As coronavirus continues to redefine our daily life, preparations to welcome the first students to the new College of Medicine are advancing in remarkable ways. The commitment, resilience, and adaptability of the College’s faculty and supporting staff are at the heart of our ability to progress.
It’s not surprising. UH College of Medicine’s very purpose is to equip tomorrow’s doctors with the knowledge, skills, and capacities to be effective at providing holistic healthcare and stability in unpredictable situations such as this. We’re getting an unexpected opportunity to test, practice, and improve through this experience.
That’s not to say it is easy. As the number of national coronavirus (COVID-19) cases continue to rise, we are closely monitoring the situation and taking precautionary steps based on guidance provided by University, regional, state, and federal health agencies.
We have completed all applicant interviews for our inaugural class. Fine tuning of the curriculum and contingency plans for virtual learning are well underway. We hope to be welcoming our first-class July 20th, 2020, and we will be ready with effective alternatives, if necessary.
In addition, we are collaborating with the Houston Health Department and Harris County Public Health on a contact tracing training certification program; over 1800 UH students and employees have registered so far. Faculty members are providing research-informed guidelines for treatment of COVID-19 patients with unique conditions, as well as helping to ensure that Houstonians are getting factual information about COVID-19 by sharing their expertise in interviews and articles.
These are difficult and challenging times for everyone. We are in this together. I hope you and your family are safe and well.
Stephen J. Spann, M.D., M.B.A.
Founding Dean, College of Medicine
Vice President for Medical Affairs