Top News

  • COVID-19 mitigation testing at IU: What you need to know

    Indiana University has rolled out its plan for semester-long, COVID-19 mitigation testing of nearly all faculty, staff and students. The goal of mitigation testing is to quickly identify and isolate any individuals who test positive for COVID-19, including asymptomatic carriers of the disease. Scientific models show this level of screening is the best tool for keeping any breakouts at bay.

    Thousands of people per week will be tested across all IU campuses.

    • The tests will be conducted using saliva samples; nasopharyngeal swabs will not be required for mitigation testing.
    • Individuals randomly selected for mitigation testing will be notified by email and must make an appointment to complete their test on campus by Friday of that week.
    • If selected, individuals are required to participate unless they meet a very narrow set of exemption criteria.

    IU School of Medicine regional campus faculty and staff: You do not need to travel to IUPUI to be tested. If you are on a regional campus and are selected for testing, e-mail, and you will be directed to the appropriate local testing site or advised on getting a waiver. There are testing sites on most IU campuses.

    • Test results will be available in two to five days.
    • If the test is negative, individuals should continue their normal routine.
    • If the test is positive, individuals will be contacted by an IU contact tracer and receive detailed instructions on isolation and next steps.
    • Students, faculty and staff contacted for mitigation testing who fail to take the COVID-19 test may be subject to disciplinary actions, up to removal from campus or being placed on administrative leave without pay.
    • Students, faculty and staff who do not come to campus this semester may be exempt from mitigation testing. A link to an exemption request form will be made available upon email contact for mitigation testing.

    I have COVID symptoms or think I have been exposed. Where do I go to get tested? 



    • If you have COVID-19 symptoms or believe you have been infected, report your symptoms to IU School of Medicine Student Health at (317-274-8214) and the IU Health Virtual Screening Clinic (also found at, search “COVID” and click on IU Health Virtual Screening Clinic to reach COVID Health Services).
    • If you tested positive somewhere else (i.e., did not use the IU Health Virtual Screening Clinic), complete the COVID-19 Self Reporting Form (also found at, search “COVID” and click on COVID-19 Self Reporting Form).

    I’ve tested positive. Now what?

    Guidelines on quarantine have been developed for anyone who has tested positive or has been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Detailed quarantine procedures have been established by role, including for faculty, staff and learners in the clinical environment and those in the IU School of Medicine community who are not in the clinical environment.

    For more information on COVID-19 policies and procedures for students, staff, faculty and researchers, visit IU’s COVID-19 website and the Fall 2020 website.

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  • View from the 2020 Indy 500: “We’re here for the drivers”

    This year’s Indianapolis 500 looked and felt very different than in years past, but for IU School of Medicine Department of Emergency Medicine faculty serving as track physicians, the mission was still the same.

    “Our big role hasn’t changed,” said Debra Rusk, MD, assistant professor of clinical emergency medicine, in a Fox 59 news feature that aired last week. “We are here for the drivers, point blank—end of story.”

    IU Emergency Medicine faculty, fellows and residents serve as crucial members of the emergency response and health care teams at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway each year. Learn more on Facebook or in this Emergency Medicine LeadER blog post about Motorsports Medicine.

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  • Next diversity town hall is September 17; register now to attend

    The IU School of Medicine diversity town hall series kicked off last week with two events. Aiming to address diversity, equity and inclusion at IU School of Medicine, the town halls are an opportunity for the school community to share concerns, feedback and ideas for improvement. The final scheduled town hall in the series will be held from 4-5 pm, Thursday, September 17, and hosted by Dean Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA. The September 17 session will use the same format and cover the same content as last week’s town halls.

    IU School of Medicine is committed to increasing representational diversity, fostering an inclusive working and learning environment, and developing culturally competent health care professionals dedicated to patient-centered care and innovative research. As a community, each person’s voice and contribution impacts the advancement of systemic change.

    Questions, feedback, suggestions or ideas can be submitted in advance of the meeting. There will be opportunities to participate during the virtual town hall. Register for the September 17 event.

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Research News

  • Asymptomatic COVID-19 study yields important info for parents, their children

    A study conducted by IU School of Medicine researchers has shown that asymptomatic COVID-19 infection is possible in children younger than 10 years old.

    The researchers have shared the results of their novel COVID-19 study of asymptomatic children and adults in Marion County known as TACTIC (Tracking Asymptomatic COVID-19 Through Indianapolis Communities)

    The study results showed that only one of the 511 individuals tested had the active COVID-19 virus. Interestingly, the individual was a 7-year-old child who lives with five other people who were also tested for COVID-19. None of the other people living with that child had COVID-19 symptoms or tested positive for the disease. The infection rate seen in  TACTIC—0.2 percent—is consistent with the results observed in the statewide study conducted by the IU Fairbanks School of Public Health around that same time (April-May 2020).

    “One of the major takeaways of this study is that there can be asymptomatic COVID-19 infection in children in the community who are younger than 10 years old,” said Chandy John, MD, one of the study’s co-leaders who is also the director of the Ryan White Center for Pediatric Infectious Disease and Global Health at IU School of Medicine. “Additionally, we now know that asymptomatic infection can occur in young children with no known contact to the virus, and they do not necessarily spread it to others. Community studies in other countries have not found this.”

    TACTIC is the first known study in the United States to evaluate asymptomatic COVID-19 infection in both children and adults in a community, rather than contacts of infected people (contact tracing) or people coming into the hospital. The study participants reflected the demographics of Indianapolis, including gender and minority populations. Most of the participants had no known exposure to the virus. 

    For more details, visit the Newsroom.

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Faculty and Staff News

  • Faculty needed to help students prepare for residency interviews

    Residency interview season is right around the corner, and this year it’s completely virtual. As students practice their interviewing skills, faculty are asked to consider participating in virtual mock interviews with students between now and mid-October. The time commitment is only an hour or two, and students appreciate the opportunity to brush up on their technique with experienced faculty. Interview/feedback sessions are conducted via Zoom and last about 30 minutes. Prep materials, sample interview questions and evaluation rubrics will be provided. Learn more and sign up to help.

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  • Residents and fellows: Plan to attend upcoming virtual clinical teaching workshop

    The IU School of Medicine Office of Graduate Medical Education is hosting a workshop, Clinical Teaching – Beyond the Basics, for residents and fellows on Thursday, September 17. The event will be held at 1 pm on Zoom. 

    Using facilitated discussions, application and practice, the workshop provides participants with the incremental knowledge and tools necessary to be an effective educator in the clinical learning environment. Topics include: 

    • Expectations (student and resident) that come with clinical teaching
    • Teaching procedures
    • Structure to clinical teaching – SPIT, SNAPP, One-Minute Preceptor
    • Providing feedback to learners
    • Horizontal learning
    • Simulation debriefing

    Registration is available. Zoom information will be e-mailed after registration.

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  • Nominate faculty for school awards; deadline is October 1

    Honoring outstanding teaching, research and service is an important part of IU School of Medicine’s culture. Nominations are now being accepted for several faculty awards. Award descriptions, criteria, past award recipients and nomination submission information are available at the links below. Nomination deadline for all awards is Thursday, October 1.  

    Excellence in Faculty Mentoring Award
    Inspirational Educator Award
    Outstanding Community Engagement Award
    Scholar Educator Award
    Volunteer Faculty Teaching Award

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  • Plan ahead for upcoming promotion and tenure events

    IU School of Medicine Faculty Affairs, Professional Development and Diversity (FAPDD) has scheduled several events focusing on the school’s promotion and tenure process. All events will be held via Zoom. 

    In addition, FAPDD offers promotion and tenure office hours (currently available only on Zoom) from 9-11 am on the third Tuesday and the fourth Wednesday of each month.

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  • August 29 “safe sleep workshop” for dads aims to help prevent SUIDs

    IU School of Medicine faculty are working to help reduce cases of sudden unexpected infant death syndrome (SUIDs) by spending time with fathers and helping them learn about creating safe sleeping environments. In collaboration with the Marion County Health Department, faculty are hosting a Fathers Safe Sleep Workshop from 10 am-noon, Saturday, August 29, at the JTV Hill Center, 1806 Columbia Ave., in Indianapolis. A Q&A with Department of Pediatrics Assistant Professor Levi Funches Jr., MD, FAAP, answers some common questions about safe sleep for infants.

    Note about the workshop: Due to COVID-19 and in accordance with Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s Executive Order 20-09 and Indiana Code 5-14-1.5-3.6, masks will be required, and social distancing measures will be followed. Additionally, based on guidance from the CDC and the governor’s executive order regarding public meetings and Indiana Open Door law, the number of members of the public admitted to the workshop will be limited and registration is mandatory.

    For more information or to register, e-mail

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  • Join in virtual pediatric critical care walk-a-thon through August 30

    The annual Riley Pediatric Critical Care Walk-a-Thon is going on now through Sunday, August 30. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the fundraiser is taking place virtually. Take part in a socially distanced walk and fundraising effort in a location of your choosing. Get more details.

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  • Pediatric SIG hosting all-campus book drive

    The IU School of Medicine Pediatric Student Interest Group (SIG) is partnering with the Indiana Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics to host a virtual book drive in support of early childhood literacy and language development. All nine campuses are participating in a competition for the most donations. 

    All donations will go to Reach Out and Read Indiana to purchase new high-quality books for participating clinics throughout the state. Every $5 raised will help purchase one new book. Help the Pediatric SIG reach its goal to raise $10,000 for early childhood literacy.

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  • Graduate and professional student online mixer is September 1

    IU School of Medicine graduate and professional students are invited to attend the annual IUPUI mixer from 4-6 pm, Tuesday, September 1, on Zoom. Take part in virtual bingo and trivia with prizes and swag for winners. There will also be a panel discussion, “Adjusting to Grad School in a Pandemic.” Registration is available.

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  • Mark your calendar for upcoming Culture and Conversation events

    Culture and Conversation is a monthly lunch discussion series that addresses culturally relevant topics, health equity and current events. The fall series, which begins online on Tuesday, September 8, is open to faculty, staff, students, administrators and leaders. Registration is available for these upcoming events:

    Civility and Political Engagement: Navigating the 2020 Election
    Tuesday, September 8

    On the Walls Project
    Wednesday, October 7

    Addressing Wellness and Mental Health
    Tuesday, November 17

    Tuesday, December 8

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  • Three faculty elected fellows in international informatics academy

    Three Regenstrief and IU School of Medicine leaders have received the prestigious designation of Fellow in the International Academy of Health Sciences Informatics (IAHSI), located in Geneva, Switzerland.

    Peter Embi, MD, MS, Regenstrief president and CEO; Eneida Mendonca, MD, PhD, Regenstrief vice president for research development; and Umberto Tachinardi, MD, MSc, chief information officer for Regenstrief, were elected to the 2020 class.

    IAHSI is made up of international health science informatics leaders who share the goal of disseminating knowledge, fostering new ideas and encouraging worldwide collaboration. They work to stimulate and guide future directions in informatics, advise government and private organizations about the importance of data-based knowledge and provide problem solving strategies using that knowledge. Academy membership is one of the highest honors in the international field of biomedical and health informatics. 

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