will offer expertise from Kelley School faculty who teach in the physician-only MBA program and from physician MBA alumni who are managing the pandemic. Topics include leading through crisis, strategies and tools for care team collaboration and communication, process improvement and economic modeling to prepare for health care in the future.
The second webinar will take place at 7 pm, Wednesday, April 15. More information and registration are available.
IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center offers trainee membership
The IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center is now offering trainee memberships for graduate students, postdocs and fellows involved in cancer research. Trainee members will have exclusive access to travel funding awards and receive invitations to cancer center events and trainee programs. The program will also include career enhancement and recognition opportunities. Learn more and apply.
Zoom for teaching: Recorded webinar now available to assist with online instruction
Learn how to use Zoom to facilitate meetings, teach class and hold online office hours in this recorded webinar. You’ll also learn how to access your account and how to schedule, manage and record meetings. Learn the basics of Zoom with this video.
If you will be reviewing/discussing anything protected by HIPAA or classified as PHI, use Zoom Health. To request an account, visit the IU Knowledge Base.
Indy Pride Festival postponed; new date to be announced
The Indy Pride Festival and parade, originally scheduled for Saturday, June 13, has been postponed with a new date to be determined. Check the Indy Pride website for updates on the parade and related events. Registration is still open on the IU School of Medicine website, and communication about the new date will be emailed to those who register for the pride parade.
ACS institutional research grant applications due May 1
The IU Simon Cancer Center is offering funds through the American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant (ACS-IRG) for new pilot projects to assist new investigators who hold the rank of assistant professor, research assistant professor or assistant scientist, but without an active (i.e., NIH, NSF, ACS) national competitive research grant, regardless of the topic. This grant provides support for beginning investigators to enable them to initiate their independent research program.
The purpose of the ACS-IRG program is to attract new investigators from IU into cancer research and to provide support for new pilot studies that will produce preliminary data for the investigator to develop into studies that will compete successfully for external, national funds from both federal and private sources. Faculty from IU School of Medicine and its regional campuses and the schools of nursing, dentistry, optometry, public and environmental affairs, health and rehabilitation sciences, liberal arts, law, science and informatics are encouraged to apply.
More information is available, including a PDF of the application. With questions or to receive an application in Microsoft Word to complete electronically, contact Crystal Baker at email@example.com. Application deadline is Friday, May 1.
New Project ECHO series addresses COVID-19 response
A special Project ECHO series provides a forum for public health and clinical leadership to share the most current resources, strategies and perspectives for addressing COVID-19 in communities and around the state. The series is designed for anyone working in health care or those who are planning local response to the pandemic. The series began Wednesday, April 1, and will continue for at least six weeks. Weekly programs are held on Wednesday from 8-9:15 am (EDT). Registration is available.
Students, faculty earn top honors at AMWA “virtual meeting”
Several IU School of Medicine students and faculty members were recognized for their poster presentations at the American Medical Women’s Association “virtual meeting,” which was held March 27-29. Over 100 posters were presented virtually.
Elizabeth Davis, Raiven Owusu, Sanjna Vinze and Camila Arnaduo from the Bloomington campus earned first place in the medical student division for their presentation, “Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder During Pregnancy: Buprenorphine or Methadone?” From the Indianapolis campus, Vyvian Borse, Regina Lee, Hannah Inman, John Petroskey and Neeta Agarwal, MD, won third place for their presentation, “Addressing Barriers to Screening Mammograms and Follow-up Faced by Non-English Speaking Women and Women of Color.”