Messages for the GUMC Community

Messages from the Office of the Executive Vice President of Health Sciences

Messages from President John J. DeGioia

Messages from Provost Robert M. Groves

Messages from the Office of the Executive Vice President of Health Sciences


Date: January 21, 2021
Subject: Study Spaces at DML

Dear Students,

We are pleased to announce that Biomedical Graduate Education and School of Medicine students, and graduate students at the School of Nursing & Health Studies will be eligible to use study spaces created in the Dahlgren Memorial Library (DML) on the Medical Center campus beginning on Monday, February 1.

Study spaces must be reserved and are for individual use only (i.e., no group studying is permitted). Please review the information below on how to make a reservation. Before coming to campus, you must be in compliance with the University’s public health protocols below, including COVID-19 testing. As we continue to follow DC and University public health guidance and monitor conditions on our campus and in the city, we may need to make changes to the operations of study spaces.

Please visit the DML website to find a link to the reservation system, browse available hours and reserve a study space. Study spaces will not appear in the reservation system until January 31. Study time is limited to 4 hours (consecutive booking not permitted) and must be booked 12 hours in advance. Reservations may not be made at the door.

Public Health Protocols

All students must have a green GU360 Building Access Badge and a valid reservation to enter study spaces on campus. No food or drink will be allowed in study spaces.

To get and keep a green GU360 Building Access Badge, please review the relevant Spring 2021 checklist (e.g., for new or returning residential students, or non-residential students studying on campus) and take the actions required, which include becoming a One Medical member, getting tested each week in accordance with the Georgetown University COVID-19 Testing Protocol (i.e., once per week if you are coming to campus one day a week or two consecutive days a week, or twice per week if you are coming to campus two or more non-consecutive days a week), and completing the COVID-19 Daily Check-in via the GU360 mobile app or website at least two hours before arriving on campus each day.

In addition, all students must abide by the health and safety measures outlined in the Georgetown University Community Compact while on campus, such as wearing a mask when in public or shared spaces (including in single-occupancy study rooms), practicing physical distancing and washing your hands regularly.

Please clean your study space before and after use. Cleaning supplies will be provided.

If you have any questions, please contact the appropriate resource below.

We understand the importance of a quiet place to study, especially given the challenges we all continue to experience during these difficult times. In addition to study spaces on our campus, we recently announced Georgetown’s partnership with WeWork to provide currently enrolled students with a WeWork All Access membership starting February 1, 2021, which allows students to book a space for studying, subject to availability, at one of its locations in more than 80 cities around the world.

Sincerely,

Edward B. Healton, Executive Vice President of Health Sciences

Jett McCann, Senior Associate Dean for Knowledge Management and Director, Dahlgren Memorial Library


Date: January 8, 2021
Subject: Condemnation of Wednesday’s Criminal Acts

Dear Members of the GUMC Community:

I had planned my first community letter of 2021 to be a hopeful message, to welcome you “back” and to extend my wishes for a better year, as 2020 fades in the rearview mirror. I also planned to take the opportunity to restate goals and commitments for our medical center community for the new year. But the urgent need to acknowledge the deeply unsettling and criminal events at our nation’s Capitol on Wednesday has overtaken that plan.

As I know so many of you would agree, it is difficult to watch the despicable activity of January 6. One immediate observation was the stark difference in the security around an event with predominantly white rioters compared to the police presence around peaceful rallies that have a focus on Black lives. Also, seeing the Confederate flag being waved around the halls of Congress and the erected noose conveyed startling and very clear messages of racism and hate.

These images have had a profoundly disturbing impact on many of our students, faculty and staff, leaving us feeling alternately angry, sad and vulnerable. We also are aware that many in our community feel unsafe — understandably so — as Washington resembled a war zone Wednesday. We join with other Georgetown leaders in supporting the university-wide effort to maintain the safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff in our community in the coming weeks.

Wednesday night, we heard from Georgetown University President DeGioia who stated, “These acts are reprehensible and have no place in our country.” I join with him in condemning the criminal acts of violence and intimidation. I also agree with his sentiment that “Across our nation, there is an extraordinary depth of commitment to [democracy] that… can be a source of consolation and solidarity as we pursue important and necessary work to build a more just and equitable future.”

Part of that work is taking place now at our medical center as we look inward to address racial injustices across our campus. The events of Wednesday further underscore the importance and urgency of this work, which is among our highest priorities at GUMC. The work underway is consequential and impactful, and I will discuss this more in a message next week.

I don’t think my words can mitigate the impact of the violence and intimidation we witnessed Wednesday. But I do want to say that all of this should embolden us to walk a path of renewed commitment to actions that represent the values that bind us together as members of the Georgetown University community.

All my best wishes,

Edward B. Healton, MD, MPH
Executive Vice President for Health Sciences
Executive Dean, Georgetown University School of Medicine


Date: December 7, 2020
Subject: New Schools at GUMC/Additional Information

Dear Members of the GUMC Community,

Just a short while ago, President DeGioia shared with us momentous plans for Georgetown that significantly and positively impact our medical center campus and the future of health and the health sciences at Georgetown — the establishment of two new schools on our campus by July 2022: the Georgetown University School of Nursing and the Georgetown University School of Health. Our work over the next 18 months will be understandably exciting and intense at the same time. Today I write to share with you an overview, in broad terms, on how we will move forward in our planning.

The planned launch of the Georgetown University School of Nursing and the Georgetown University School of Health, which will advance the strong foundation established by NHS, clearly reaffirms the high value Georgetown University places on the health professions, health research and education in the interest of improving human health here at home and in a global framework.

These new academic structures are the initial steps to emerge from the Health and Health Sciences Strategy Initiative (HSSI). Although the HSSI was launched by President DeGioia in 2019, it has fortuitously positioned Georgetown for quick adaptation to the dramatic consequences of COVID-19. The pandemic has underscored the interdependence of our nation’s health with the health of nations globally; exacerbated and exposed, again, the deep racial inequities in health; revealed and deepened fissures in the bedrock of the nation’s public health infrastructure; and made exigent local, national and global demand for a robust health care workforce pipeline.

Our health and health care challenges here at home and around the world have been laid bare. Sustainable solutions will not come from any one discipline or any one approach, but from a meaningful, collaborative and interdisciplinary effort. And as history has demonstrated time and again, the academic setting, especially like ours at Georgetown, provides the ideal incubator where meaningful ideas emerge and change occurs.

The framework for developing each school will be similar, including an examination of the internal and external environment to identify and prioritize areas of growth and opportunity. Planning for the GSN and GSH has already begun and will continue in earnest over the upcoming year and a half. The future GSN faculty have been meeting regularly, with the support of an outside facilitator, to identify and prioritize areas of growth and opportunity. And as President DeGioia shared, the search for a School of Nursing dean will begin soon and the dean search for the School of Health is expected to launch after a comprehensive planning process.

John Monahan, senior advisor to President DeGioia, will join Dean Carole Gresenz in co-chairing a planning committee for the School of Health to identify co-constituents, and develop relational ties across the medical center, main campus and the law center. Our core team for this committee includes the department chairs from International Health, Health Systems Administration, and Human Science; participation in the planning committee will expand as constituent elements of the School of Health expand.

I am deeply grateful for the hard work that has been done to date under the strong leadership of NHS Interim Dean Carole Roan Gresenz, PhD, in collaboration with Executive Faculty Chair Jan LaRocque, PhD. I’d like to thank the faculty and staff who have participated in this consultative process and look forward to additional engagement as we move to stand up the two schools. And I am deeply grateful to President DeGioia for his vision in leading this transformation as we reimagine the health sciences at Georgetown while being guided by the mission of cura personalis and the values of equity toward the common good.

The decision to establish the two schools is a first and important outcome of the Health and Health Sciences Strategy Initiative — the work continues. You can read more about today’s announcement here, and we’ll hear more about the planning for the future of health and health sciences at our GUMC Community Meeting this Wednesday, Dec. 9 at 2:00 p.m. (join via Zoom). We’re pleased to have President DeGioia to join us to discuss more about this transformational work for our University.

All my best,

Edward B. Healton, MD, MPH
Executive Vice President for Health Sciences
Executive Dean, Georgetown University School of Medicine


Date: November 16, 2020
Subject: GUMC and Spring 2021 Plans

Dear Members of the GUMC Community,

Earlier today, we heard from President DeGioia in his video and letter announcing plans for Spring 2021 at Georgetown. I fully support this plan, which takes into careful consideration many complex factors weighed against the backdrop of a deeply concerning, deteriorating situation with COVID-19 across our country. Critically importantly — our academic planning takes into account the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff.

I’m writing to give additional information about how the Spring 2021 academic decision impacts our medical center campus including graduate, professional and undergraduate education, clinical education and research. This is a general overview; more specific information will be shared by the deans and program directors in the coming days.

It is important to emphasize that all our planning is dependent on the course of the pandemic and may be altered if the situation warrants. In addition, our plans require review and acceptance by the D.C. government.

Academic Calendar
For the vast majority of our University, the first class meeting is later than usual — on January 25, 2021. The academic calendar also includes a combined Spring and Easter Break from March 29 through April 4, 2021. However, a few graduate and nursing programs and courses, along with the School of Medicine curriculum follows a different calendar. Deans and program leaders will be in touch about specific calendars.

Biomedical Graduate Education
We are planning to offer a subset of graduate courses with in-person components (hybrid) provided public health conditions allow. Students can continue remote learning if desired. Graduate students approved to conduct doctoral research will continue. As part of our ongoing campus research, some Master’s laboratory-based internships and practicums will be initiated as conditions allow. We are working toward increasing capacity and opportunities. Most Spring 2021 classroom-based courses for graduate programs will begin in accordance with the new academic calendar; individual program leaders will contact students and instructors about start dates if they differ.

Professional Education
Many of our professional students at our School of Nursing & Health Studies and School of Medicine entered clinical rotations in the summer. Today’s Spring 2021 announcement does not impact ongoing clinical activities — these will continue pending host institution availability. Classroom-based education for all students at NHS and SOM will continue virtually, with limited exceptions including gross anatomy lab work for our first year medical students, in-person transition-to-clinic courses for our M2s later in the spring, and opportunities in the simulation labs for some of our nursing students, provided public health conditions allow.

Undergraduate Education
Undergraduate students at the School of Nursing & Health Studies will follow guidance from the Provost. Students in the BSN program will be contacted by their program leadership regarding their return to campus in the Spring for clinical placements.

International Students
The University recognizes that this change may have a special impact on international students who may now have new travel plans. For students studying remotely, I ask faculty to please continue to plan ways to make it possible for students in distant time zones to continue to engage directly with you and their classmates. International students who are concerned about their visas should contact the Office of Global Services (OGS) with questions about their specific situations. In general, according to current guidance, continuing international students with existing visas can study online from any location (in the U.S. or abroad) and maintain their active visa status. Please contact the Office of Global Services with any questions. New international graduate students should contact the Office of Global Services to discuss their options.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please closely review information regarding the District’s Travel Advisory and Guidance. If traveling to DC from a high-risk state, be sure to plan time for the required quarantine to ensure it does not impact scheduled on-campus activities.

Study Spaces
As President DeGioia mentioned, we are exploring opportunities for studying and gathering on campus, including at our Dahlgren Memorial Library, if pandemic conditions allow. A reservation system will provide access to certain key campus locations–with strict adherence to our public health program, participation in our Community Compact, testing, mask wearing, physical distancing, and limited gathering sizes. We will hear more about these opportunities in the coming weeks.

President DeGioia also mentioned that the University is working to provide domestic and international students with access to quiet study spaces and internet access off campus, at no cost, through a new partnership with WeWork, which has office space for individuals in 800 locations in 32 U.S. cities and in 88 cities around the world.

Tuition
We will continue the same tuition reductions in place for Fall 2020 (10% for undergraduates and 5% for graduate students) with the exception of Class of 2021 undergraduate students who choose to have physical access to on-campus facilities, subject to density and other public health requirements. We will provide more information to members of the class of 2021 who decide not to have physical access to campus facilities.

Classrooms
For courses that will be hybrid, there are ongoing efforts to upgrade technology with camera and audio support for Zoom, and microphones for instructors. Classrooms will be cleaned between each usage. Classrooms feature physically distanced seating. Ample hand sanitizer is available in all buildings. Instructors planning in-person classes will be supported by CETS in a technology check and rehearsal of the use of the equipment.

Student Well-Being
We are committed to providing support and resources to our students during this challenging time. Most services are being offered virtually, and a description of health and wellness resources can be found on the Mental Health, Wellness and Health Care Resources page. There are many opportunities for engagement in student organizations, activities, and recreation, and these offerings are outlined on the virtual engagement website.

In addition, our Office of Campus Ministry has adapted much of its programming to our virtual environment, and more information for students of all faith traditions can be found on the Campus Ministry website.

Virtual Mental Health Support for Faculty and Staff
Georgetown University is committed to supporting faculty and staff during this unsettling time. Virtual therapy and coaching from One Medical will soon be available at no cost to eligible U.S.-based faculty and staff. The program gives employees fast, convenient, and free access to one-on-one mental health help through video appointments. More information will be shared via a follow-up email. The addition of One Medical is a complement during this challenging time to the mental health resources provided through University-sponsored health plans and the services offered through the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP).

Public Health Conditions and Responsibilities
All faculty, staff and students coming to campus or residing on campus must meet all testing protocols, quarantine and public health requirements set forth and accessible through our website. This may include quarantining prior to coming to campus.

Once cleared to return to campus, those on campus two or more days in a week will have viral tests twice a week; those on campus only one day a week will have a single viral test per week. You can find additional information on Health and Safety on the COVID-19 website and in the frequently asked questions which are updated regularly.

Staff Teleworking
The telework status at Georgetown has not changed. Given the planned increase in activity on our campuses, additional staff members supporting our work on campus may be required. No later than mid-December, staff and AAP employees will receive confirmation from their supervisors and the Department of Human Resources regarding whether they will work in-person or telework until further notice. We will also continue to review our Redeploy Georgetown program and will be in touch with more information on our needs in the coming weeks.

Travel
Due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic, we will continue until further notice the moratorium on all university-sponsored and supported international and domestic air and train travel, including travel funded by a grant, foundation, company or another university. There will be very limited exemptions that must be approved by the appropriate campus EVP or the COO. Without prior approval, any travel booked during this moratorium, regardless of when it is scheduled to take place, will not be eligible for reimbursement. While this measure is one way to reduce spending, this decision was ultimately made in the interest of the health and safety of our community.

Research
The Spring 2021 announcement does not change our planning to increase research density on the medical or main campuses, or impact timing. We continue to work with our research advisory group and leadership to plan for the best way to safely increase our research capacity as long as public health conditions allow, and continue to encourage your compliance with the health and safety measures.

You can find additional information on the COVID-19 Resource Center website and in the frequently asked questions, which are updated regularly. If you have additional questions, please call the University’s COVID-19 Helpline at 202-784-3510 (available 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday to Friday) or email covid19-questions@georgetown.edu to be connected to the appropriate University representative to answer your question.

We’ll have more information about Spring 2021 academic and research planning at our upcoming GUMC Community Meeting in December. Please watch your email for details.

In closing, I wish to extend my gratitude to all of those working to help keep our community safe and healthy including our colleague and interim chief public health officer Dr. Ranit Mishori and the University’s public health advisory group, our fellow employees who are taking part in Redeploy Georgetown, and many others working hard to support all of these roles. In addition, I remain grateful to our faculty and staff who have truly stepped up in these unprecedented times to continue to deliver an exceptional Georgetown education.

Yours truly,

Edward B. Healton, MD, MPH
Executive Vice President for Health Sciences
Executive Dean, Georgetown University School of Medicine


Date: Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Subject: Guidance on Election Day 2020

Dear Georgetown Faculty and Staff:

As we approach Election Day on Tuesday, November 3, we encourage our community to look into voting options in their states, such as early voting and voting by mail. 

Time away from work for voting may be used during early voting days and Election Day. Given the circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the likelihood of long lines or other unexpected delays at the polls, employees will be liberally granted paid election leave to vote beyond the two hours provided in HR Policy 609: Voting Time. This applies to all employees, regardless of where the employee is registered to vote. 

Employees are expected to provide their manager with advance notice if their plans to vote will require them to take time away from scheduled work hours. Managers should grant employees flexibility and provide the paid time off, if required. The hourly cap for submitting Voting Time for non-exempt employees has been temporarily lifted to accommodate unexpected circumstances. Exempt employees should continue to follow their regular time off procedures.  

If voting in-person, it is important to wear a mask and stay six feet apart from other people in public spaces, and wash your hands regularly to help prevent the spread of the virus. 

For faculty, if you are teaching on November 3, you might consider alternatives such as asynchronous learning or assignments that can be completed in lieu of an in-class assignment for the students unable to attend due to voting. 

We also want to highlight the Teaching in Difficult Times, a 2020 Election resource page developed by the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS). We invite those interested to participate in the next event in the CNDLS/MCEF Roundtable Series exploring teaching during the election and its aftermath, on Friday, October 30, at 4:30 p.m. 

It has become our tradition every four years, on the day before the election, to join together in prayer. All are invited to join Campus Ministry’s Interfaith Chaplains for this Virtual Interfaith Prayer for Our Nation for the good will of our community and nation on Monday, November 2, at 7 p.m. ET. The event will be live streamed from Dahlgren Chapel on the Georgetown University Facebook Page

The year 2020 has brought the COVID-19 pandemic, economic recession, racial injustice issues, as well as an election year. It has been a year of unimaginable challenges, so it is important to take time to care for yourself. The Mental Health, Wellness and Health Care Resources page of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center provides information about well-being resources accessible in person or remotely via telehealth. We have also created a new Georgetown Election 2020 website that includes resources and events that you might find helpful. 

As a reminder, the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) remains open, free and available to help you by phone. Virtual appointments can be scheduled by emailing fsap@georgetown.edu; a staff member will then contact you to find a time to connect that will work for your schedule. FSAP will also convene two community conversations for staff who want to connect at 10 p.m. on November 3 and at 1 p.m. on November 4. More information on these Zoom sessions will be posted on the FSAP website in the coming days. 

As we approach Election Day, we hope these resources will help our community exercise their right to vote and find time to reflect and care for themselves.  

Sincerely,

Robert M. Groves, Provost 

Edward B. Healton, Executive Vice President of Health Sciences

William M. Treanor, Executive Vice President and Dean of the Law Center

Geoffrey S. Chatas, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer


Date: Friday, September 18, 2020
Subject: Update on Fall 2020 Plans

Dear Faculty and Staff:

Please see the note below that was sent to all graduate students, not applicable to SCS, GU-Q or the School of Medicine, regarding the decision not to move forward with plans to return whole programs for in-person classes at this time. We will continue to provide updates, and we thank you for your cooperation as we navigate this academic year. 

Sincerely,

Robert M. Groves
Provost

Edward B. Healton, MD, MPH
Executive Vice President for Health Sciences

—-

Dear Graduate Students,

We write to provide an update on our plans and expectations regarding return to campus this Fall. We announced (Main Campus)(GUMC) at the end of July that, during the semester, we would examine what academic activities could be offered in a hybrid format, including in person on campus this Fall.

In addition to accommodating graduate students who require experiential laboratory/simulation/clinical experiences, we had also hoped to be able to gradually invite graduate students to classes for in-person learning. Unfortunately, based on the trajectory of the virus, as well as current DC regulations, at this date, we are unable to move forward with plans to return whole programs for in-person classes on the Main and Medical Center campuses at this time.

However, if conditions improve, we hope to be able to invite a small number of graduate level classes to conduct face-to-face sessions later in the semester. Moving ahead would require meeting a number of preconditions not currently present: continued limitation of the spread of the pandemic in the District of Columbia; accelerated turn around time in test results; and acceptable levels of compliance with the Georgetown University Community Compact and other public health metrics.

We will continue to monitor the public health concerns that guide our decision-making and will promptly reach out to you with any adjustments or changes to planning.

We thank you for your patience and cooperation as we navigate the academic year through this pandemic.

Sincerely,

Robert M. Groves
Provost

Edward B. Healton, MD, MPH
Executive Vice President for Health Sciences


Date: Monday, August 24, 2020
Subject: Disturbing Racial Events and Support Resources

Dear Members of the GUMC Community:

Once again this weekend, we’ve been witness to news reports about disturbing racially-driven actions in our country. We are deeply saddened that in one case, these actions have led to the shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, who is in critical condition in Wisconsin.

On behalf of our community, let me strongly state our support for our Black students, particularly at this very difficult time.
Black Lives Matter.

As many of you know, our medical center is engaged in a robust initiative to focus inward and to take responsibility and corrective actions for matters that contribute to systemic racism on our campus and beyond. We are grateful to all involved in this work as a part of the Racial Justice Committee for Change and for activities outside of that committee.

As we continue to process these events as a community, the School of Medicine’s Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion will host Open Dialogue Spaces on zoom this week to engage in reflection across all of our medical center campus. Please join your colleagues to address potential overwhelming feelings of anxiety, fear, and anger associated with these tragedies. Zoom link here for all Open Spaces below.

  • Tuesday 8/25, from 6:30-7:30 pm ET
  • Wednesday 8/26 from 12-1 pm ET
  • Thursday 8/27 from 12-1 pm ET

The ODEI will also be hosting affinity group healing circles upon request to promote increased opportunities for connection in smaller groups. Please contact Dean Cheng at smc307@georgetown.edu for more information.

We also encourage opportunities to reach out for counseling support with CAPS and Campus Ministry.

For Students:

  • You may schedule an appointment with CAPS by calling (202) 687-6985 from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. EST, Monday-Friday. In the event of an emergency after hours, please call (833) 960-3006 and you will be connected to a trained behavioral specialist.
  • School of Medicine students can schedule an immediate appointment with CAPS by email Dr. Simoné Jalon at sj787@georgetown.edu.
  • The Office of Campus Ministry is available to all students during business hours by calling (202) 687-5259. In addition, chaplains in residence may be reached after hours by calling (202) 677-0361.

For Faculty and Staff:

  • The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) provides free confidential counseling and referral services to faculty, AAPs, and staff. For more information, visit hr.georgetown.edu/fsap or call (202) 687-2396.
  • More mental health and telehealth resources for students, faculty, and staff can be found here.

Please continue to take care of yourselves and each other during this time. Empathy and care are crucial right now. Most importantly, seek support if you need it by reaching out.

Very truly yours,

Edward B. Healton, M.D., MPH
Executive Vice President for Health Sciences
Executive Dean, Georgetown University School of Medicine
Georgetown University Medical Center


Date: Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Subject: Gathering Office Materials Before August 16, 2020

Dear Members of the GUMC Community:

As you may know, for the past few weeks some of you have been given permission to visit our work spaces to quickly gather books or materials useful for our teleworking and remote instruction.

The window for quick visits to GUMC will close soon, as we move to a more formal testing and health protocol across the university.

Faculty and staff should access your offices before Monday, August 17, 2020, to gather materials you need to prepare for the Fall semester and to continue to work and teach in remote status.

Through midnight on Sunday, August 16, 2020, you have access to university buildings. In advance of your visit to campus, please contact Elliott Crooke (crooke@georgetown.edu) and Mary Glasscock (mary.glasscock@georgetown.edu) to notify them of your plans to access the building. As a reminder, anyone coming to the campus now is required to wear a face covering and practice physical distancing while on campus. Starting on August 17, you must follow University protocols for testing and access will be restricted only to those approved for on-campus work for the Fall semester.

We understand there may be singular instances of unanticipated access needed later in the semester. Those will be managed by your Dean’s office, or supervisor, on a case-by-case basis.

Thank you for your patience at this time and for your diligence in preparing for the upcoming semester. We look forward to a day when we can be together in person.

Sincerely,

Edward B. Healton, MD, MPH
Executive Vice President for Health Sciences
Executive Dean, Georgetown University School of Medicine

Geoffrey S. Chatas
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer


Date: Wednesday, July 29, 2020
Subject: GUMC and Fall 2020 Plans

Dear Members of the GUMC Community,

Following President DeGioia’s letter today announcing altered plans for the Fall, for which I fully support, I’m writing to give more information about how changes to the Fall 2020 academic semester impact our medical center campus activities including graduate and undergraduate education, clinical education and research.

Research

Today’s announcement does not change our plans for restarting our research enterprise on the medical center campus. As we demonstrate the ability to adhere to guidance for a safe work environment, we will be able to consider an expansion of density consistent with the research resumption plan submitted to, and accepted (“approved”) by the District of Columbia government, in addition to Georgetown’s health and safety plans.

I would like to emphasize the critical importance of following our health and safety measures for our research restart including the daily self-attestation in the One Medical app, staying home if you don’t feel well, wearing a mask while on campus, and practicing social distancing when possible. We will be monitoring compliance with these guidelines.

>>We will have more information about the restart at our Research Town Hall on Thursday, July 30 from 11 to noon. Please watch your email for Zoom information.

Graduate Education

All classroom-based courses for graduate programs will begin using the academic schedule previously announced, but in virtual mode initially. Graduate students approved to conduct research as part of a restart research plan will be permitted to continue their laboratory work.

Dean Anna Riegel will work closely with the Biomedical Graduation Education instructors to assess what courses have a necessary laboratory experience to recommend if these could be permitted and when. Plans should be made to shift laboratory-based exercises when conditions allow us to accommodate a limited number of students on campus. Much will be based on the pandemic situation.

In addition, we plan to allow some graduate courses to transition to a hybrid of virtual and in-person model if and when pandemic conditions allow and we’re able to create a safe environment for our students, staff and instructors.  

Graduate-level and Medical Clinical Activities

Graduate level students at our School of Nursing & Health Studies, and School of Medicine students have or will soon enter clinical rotations.  Today’s announcement does not impact clinical activity. However, classroom-based education for all students in these schools will begin virtually.  As with graduate education, a limited number of courses may transition into a hybrid virtual and in-person model if pandemic conditions allow and we’re able to create a safe environment for our students, staff and instructors.  

>>More information about graduate and professional education will be discussed at our Education Town Hall on Thursday, July 30 from 4 to 5pm. Please watch your email for Zoom information.

Undergraduate Education

Undergraduate students at the School of Nursing & Health Studies will follow guidance from the Provost.

International Students

The University recognizes that this change may have a special impact on international students and it is working to create a rich learning experience for them. Faculty and students are planning ways to make it possible for students in distant time zones to engage directly with their professors and classmates.  International students who are concerned about their visas should contact the Office of Global Services (OGS) with questions about their specific situations. In general, according to current guidance, continuing international students with existing visas can study online from any location (in the U.S. or abroad) and maintain their active visa status.

New international graduate students  should contact the Office of Global Services to discuss their options. 

Tuition

In recognition of the impacts of this decision, all students in credit-bearing undergraduate and graduate courses, will be offered a tuition discount. This discount will apply to students regardless of whether the original modality of the program was on-campus or online.

All undergraduate students will be offered a tuition discount of 10%. Room and board reductions for undergraduate students on campus will remain in place.

There will be a 5% reduction in the Fall’s tuition for all graduate and professional students at Georgetown. This discount reflects the changed access to some services and activities for graduate students.

Staff teleworking

The telework status at Georgetown has not changed. Most academic staff members will continue to telework. Certain staff members currently eligible for telework may be expected to return to campus based upon their roles, the academic and research needs of our community, and the needs of students and researchers on campus. More information will follow from supervisors related to teleworking and timing of a return to campus.

As a reminder, we will continue to monitor the conditions of the pandemic and our public health obligations to our community. The university may revise its operating status if conditions warrant.

I remain grateful for all the work that has been done to prepare for such a scenario. I am confident that we are prepared for this shift.

Yours truly,

Edward B. Healton, MD, MPH
Executive Vice President for Health Sciences
Executive Dean, Georgetown University School of Medicine


Date: Friday, July 24, 2020
Subject: Instructions for Your Return for On-campus Research

Dear Members of the Georgetown Research Community:

Last week we received notification that the District of Columbia accepted the University’s research plan for ReOpen DC. We are now prepared to take the next step toward restarting research at Georgetown. You are receiving this message because a) your research plan has been conditionally approved by the University research review process, and b) you have been selected to be part of the first group of researchers returning to campus. Please carefully review the information below regarding the health and safety actions you must take to return to campus.

As we shared in our letter to you on July 6, the University’s health and safety protocols require all those returning to work on campus to receive COVID-19 testing. The guidance for your group of returning researchers has changed to include only two tests, an initial test and a second test five days after the first test. We are working with One Medical, a leading primary care provider network, to provide testing and a mobile phone application for daily self-attestations of symptoms and temperature.  

Mandatory steps to take before returning to campus:

  1. For everyone: Become a One Medical member using instructions on this page.
  2. Sign the consent form (new window), which authorizes One Medical to receive COVID-19 test results and health data self-reported through the mobile application and to release COVID-19 test results and daily risk assessment information reported through the mobile application to Georgetown.
  3. Get tested.
  4. After signing up, you must schedule a free COVID-19 testing appointment anytime at the earliest available time frame.
  • Open the One Medical app or visit its website, select “Book Visit” or “Get Care.” Enter a reason for the visit (ex: “COVID test”) and select “Georgetown COVID Testing.” 
  • Choose a Georgetown University testing site (e.g. Maguire Hall – Georgetown University location) and the next available appointment time, then tap the button to book.
  • Attend your testing appointment and get tested. You will get your test results via a secure message, which you can view in your One Medical account via the One Medical app or website. Please note that the current testing result turnaround time ranges from ten to fourteen days.
  • Get a second COVID-19 test five days after the first test. You will also need to self-schedule your appointment for the second test within the One Medical app. Do not wait to receive the results of your first test before scheduling your second test.
  • You will not be permitted to return to work on campus until you have received a negative test result from your first test and completed your second test.

Updated Health and Safety Expectations for Employees/Students On-Campus 

Georgetown has established a set of common expectations, guidelines and safety measures to ensure day-to-day activities support public health efforts to mitigate infection risks, including a Georgetown University Community Compact. All members of our community will be asked to sign the Compact, thereby agreeing to abide by specific safety measures, including required face coverings when on campus in public and shared spaces, physical distancing, and hand hygiene.

All those returning to campus will be expected to:  

  1. Fill out the COVID-19 daily check-in survey on the One Medical app before you leave for campus each day. One Medical will then send you an in-app message with your daily status “badge” that shows your current risk level.
  2. Share your daily badge as required at building entry checkpoints throughout campus. A low-risk status badge will be required to gain entry to campus buildings.
  3. Get retested periodically (as instructed).

If you have any questions or concerns about the testing process or the One Medical app, don’t hesitate to reach out to One Medical (1-888-ONEMED1).

An additional communication will be sent prior to our return to campus detailing further expectations and changes to operational functions. You will be notified when your individual research plans have been approved by the University indicating you may resume your research on campus.

Thank you for your attention to these instructions and for your commitment to Georgetown. 

Sincerely,

Robert M. Groves
Provost

Edward B. Healton
Executive Vice President of Health Sciences

Geoffrey S. Chatas
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer


Date: Thursday, July 23, 2020
Subject: Georgetown University Community Compact

Dear Members of the Georgetown University Community:

As President DeGioia wrote in his message on July 6, protecting the health and safety of the Georgetown University community is a vitally important priority as we resume on-campus academic and research activities and prepare for the return of our students, faculty, and staff to campus for the Fall semester. Please carefully review the health and safety measures we are implementing for the Fall semester and take the actions indicated below to assist with our safe return to campus. 

Our mission of cura personalis calls each of us at this time to bear individual responsibility to help protect the health and safety of the entire community.

All students, faculty, and staff – including if you are already working or living on campus, returning to campus, or not returning to campus for the Fall semester – must complete a Fall 2020 Affirmation. You will be asked to indicate whether you plan to come onto any Georgetown University-owned, managed, or controlled property (jointly, “campus”) or, if you are a student, whether you will live in the neighborhoods of Georgetown, Burleith, or Foxhall (the “Neighborhoods”) at any time during the Fall 2020 semester. You also will be asked to verify the address where you will be learning or working from for the Fall semester and to update your emergency contact information. It is important to collect this information to protect the health and safety of our community and to provide appropriate support services to our community, regardless of where you may be learning or working during the Fall.

Staff and AAPs who are not already working on campus will be notified by your managers in the days ahead regarding your work status for the Fall semester and should not complete the Fall 2020 Affirmation until you have heard from your supervisor as to whether you will be teleworking or working on campus.  

As part of the Fall 2020 Affirmation, all individuals currently living or working on campus, or who will be coming onto campus in the Fall semester, and students residing in the Neighborhoods during the Fall semester will be required to commit to the Georgetown University Community Compact (“Community Compact”), which outlines our mutual responsibilities and the commitments we must make to one another to ensure our daily activities on campus and in the Neighborhoods support public health efforts to prevent and mitigate risks of infection with COVID-19.

Please log into the GU360 website, click on the “Fall 2020 Affirmation” icon, and follow the instructions.

For undergraduate students who will live in the Neighborhoods this fall, please note the District of Columbia Zoning Commission is expected to waive the on-campus residency requirement for the 2020-21 academic year, and you will not be subject to discipline for not meeting it.

Compliance with Health and Safety Measures

To protect the health and safety of our community, it is imperative that students, faculty, and staff on campus for the Fall, and students living in the Neighborhoods, comply with the provisions of the Community Compact and all health and safety measures established by the University, the District of Columbia, and the federal government.

We are relying on the actions of each of us as a community member to do our part in this time of national and local crisis. The Georgetown community has always been committed to the wellbeing of others. Each member of our community should reinforce the healthy behaviors of one another.

Individuals who fail to follow the University’s health and safety measures could endanger others and may be required to immediately leave campus.  In addition, serious or persistent noncompliance may result in ongoing suspension of access to campus and University facilities, and corrective or disciplinary actions and sanctions under the procedures set forth in campus student codes of conduct or professionalism, the Faculty Responsibilities Code, and Human Resources policies, as applicable.

University Helpline and FAQs

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact our University Helpline between 9 a.m.-5 p.m. EDT Monday to Friday at 202-784-3510. We also encourage you to view this set of FAQs, which may be helpful in providing further information and will be updated regularly.

We are deeply grateful for your care for and commitment to the Georgetown University community. As we prepare for the Fall semester, we will be guided by cura personalis in all of our work together.

Sincerely,

Robert M. Groves
Provost

Edward B. Healton
Executive Vice President of Health Sciences

William M. Treanor
Executive Vice President and Dean of the Law Center

Geoffrey S. Chatas
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer


Date: Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Subject: ICE Directive on International Students Rescinded

Dear Members of the GUMC Community,

We were greatly relieved to learn earlier this afternoon that the Department of Homeland Security’s harmful July 6, 2020, directive that would have required students studying in the United States with F1 visas who are taking a fully online course load to leave the country has been fully rescinded. Georgetown University had signed on to amicus briefs in lawsuits aimed at ending the directive and we are pleased with this development.

This means that the Government will return to the March 9, 2020 and March 13, 2020 policy guidance, which provided much-needed flexibility allowing international students, including those at Georgetown, to continue their studies in the United States virtually.   

We share the sentiment of President DeGioia who said after today’s announcement, “Our international students are integral members of our University community and we will continue to advocate on their behalf whenever necessary.” 

We understand that these past seven days of uncertainty have been difficult for our international students and have left some students feeling unwelcomed and discouraged.  As we said last week, our international students are welcome at Georgetown. Their contributions to our community and beyond are immeasurably valuable.  We condemn any future action that would further harm the education of our global students.

We look forward to having our international students join us virtually or on our campus this fall.

All the best,

Carole Roan Gresenz, PhD
Interim Dean
School of Nursing & Health Studies
 
Princy N. Kumar, MD
Senior Associate Dean of Students
Georgetown University School of Medicine
 
Anna T Riegel PhD
Senior Associate Dean
Biomedical Graduate Education
 
Edward B. Healton, MD, MPH
Executive Vice President for Health Sciences
Executive Dean, Georgetown University School of Medicine


Date: Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Subject: GUMC Supports our International Students

Dear Members of our GUMC Community and Especially International Students:

By now, you may have read this evening’s communication from President DeGioia regarding the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program guidance for the fall semester. We’re writing to add our voices to the swell of support for our international students impacted by the new guidance. We speak for our entire medical center when we say that our international students are welcome at Georgetown. We are a better place — on our campus and in our country — because of your important contributions.

As President DeGioia stated, we are committed to finding ways to include sufficient in-person components in our Fall programs at the medical center to satisfy visa requirements for international students, even if the legal challenge opposing the new guidance isn’t successful. BGE, NHS and SOM leaders will work with the Office of Global Services to respond to our international students’ needs.

All the best,

Carole Roan Gresenz, PhD
Interim Dean
School of Nursing & Health Studies

Princy N. Kumar, MD
Senior Associate Dean of Students
Georgetown University School of Medicine

Anna T Riegel, PhD
Senior Associate Dean
Biomedical Graduate Education

Edward B. Healton, MD, MPH
Executive Vice President for Health Sciences
Executive Dean, Georgetown University School of Medicine


Date: Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Subject: Dean Emeritus Ray Mitchell

Dear Members of our GUMC Community,

Today marks the end of a remarkable era for one of our most treasured colleagues here at Georgetown. As Ray Mitchell’s 20-year tenure as Dean for Medical Education comes to an end, we honor his undeniably rich legacy in molding thousands of students into physicians in the true spirit of cura personalis.  

Tomorrow morning, Ray begins in his new role as Dean Emeritus with an exciting charge ahead focused on learners and patients.

Our community is fortunate that he will stay with us at Georgetown as professor of medicine and pediatrics as he continues to care for children with rheumatologic diseases. One of his important new roles will be in supporting specific philanthropic efforts in support of the new surgical pavilion by leveraging his wonderful passion for his home since the 1980s.

We’re especially pleased that Ray won’t be stepping away from teaching, but rather diving deeper into an area of medical education that captures his passion for patient care –the art of bedside medicine. Many of you know that Ray often is guided and inspired by the memory of Proctor Harvey, renowned for his exceptional ability to diagnose complex cardiac problems by listening through his stethoscope to a patient’s heart rhythms. That was the center of Dr. Harvey’s high-touch approach to doctoring. It is this legacy that Ray is committed to carrying forward. To that end, Ray’s work in the coming years will focus on advancing the goals of the Proctor Harvey Center for Excellence in Clinical Teaching by leading the effort to renew a focus on bedside diagnosis for our current and future students.

Over his decades at Georgetown, Ray has consistently demonstrated a strong commitment to student well-being. It is with that in his heart, and an eye to the future that Ray has already volunteered to help lead the newly formed Racial Justice Committee for Change and its important work to be carried out this summer and throughout the new academic year. We are most grateful for his ongoing contributions.

But truly, his legacy is already cemented here on the Hilltop as he enters his fourth decade at Georgetown. In announcing last year that Ray was stepping down, President DeGioia highlighted his many accomplishments. Those accomplishments, his long service, and his deep dedication to Georgetown are worthy of celebration.

Unfortunately, the pandemic has thwarted our planned celebrations, and so we look forward to the day when we can gather in person to honor Ray’s long service to Georgetown.

Please join me in wishing the very best to Ray as he transitions to his emeritus role.

All the best,

Edward B. Healton, M.D., M.P.H.
Executive Vice President for Health Sciences
Executive Dean, School of Medicine


Date: Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Subject: Faculty Teaching in Fall 2020

To: GUMC Faculty Teaching in Fall 2020

Below is guidance for GUMC faculty for the upcoming fall semester.

Key Points:

  • Health and safety are a priority
  • No faculty member will be required to teach on-campus contrary to their preference
  • Departments/programs and schools will make recommendations about preferred mode* of instruction for each course (i.e., hybrid or online).

By Georgetown’s COVID-19-related practices, introduced in March, 2020, faculty teaching and a variety of administrative staff duties have been designated as telework-eligible while the University maintained a virtual operating model. 

Given the commitment to provide hybrid instruction to graduate and health professions students in fall 2020 and the need to manage density on our campus to help keep our community safe, the university provides the following principles to determine those duties for which faculty remain “telework-eligible” and those for which an in-person presence is required.  These practices will apply only to fall 2020 unless explicitly changed in a later statement.

The process occurs in two parallel steps:

Faculty Determination of Teaching Mode. The physical and mental health of our community is a preeminent principle of the fall 2020 plans. Individual considerations may constrain the actions of faculty members (e.g., being in a CDC high risk category, the presence of an at-risk person in their household). Thus, if a faculty member feels they have health circumstances or other reasonable concerns that require them to teach online, they would perform their teaching duties remotely.

Determining Mode of Instruction Appropriate to Course Learning Goals.  When a course is offered to students who can come to campus, a decision must be made about whether the course will use a hybrid mode or online only mode. The achievement of each course’s learning goals is central to the choice of mode of instruction. Some courses have characteristics that suggest their learning goals can be achieved more fully with an in-person presence of a faculty member. Other courses may achieve their goals more easily with a fully online mode. The academic learning goals of a course will determine the most appropriate teaching mode (hybrid or solely online) for the course.  Department chairs or program directors, working with course directors, will determine the preferred mode of instruction for each course. Department plans will ultimately be approved by deans of Biomedical Graduation Education, School of Medicine, or School of Nursing & Health Studies.

These two steps combine in the following way:

  1. If a faculty member will not be teaching in person, all classes they teach will be delivered remotely.
  2. If a class is deemed by a department chair or program director and the faculty involved with the course to be better taught in a hybrid mode, whatever faculty member is assigned to that course will teach the course in person in a hybrid format.
  3. When there are conflicts between 1) and 2) above, the department/program will propose alternative instructor staffing appropriate to the designated mode of the course, with the assistance of the dean’s office.

Regardless of the delivery mode of the course, faculty will have the opportunity to request teaching times compatible with their household time constraints.  Those constraints will be accommodated as much as possible in the course scheduling for fall 2020.  Departments/programs will be expected to offer their classes at the times and days thereafter assigned by the relevant registrar. 

Office Hours:  Zoom is the preferred mode for office hours.  However, rooms suitable for physical distancing of one faculty member and one student will be available on campus. When on-campus, faculty and teaching staff may choose to offer some on-campus office hours.  Office hours or other one-to-one meetings are required to follow the physical distancing guidelines of the approved university plan.

Small research and administrative meetings: Small meetings (fewer than 10 people) of department/unit faculty may be held on campus only if (1) it is determined  by the department/unit leader that meeting in person will significantly enhance the ability to meet essential responsibilities of the unit, (2) a room fulfilling campus social distancing guidelines is available (3) accommodations are available for participants who require alternatives from meeting in person (see above). 

Large research and administrative meetings: Until further notice after the fall start, large meetings (of more than 10 people) of faculty within a department/program may not be held in person except with permission of the Dean, and then must meet the three conditions above (necessity, room availability, and accommodations).  This principle necessarily requires that most department/program faculty meetings will occur by Zoom.

Health and Safety Guidelines.  All employees and students who return to campus will be expected to comply with health and safety guidelines established by the university.

*Definitions
Online Only course: All teaching for a course will occur online (i.e. no in person activities).
Hybrid course: Part of the course will involve on-campus, in-person teaching for students who can come to campus.  However, all teaching for the course will be available online for students who cannot come to campus and the course will be designed so that solely online students are not disadvantaged by not partaking in the on-campus activities.

Edward Healton
Ray Mitchell
Carole Roan Gresenz
Anna Riegel


Date: Saturday, June 20, 2020
Subject: COVID-19 Update: DC Phase Two Reopening

Dear Members of the Georgetown Community: 

Yesterday, Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the city will move to Phase Two for reopening, on Monday, June 22. This will be the second of four phases based on the ReOpen DC plan.
 
In Phase Two, universities can begin to gradually reopen only after an approval by the District government of a university plan. As outlined in President DeGioia’s message on fall planning, the university continues to work on our plan, focusing on how we can provide for the safe return of the members of our community given the risks posed by COVID-19. Georgetown has not yet submitted its plan to the District for approval but seeks to do so soon. We will continue to consult with our community as we finalize our plans for the future, including for the coming semester.  
 
The DC government’s new phase does not change the current operating status for Georgetown University’s campuses and off-campus offices in Washington, DC. The university remains as a virtual learning and telework flexible environment. In support of this effort, staff, AAPs and temporary employees should continue to telework as directed by their supervisors, and all existing telework designations made pursuant to our COVID-19 Telework Guidelines and Procedures remain in place. Please respect the telework designation for the health and safety of our community.

Academic and administrative buildings on the Main and Medical Center Campus will continue to be restricted to a limited number of community members with approved GOCard access as they have been. Buildings that remain closed to the entire community include Lauinger Library, Dahlgren Medical Library, Leavey Center, Healey Family Student Center and Yates Field House. Buildings on the Law Center campus are similarly restricted to GOCard access only. These restrictions also apply to off-campus offices, including Wisconsin Avenue and M Street offices, the Harris Building and the School of Continuing Studies campus at 640 Massachusetts Avenue, NW. 

As detailed in university guidance, all employees, students, and visitors in a Georgetown University Washington, DC, campus space (including all university-owned or controlled buildings, campus grounds, shared laboratory areas, shared residence hall spaces, conference rooms, restrooms, etc.) must wear a face covering at all times, except when alone in a private room with a closed door or in a private vehicle.

As a reminder, the moratorium on university-sponsored travel for faculty and staff remains in effect until further notice. 

If you would like to receive a daily update listing all new COVID-19 communications sent by Georgetown, subscribe to our daily digest. Should you have additional questions, please contact our university call center at 202-784-3510, Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Sincerely,

Robert M. Groves, Provost
Edward B. Healton, Executive Vice President for Health Sciences and Executive Dean of the School of Medicine
William M. Treanor, Executive Vice President and Dean of the Law Center
Geoffrey S. Chatas, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer


Date: Thursday, June 18, 2020
Subject: Dean for Medical Education Update

Dear Members of the GUMC Community:

I write to update you on our search for a new Dean for Medical Education at the School of Medicine and our plans for the interim period until a new dean is in place.

As you’ll recall, at the beginning of February, President DeGioia and I assembled the search committee marking the official launch of the decanal search.

That committee, led by Michelle Roett, MD, MPH, and Aviad “Adi” Haramati, PhD, is actively moving forward. The committee launched with a workshop on bias reduction followed by several meetings since February. Drs. Roett and Haramati hosted multiple listening sessions open to our community and alumni. As of today, individual interviews have been conducted with various leaders around the Georgetown campus and MedStar Health. The recruitment for candidates is ongoing, applications are being reviewed, and the committee has begun engaging with the candidates. We are grateful to our dedicated community members on the committee for their critically important work.

As you might expect, there have been delays related to the pandemic. We know potential candidates may be, understandably, too distracted to pursue this opportunity. We also anticipate delays in our ability to hold in-person interviews. As was said in January, we will take the time needed to identify the best candidate — having a new Dean for Medical Education in place for the start of the next academic year will not happen though we do anticipate naming the new Dean around the new year.

During the interim period after Dean Ray Mitchell concludes his service on June 30 and the start of the new dean, I’ll perform the duties of Dean for Medical Education — an extension of my role as the School of Medicine’s Executive Dean — and the school’s chief academic officer. I embrace this opportunity with enthusiasm and I am grateful for the deep strengths and commitment of the current academic leadership in the School of Medicine, and for the outstanding staff supporting the various offices.

I remain grateful to Ray, especially for his leadership at the School of Medicine this spring during these most difficult times. In a few short weeks, he will become Dean Emeritus and serve as a member of our medical education faculty in the Department of Medicine. Unfortunately, the pandemic has curtailed our planned celebrations for Ray, but we look forward to the day when we can gather in person to honor his service to Georgetown. Please join me in wishing the very best to Ray as he transitions to his emeritus role. 

All the best,

Edward B. Healton, M.D., M.P.H.
Executive Vice President for Health Sciences
Executive Dean, School of Medicine


Date: Monday, June 15, 2020
Subject: Cancellation of Fall 2020 Study Abroad and Exchange Programs

Dear Members of the Georgetown Community,

COVID-19 has deeply impacted all of our lives and we remain grateful for the generosity of spirit of the Georgetown community as we work through so many new elements of our university academic functions and operations.

Today, after much consideration, we regrettably must announce the extension of the moratorium on all university-sponsored student international travel through the upcoming semester, including the cancellation of fall 2020 study abroad and exchange programs.

We know that in light of the moratorium, many in our community had inquired about fall plans for study abroad and other international travel. We thank you for your patience as we worked to assess these complex questions. 

For those students with plans to participate in a university-sponsored or related international travel program or abroad program for the fall or full academic year, the relevant office or department will be in touch with you today to provide additional information regarding next steps, including information for graduate or professional students regarding any relevant exception process. Limited exceptions to this moratorium may be considered for specific graduate and professional student travel, and must be approved by the appropriate Executive Vice President.

This decision applies to all university-sponsored international travel by undergraduate, graduate and professional students. It does not, however, impact university-sponsored international travel for faculty and staff, which remains subject to the moratorium communicated on April 21

Our decision was made in the interest of the health and safety of our community, taking into account the dynamic nature of the global public health situation, significant current limitations on international travel, and the ability to appropriately support students abroad during this time of uncertainty. We decided now in order to provide all students who had planned to participate in university-sponsored international travel or programs with ample time to adjust their plans to continue their studies with Georgetown for the fall semester. 

We recognize how disruptive and significant this decision is, and the university is actively working with relevant departments to help affected students determine the best course of action to continue their academic progress in the fall.

University leadership and key stakeholders continue to meet to review, update and communicate during this pandemic. We recognize the challenges this health crisis has caused for our community, and we appreciate everyone’s cooperation and efforts as we work through these times. 

You can find all university updates, answers to frequently asked questions and other resources related to coronavirus on the Georgetown University website.

Sincerely,

Robert M. Groves, Provost
Edward B. Healton, Executive Vice President for Health Sciences and Executive Dean of the School of Medicine
William M. Treanor, Executive Vice President and Dean of the Law Center
Geoffrey S. Chatas, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer


Date: Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Subject: Racial Justice and Our Solidarity

View additional letters from leaders and groups at Georgetown.

Dear Members of the GUMC Community,

Like many of you, the events of the past week and a half weigh heavily on me.  As I worked today to collect my thoughts in order to share them here, I quickly realized that words feel inadequate in contrast to action. Still, in this moment I feel that it is important to express the medical center’s solidarity with all of our colleagues and fellow citizens who are raising their voices for change and justice within the Black community.

In just a short period of time, we have been reminded in dramatic fashion of the pervasiveness of racial inequities in our society. The COVID-19 pandemic that has gripped our world and changed every aspect of how we live has brought devastating losses in the form of income and jobs, moments with loved ones, and life as we knew it. It has also exposed the fault lines of racial inequity, as we have seen the virus sweep through Black communities disproportionately. Our colleagues at MedStar Georgetown have treated many of these severe cases. In DC alone, 75% of COVID-19 deaths are among African Americans.

The death of George Floyd and recent civil unrest has exposed these fault lines still further. We are faced with a new landscape shaped by all of these events. The question I ponder now is whether we can find our footing in this new terrain to remake our society.

Each of you will find your own ways of responding to the challenges raised by the events of recent days. These individual efforts will collectively have an important impact, and I strongly support and share in that work. 

I hope your work at GUMC also will be a part of that response. As our mission states, our work is to improve human health through education, research, service and patient care. Embedded within this statement is the pursuit of social justice, which is a guide for our work to resolve systemic inequities that are the result of overwhelming health disparities. We should recommit to this mission in the Jesuit spirit of care and respect for each person and every person, of each community and every community, viewed through the lens of health equity, one of the most important social justice issues of our time. The spirit of caring for the whole person as individuals within our broader community is more necessary now than ever before.

We have much work to do to achieve health equity. The magnitude of what we are up against was made plain by a new report on health disparities in the District released yesterday by Christopher King at NHS.  In this, his second such report, he synthesizes the stark and stunning health and economic disparities in our community. Though sobering, this information can add purpose and value to our individual work, both professionally and personally.

We all may struggle at times to identify what action we can take to meaningfully demonstrate our shared commitment and support to communities experiencing societal inequities. In addition to our important outward facing work, we – as a medical center community – also must look inward and continue to do the work that is needed and required to ensure our campus reflects justice and equity for all.

To the faculty, staff and students who are members of our Black community, know that we stand with you. We value you and your many contributions. We desperately want to be a positive force in healing, from not only these deeply distressing and painful recent days, but from the legacy of slavery that has endured for 400 years.

I invite you to join me later today at the School of Medicine’s Moment of Silence & Prayer for Peace.  It is open to all in our community and begins at 5:15pm ET. You can join via this Zoom link.

These times can leave many of us feeling deeply troubled. Below you’ll find a list of support resources that are available for our community.

Yours truly,

Edward B. Healton, M.D., MPH
Executive Vice President for Health Sciences
Executive Dean, Georgetown University School of Medicine
Georgetown University Medical Center


Date: Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Subject: COVID-19 Update: Impacts From DC Phase One Reopening

Dear Members of the Georgetown Community:

Earlier today, Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the city will move to Phase One (new window) for reopening, beginning this Friday, May 29. This is the first of four phases based on the ReOpen DC (new window) plan and the city meeting key thresholds to contain the COVID-19 virus.

This announcement does not change the current operating status for Georgetown University’s campuses and off-campus offices in Washington, DC.

While the city is gradually reopening, Georgetown University’s operating status remains as a virtual learning and telework flexible environment (new window). In support of this effort, staff, AAPs and temporary employees should continue to telework as directed by their supervisors, and all existing telework designations made pursuant to our COVID-19 Telework Guidelines and Procedures remain in place. All summer courses will continue to be delivered through remote learning.

Academic and administrative buildings on the Main and Medical Center Campus will continue to be restricted to a limited number of community members with approved GOCard access as they have been. Buildings that remain closed to the entire community include Lauinger Library, Dahlgren Medical Library, Leavey Center, Healey Family Student Center and Yates Field House. Buildings on the Law Center campus are similarly restricted to GOCard access only. These restrictions also apply to off-campus offices, including Wisconsin Avenue and M Street offices, the Harris Building and the School of Continuing Studies campus at 640 Massachusetts Avenue, NW.

This summer we also continue to support approximately 100 undergraduate students and 40 law students who have been approved to stay on campus due to extenuating circumstances. Students remaining on Main Campus or in the neighborhoods by the Main Campus must abide by local directives and face enhanced sanctions (new window) for not doing so.

As detailed in recent guidance (new window), all employees, students, and visitors in a Georgetown University Washington, DC, campus space (including all campus owned or controlled buildings, campus grounds, shared laboratory areas, shared residence hall spaces, conference rooms, restrooms, etc.) must wear a face covering at all times, except when alone in a private room with a closed door or in a private vehicle.

Each university in the District is working with the city to prepare a more detailed reopening plan for campus operations as the city moves through its four phases. We will continue to update our community as DC updates its plans to reopen. If you would like to receive a daily update listing all new COVID-19 communications sent by Georgetown, subscribe to our daily digest (new window). Should you have additional questions, please contact our university call center at 202-784-3510, Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Sincerely,

Robert M. Groves, Provost
Edward B. Healton, Executive Vice President for Health Sciences and Executive Dean of the School of Medicine
William M. Treanor, Executive Vice President and Dean of the Law Center
Geoffrey S. Chatas, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer


Date: May 18, 2020
Subject: COVID-19 Update: Campus Face Covering Guidance

Dear Members of the Georgetown University Community,

In response to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, the university is implementing new guidance requiring all employees, students and visitors to wear a face covering when on any of the university’s DC campuses beginning immediately and effective until further notice. 

This guidance is in accordance with the May 13, 2020, District of Columbia Mayor’s Extensions of Public Emergency and Public Health Emergency and Preparation for Washington, DC Reopening Order 2020-066 which mandates, as it pertains to Georgetown, face coverings for individuals engaging in minimal business operations where social distance cannot be maintained. 

As detailed in the guidance, all employees and students in a Georgetown University Washington, DC, campus space (including campus buildings, campus grounds, shared laboratory areas, shared residence hall spaces, conference rooms, etc.) are required to wear a face covering at all times, except when alone in a private room with a closed door or in a private vehicle. This guidance also applies to all riders of university GUTS buses. Visitors to campus will also be required to wear face coverings at all times, including children over the age of two. 

Employees or students who live or work on campus and cannot wear a face covering for reasons related to their inclusion in a protected category may request an accommodation through the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Affirmative Action (IDEAA). Students who wish to request a disability-related accommodation may do so by contacting the Academic Resource Center (for Main Campus and Medical Center students) or the Office of Disability Services (for Law Center students). 

Any employee, student or visitor who fails to abide by these guidelines may be asked or directed to leave the campus space. Employees and students who are directed to leave a campus space for failure to comply with these guidelines may be taken off duty and/or subject to disciplinary action.

As a reminder, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. You should NOT use N-95 face masks meant for health care workers; however, it is easy to make your own face coverings at home. Faculty and staff who need support in securing a face covering can contact the Office of Emergency Management. Students remaining on campus will be contacted and informed about resources related to this new guidance.

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. More information about the university’s face covering guidance as well as additional health information, answers to frequently asked questions and other university resources on the Georgetown Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center.

If you would like to receive a daily update listing all new COVID-19 communications sent by Georgetown, subscribe to our daily digest. Should you have additional questions, please contact our university call center at 202-784-3510, Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Sincerely,
Robert M. Groves, Provost
Edward B. Healton, Executive Vice President for Health Sciences and Executive Dean of the School of Medicine
William M. Treanor, Executive Vice President and Dean of the Law Center
Geoffrey S. Chatas, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer


Date: May 15, 2020
Subject: An Extraordinary Spring Semester

Dear Members of the GUMC Community,

Graduation week is upon us marking one of the most exciting times of the year for our medical center campus.

Typically, during this week in May, many of us would be rushing to finalize the finishing touches on treasured events like Warwick Evans and Tropaia, to celebrate student achievement in academics, service and leadership. We’d be celebrating the annual MAGIS Society Induction Ceremony to honor exceptional teaching. The annual Pinning and Blessing of the Hands ceremonies would include a real touch for undergraduate and graduate nursing students. Our GEMS would be celebrated for great accomplishments. We’d witness several medical students taking their oath of military service. DAR Constitution Hall would be brimming with proud family and friends, Healy Lawn would be beautiful (and quite warm) with glowing family pride, and hooding would be a wonderful sight taking many of us back to our own graduations.

While we’re forced to accept virtual celebrations for 2020, there remains a strong sense of extraordinary achievement and gratification during this most unusual time. The completely unexpected and sudden shift from classroom to virtual instruction pushed us to new heights and gave us all a tremendous appreciation for the incredible effort mounted by our faculty and support staff — all to ensure that the virtual learning environment was the best it could be for our Georgetown students.  We’ve heard of many examples of creativity and reimagination over these last two months:

  • Alex Theos, an associate professor of human science at NHS, converted his lab-based class into a virtual course over night by spending several hours videotaping himself doing lab experiments to use for his online instruction.
  • Recognizing that 3rd year medical students would be delayed entering their clinical education, the SOM clerkship directors for pediatrics, medicine, surgery, ob/gyn, (Megha Fitzpatrick, Cathy Okuliar, Shimae Fitzgibbons and James Benson) moved swiftly to incorporate the didactics portion of clerkships into a brand new 8 week virtual curriculum so that no time was lost. The virtual block also incorporates a standardized patient curriculum (Mary Donovan).
  • And imagine teaching in real time what you usually teach as hypothetical. That’s what Erin Sorrell did for these final two months. As director of the BGE’s MS Program in Biohazardous Threat Agents & Emerging Infectious Diseases, Erin incorporated real time data on the pandemic into classes ranging from host-pathogen interactions, biological threat and risk assessments, epidemiology, laboratory diagnostics, global health security/biodefense economy and the national response.

For these and all the other hidden talents that you have reflected in these last two months, for your dedication to finding balance as you completed your work with little ones or others in need of care at home, and for your support of each other, I send my deepest appreciation and gratitude.  Thank you.

Despite all that seems to be missing from this special week, not everything is cancelled. I’m reminded of what one of our dear colleagues, Nancy Harazduk, shared with us during our April 28 community meeting: Spring, fresh air, love, relationships, dancing, imagination, devotion, kindness, conversation, and hope for the future are not cancelled.

I wish you the very best.

Yours truly,
Edward B. Healton, M.D., M.P.H.
Executive Vice President for Health Sciences and
Executive Dean


Date: May 13, 2020
Subject: Following Up on President DeGioia’s message

Dear Members of the GUMC Community:
 
I am reaching out to follow up on President DeGioia’s message yesterday and share  additional information, including details about webinars being offered to help answer questions about the university’s voluntary furlough and the voluntary salary reduction options.  
 
As you know, the university is taking several actions to address the serious financial concerns related to the evolving challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. These decisions were not taken lightly, nor have they been easy ones to make. 
 
The steps announced yesterday are not the university’s first in response to our economic challenges. As Geoff Chatas, the university’s chief operating officer has shared previously, Georgetown has achieved more than $2 million dollars in salary reductions from more than 50 other senior leaders including President DeGioia, imposed a hiring and salary freeze for this year, and limited all non-essential spending.
 
As President DeGioia outlined yesterday, the university is now moving forward with additional actions:

  • There will be no merit increase for the next fiscal year for all faculty, staff and AAPs.
  • The university will temporarily halt contributions to the 403(b) accounts of faculty, staff, and AAPs for the next fiscal year – although this decision will be revisited during the course of the year in light of the university’s financial situation.
  • The university has cancelled non-essential capital expenditures.

President DeGioia also outlined two voluntary initiatives that people can participate in that will help our community and the university financially at this difficult time: a voluntary furlough or a voluntary salary reduction.

Voluntary Furlough Program

Georgetown is implementing a voluntary furlough program based on ability to perform available work, as outlined in the Voluntary Furlough Guidelines. This includes both positions for which, due to our current mode of operation, there is an inability to work and positions for which there has been a reduction in the amount of available work. A furlough is a temporary unpaid leave, during which affected individuals remain Georgetown employees.

Staff and AAP employees, including both hourly and exempt employees, are eligible to apply to participate in the Voluntary Furlough Program. Upon approval of senior leadership, this program affords employees the opportunity to take an unpaid leave of absence while retaining benefits. Participation is completely voluntary. Details of the program are below: 

  • The furlough will go into effect Monday, May 25, 2020, and conclude on Sunday, July 26, 2020.
  • Furloughed employees will return to work on Monday, July 27, 2020.
  • All furloughed employees will retain their current medical, dental and vision insurance. Georgetown will pay both the employer and employee portions of these insurance premiums during the furlough period.
  • Tuition Assistance Program benefits and paid leave accruals, if applicable, will continue while employees are temporarily furloughed.
  • Affected employees may file for state unemployment compensation benefits and federal support immediately.
  • Upon an employee’s return to work, the university will consider efforts to mitigate economic impacts this furlough may have caused.
  • Additional resources, including FAQs, can be found on the Human Resources website.

Informational webinars will be hosted via Zoom on Thursday, May 14 and Friday, May 15, 2020 at 10 a.m and 2 p.m. Representatives from the Department of Human Resources and Office of Faculty and Staff Benefits will discuss the Voluntary Furlough Program and upcoming changes to the university contribution toward the 403(b) retirement plan, and participants will have opportunities to ask questions.

Interested staff and AAPs , as well as12-month faculty at the Medical Center, should apply using this form by 5 p.m., Monday, May 18. Applications will be reviewed by HR and managers, and applicants will be notified in writing as to whether their furlough application has been approved or denied by Friday, May 22.

Voluntary Salary Reduction

In addition to this furlough program, we will offer a voluntary temporary salary reduction program for all faculty, staff, and AAP who wish to participate.

A voluntary cut in salary will help put the institution in the strongest position to protect our academic and research mission. This program will:

  • allow any employee to designate a reduction amount or percentage in their annual salary;
  • maintain all benefits for participating employees;
  • run through the date of the employee’s choosing, any time until June 30, 2021; and
  • be done in a confidential manner so that managers, supervisors and academic deans are not aware of employees’ decisions to participate.

We hope that voluntary savings will allow the university to support and maintain funds to assist with:

Interested faculty, staff and AAPs should apply using the appropriate form which is available on the HR website.  Medical Center Faculty with questions can contact Elliott Crooke, Sr. Associate Dean, Faculty and Academic Affairs. General questions can also be directed to the HR, Benefits and Payroll help line at 202-687-2500.

We recognize that people have different work obligations and financial needs. Not everyone will be able to participate in these two programs. For more information about how you can help, please refer to the “How to Help” section of our COVID-19 website, which outlines ways the community can lend support.

We hope that significant savings through voluntary actions may help the university  protect as many jobs as we can, for as long as we can and minimize or avoid future employment actions, such as mandatory furloughs, salary reductions, and/or layoffs.

We have experienced many changes in these last couple of months related to education, research continuity and the clinical experience, and more, we likely will have more changes to life as we know it as the pandemic continues to evolve. I am grateful to all of you for your support of your colleagues and our students on behalf of Georgetown.  Thank you.  

Sincerely,
Edward B. Healton, MD, MPH
Executive Vice President for Health Sciences
Executive Dean, Georgetown University School of Medicine


Date: April 21, 2020
Subject: Continuing Moratorium on University-Sponsored Travel

Dear Georgetown Faculty and Staff,
In early March, we suspended all university-sponsored international and domestic travel for faculty and staff through May 15. As we have continued to monitor the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on our community, today we announce the extension of this travel moratorium until further notice.  

This suspension includes all university-sponsored and supported international and domestic air and train travel and includes travel funded by a grant, foundation, company or another university. Any travel booked during this moratorium, regardless of when it is scheduled to take place, will not be eligible for reimbursement. 

Our decision was made in the interest of the health and safety of our community, taking into account current stay-at home orders and the dynamic nature of the COVID-19 domestic and global response. We will continue to reassess this guidance and will update these temporary restrictions as appropriate. 

When travel resumes, any university-sponsored travel must be booked through Georgetown Travel Services. The service mitigates risk for trip changes or cancellations and also ensures the university is able to provide emergency assistance to its employees and students who are traveling on university business. 

If a faculty or staff member believes there is a compelling university-related reason to book future international or domestic travel, they should consult with the office of the Provost or campus Executive Vice President (for Medical and Law Centers), Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (for staff of University Services), or the Vice President and Chief of Staff (for direct reports to the President) to request an exception. If travel is authorized during this moratorium, special instructions for booking can be found on the Georgetown Travel Services website.

University leadership and key stakeholders continue to meet to review, update, and communicate during this evolving public health emergency. We recognize the challenges this coronavirus outbreak presents for our community, and we appreciate everyone’s cooperation and efforts as we work through these times. 

You can find all university updates, answers to frequently asked questions and other resources related to coronavirus on the Georgetown University website.

Sincerely,

Robert M. Groves, Provost
Edward B. Healton, Executive Vice President for Health Sciences and Executive Dean of the School of Medicine
William M. Treanor, Executive Vice President and Dean of the Law Center
Geoffrey S. Chatas, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer


Date: April 15, 2020
Subject: Cancellation of On-Campus Summer Programming and Transitions to Virtual Delivery

Dear Georgetown Faculty and Staff,

As we approach the final weeks of the spring semester, we continue to navigate the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has presented to our community. At the end of last month, we announced that all Main Campus Summer 2020 instruction would be moved to virtual delivery. The Law Center also moved online all of its summer classes for continuing J.D. and LL.M students. 

In addition to the continuation of the virtual learning environment, today we are announcing that all in-person summer programs scheduled to be held on the Main Campus, the School of Continuing Studies campus and Law Center campus through August 9, 2020 will need to be shifted to an online-only format or otherwise be canceled. 

With approaching summer program deadlines and continuing uncertainty regarding the duration of “stay-at-home orders” and social distancing guidelines, we concluded that this is the best course of action to ensure the health and safety for all. No in-person housing, event or athletic space will be provided for summer programming, including camps and conferences. All Main Campus summer conference deposits through August 9 will be fully refunded. As we move forward, we will prioritize Main Campus orientation programs and pre-sessions associated with the fall semester. For more information, please contact conferencehousing@georgetown.edu.

We recognize there are several academic programs at the Medical Center and Law Center that are part of the upcoming academic year and that would typically begin in July or early August, prior to August 9. Participants in those programs will hear directly from their program directors in the weeks ahead with information on the delivery of those activities.

We will be following-up on travel guidance for the summer in the days ahead.

As a reminder, the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS) is available to support faculty and staff in transitioning programs and activities to remote formats. If, after careful consideration, a program cannot be transitioned to a virtual environment, it must be rescheduled or canceled. For all questions about the transition to virtual delivery for summer programs, please consult your program chairs, deans and department heads.

We understand how disruptive these necessary decisions are for our community. As we continue to evaluate the latest health guidance and safety procedures, we will revisit these decisions as circumstances allow. 

Thank you all for your commitment and dedication. We are very grateful for your extraordinary efforts.

Sincerely,

Geoffrey S. Chatas, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Robert M. Groves, Provost
Edward B. Healton, Executive Vice President for Health Sciences and Executive Dean of the School of Medicine
William M. Treanor, Executive Vice President and Dean of the Law Center


Date: April 11, 2020
Subject: Special message from Dr. Healton

Dear Members of the GUMC Community,

I write today to send my very best wishes to you and your family during Passover and Holy Week. At this very stressful time, with so much change in our lives, I hope these special days bring you support and comfort.

I appreciate the more than 480 of you who joined us April 1st for our first virtual community meeting; it was very good to reconnect, and to hear President DeGioia provide his wide perspective on the first weeks of our university response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We also had a chance to hear updates from our Medical Center leadership.

Since that virtual gathering, the School of Nursing & Health Studies, the School of Medicine, and our Biomedical Graduate Education programs continue to provide their curriculum fully online.  We are watching these programs carefully with learner and teacher surveys and leadership oversight by the school deans and program directors, and overall the feedback has been very positive.

In addition to our ongoing research, carried out consistent with our original research guidelines, several of our investigators have turned their attention to coronavirus related work, including basic science focused on drug development, novel diagnostic studies and important databases.  More than a dozen projects have been initiated.  Our clinical faculty also are planning clinical trials to advance new therapies.

I also would like to pause and offer special recognition to our clinical faculty, nursing colleagues and all of the caregivers and hospital staff.  These next few weeks will be exceptionally challenging for our friends and colleagues on the frontlines of patient care. MedStar Health wasted no time in preparing for this expected surge. MedStar Georgetown University Hospital has dramatically increased the number of ICU beds and negative pressure rooms (for infection control), developed a surge plan for nurses and physicians including cross training across specialty areas, conducted mock trainings, and ramped up PPE fittings.

The frontline of care across America now includes some of our students who are also in the military and have been called up into service in response to this outbreak.  We remain truly grateful to all for their sacrifice and commend their incredible bravery. I look forward to the day when we can gather in person to celebrate and honor their contributions.

I also wish to express my deep concern for the health and safety of our community, as we begin to experience a steady rise in the DMV area of COVID-19 cases. This increase is not a surprise. I’d like to take this opportunity to remind you to please be vigilant in protecting yourself and others if you move about outside the home. It’s easy to become complacent as we adjust to changes in our environment, but now more than ever, this is not the time for that. Please follow public health guidance and stay inside as much as possible. Just as a brief reminder:

Working on Campus
Our medical center remains operational — Georgetown University’s policy is that all faculty and staff must work remotely with very limited exceptions.  If you have not been approved to be on campus, please do not come to campus. This policy will remain in place until you’re notified otherwise. Access to campus buildings remains limited to GOCard only access. To protect the health and safety of those who must come to work, we are monitoring GOCard swipes so we can ensure only those approved to be on campus are accessing the buildings.

For those of you approved to be on campus, we’d like to remind you of these best practices:

  1. If you are not feeling well, please stay home and contact your supervisor;
  2. Organize work spaces and staffing to ensure 6 feet between any two people;
  3. Stagger schedules to reduce shift overlaps;
  4. Limit time in the lab or animal facility;
  5. Wear gloves and other personal protective equipment while in the lab or animal facility;
  6. Wash/sanitize hands frequently, including before and after being in your work space;
  7. If two people encounter one another, stay 6 feet apart;

We recognize there may be status changes in lab work and with colleagues working in labs.  Please note, this form (new window) will remain active for the foreseeable future in the event you need to request approval of access for a reason not already approved.

New Pedestrian Access to GUMC
Parking remains free in the Hariri and Leavey Center parking lots for those approved to work on campus.  While the Lombardi lobby remains closed to foot traffic, a pedestrian walkway will be created early next week on East-West Road to allow access to the medical center via the east side of the Research Building. Lot E remains only accessible via GOCard and will be used by MedStar GUH as they begin experiencing a workforce surge to cope with the COVID-19 outbreak in our region.  Unapproved requests to access Lot E will be denied and redirected to park in Hariri and Leavey Center.

Work/Life Balance
If you’re like me, you’re probably beginning to settle in with teleworking, though clearly there are challenges that will remain. So many of you have the very difficult task of balancing your work demands with the need to teach children, and often in close quarters.  As one of our colleagues, Sonia De Assis, so aptly wrote recently, while we recognize this challenge, being with children and building memories with them “is priceless and a blessing to be grateful for when this pandemic is costing thousands of lives and disrupting many more.” I hope you can find the same silver lining as Sonia.

Finally, I’d like to encourage you to join us for our second all-virtual GUMC Community Meeting on Tuesday, April 28 at 2pm.  Be sure to watch your email for more information and the Zoom link for our next meeting in a couple of weeks.  I look forward to meeting with you again then.

All the best,
Edward B. Healton, MD, MPH
Executive Vice President for Health Sciences
Executive Dean, Georgetown University School of Medicine


Date: March 23, 2020
Subject: Message from the Provost and EVP Healton: My Gratitude and Appreciation

Dear Members of the GUMC Community,

Last week will likely be remembered as one of the most unusual in our campus’ history. We experienced enormous change in operations that are just about as far from business as usual as possible, but impressive nonetheless. And for that reason, I wish to express my deep gratitude in appreciation of our dedicated faculty and staff who did what was needed in a short amount of time to ensure our GUMC missions continue unbroken.

Between our Biomedical Graduate Education programs and the School of Nursing & Health Studies, more than 250 courses were taught online. We know there were a few bumps, but most appeared to be due to the overload of broadcast services utilized in such a short amount of time. Soon, the School of Medicine will begin online courses when the students return from spring break. We know our faculty are ready. I remain confident that the remainder of this semester is truly in good hands.

On the research front, faculty and support teams work each day with our unique circumstances to keep critical studies continuing successfully. This challenge is complicated exponentially when factoring in fluctuating grant reporting deadlines, keeping cell lines active, and maintaining studies with preclinical animal models. Thank you to all who are working from home to support research continuity along with those who are working in laboratories – both ensuring all is not lost as a result of this remarkable situation.

To our staff/AAP, we’d be hard pressed to stay operational without your faithful support. From operations to education to research, you are a critical part of our success and I wish to thank you.

Finally, and most obviously, these past few weeks have been especially challenging for our colleagues on the front lines of patient care. We have heard the stories repeatedly of the real dangers they face in service to their patients. Sadly, it appears this is only the beginning. I don’t think it is an overstatement to say we stand in awe of your dedication and bravery.

I am greatly appreciative of all whether you’re teleworking from your new home office (a converted kitchen counter, living room or bedroom), or coming to campus because your work must be conducted at GUMC. Thank you.

I look forward to sharing my gratitude personally – or as personal as we can get in this new virtual environment – during our first virtual GUMC Community Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, April 1 at 2p. There, we’ll review operations and get updates from around our campus. Details are coming soon. I hope you’ll save the date and join me. I truly look forward to reconnecting.

Edward B. Healton, MD, MPH
Executive Vice President for Health Sciences
Executive Dean, Georgetown University School of Medicine


Date: March 15, 2020
Subject: Message from the Provost and EVP Healton: Updated Research Continuity Guidance

This document provides updated guidance regarding research activities at Georgetown. This guidance supersedes the existing research continuity policy that was developed and distributed on Wednesday, March 11.  

In recognition of the developing emergency of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must now take steps to minimize the spread of the virus, while safeguarding our most vital research operations and assets. Effective immediately, Georgetown University’s policy is that all Georgetown researchers must work remotely with very limited exceptions.

Research activities that require access to a Georgetown space—office, laboratory or otherwise—are permissible only with express and written decanal approval.  Granted permission will be limited.  For Main Campus investigators, exceptions can only be granted by the Dean of your School; for GUMC investigators, decanal approval should be sought from the Dean of the School of Nursing & Health Studies by NHS faculty, or by the GUMC Dean for Research for other GUMC faculty.  Permission will not be granted for undergraduates to engage in research in a Georgetown space.

Requests for permission to access research sites must be submitted by 5 pm on Monday, March 16 using this form.

Principal Investigators (PIs) and group leaders must implement the following immediately:

  • Do not start new experiments or data collection.
  • Act now to bring existing experiments and studies to a safe stopping point.
  • Designate critical laboratory and other research activities and personnel.
  • If you need approval for access, discuss with your Chair and Dean the basis of the request.
  • Ensure that permitted personnel adhere to best practices for social distancing.

These points are discussed in more detail below.

Permissible research activities: The decision to grant an exception will be based on balancing both the short and long-term impacts of short-term disruption, with the aim of preserving research assets as much as possible, against the potential costs to public health.  We define three types of research activities:

1. Critical human subject research:

  • All “non-therapeutic” human subjects research involving face-to-face contact but not the administration of drugs, must shift to remote data collection while maintaining integrity of the research, or be safely stopped. This involves both on- and off-campus human subjects data collection. Please see pertinent guidance from Georgetown and MHRI for information on how to submit an amendment to the relevant IRB to report such protocol modifications.
  • “Therapeutic studies”, defined here as those that involve the administration of drugs or monitoring of devices that may provide direct therapeutic benefit to study participants are likely to receive quick approval to continue.  Trials with investigational treatments, including drugs and devices, are assumed to provide the potential for therapeutic benefit, and are therefore similarly likely to receive expeditious approval.
  • To the extent possible, study activities that can be conducted remotely by telephone or online, such as screening or follow-up, should be done in this way.  Please see pertinent guidance from the Georgetown and MHRI IRBs.

2. Critical laboratory research activities: Projects involving live organisms that are particularly sensitive to interruption, causing severe negative impacts.  Examples include:

  • Environmental/seasonal work on plants/animals – Living organisms need to be maintained and loss of animals/plants will lead to catastrophic loss of data sources and extended (a year or more) impacts on labs. For example:
    1. Mosquito diapause studies
    2. Butterfly responses to climate changes
  • Live animal studies – Investigators must continue their responsibilities for existing animal colonies and experiments. For example:
    1. Maintenance of rodent breeding colonies
    2. Maintenance of drosophila lines
    3. Completion of already-started animal and plant experiments with time-sensitive protocol requirements or procedures that cannot be temporarily scaled down
  • Long-term medical research requiring timely processing of samples
  • Tissue culture lines that need to be maintained until such time as they can be safely stored.

3. Non-critical projects – not allowed:  Experimental research that can be paused without severe long-term negative impact on ongoing research will not be allowed to proceed.  This includes microbiological/eukaryotic cell biology work in which strains can be viably frozen, chemical / materials research in which samples can be safely stored, as well as methods development research. It is recognized that this represents a significant disruption to the research efforts of majority of our faculty, students, and postdoctoral fellows involved in experimental science.

Permission for Access: To reduce the number of critical staff to the absolute minimum, all PIs must use this Google form to submit requests for access to research sites by 5pm Monday, March 16.  Requests will be jointly reviewed by both department chairs and deans, with final authority resting with the dean.

1. Designated workers

  • Each lab with permission may designate a limited number of “essential” lab members, who would be responsible for maintaining the live experimental material.
  • The lab head together with the chair should manage schedules to ensure coverage.
  • No individual may be compelled to come to campus for any purpose.
  • People who are sick with a fever, cough or shortness of breath should not come to campus.

2. Access is primarily for maintenance or completion of experiments or already-started and scheduled research procedures

  • No new experiments/studies may be started without decanal approval.
  • Existing experiments/studies should be completed as quickly as possible.
  • Store biological specimens as quickly as possible.  Transfer electronic data to media for remote analysis
  • Animal colonies need to be maintained, but should be minimized to essential numbers.
  • No new animal orders or imports will be accepted unless required for survival of specific strains; this will require approval by the DCM Director.

3. Other emergency personnel – All other labs may designate one or more members who can come in only to deal with emergencies (e.g. essential equipment that needs attention, such as -80 freezers, or liquid nitrogen storage).

4. Deliveries – In some cases, deliveries may arrive after the labs are restricted.  If so please notify the Chair so that a designated worker can safely store the package.

Best Practices: To ensure the most effective social distancing, a minimum of researchers will be allowed on campus.  Those who are granted access should abide by the following guidelines:

1. The Chair and the PIs will work together to ensure that there are as few personnel as possible in the lab at the same time

  • Work spaces and staffing must be organized to ensure 6 feet between any two staff members Stagger schedules to reduce chance of overlap
  • Limit time in the lab or animal facility
  • Wear gloves and other personal protective equipment while in the lab or animal facility
  • Wash/sanitize hands before and after being in the lab environment.
  • If two people encounter one another, they must stay 6 feet apart.
  • If any personnel is not feeling well, s/he should not come in!  Have the alternate replace.

To further protect the safety of the personnel

  • On-campus parking will be provided to ensure that personnel do not need to use public transportation

Date: March 14, 2020
Subject: Updates for GUMC Faculty/COVID-19 Impacts

Dear Members of the GUMC Community:

As we continue to learn more about how to best keep our community safe and healthy, I’d like to pause and thank you for your hard work in preparing for educational and telework continuity. I’m also grateful for your input and patience as we work collectively to reduce the disruption the COVID-19 outbreak is having on our campus.

I’m writing today 1) to provide additional clarity on telework continuity for faculty including faculty conducting research, 2) to share information about dependent care funds now available to GUMC faculty and 3) a reminder about gatherings and meetings.

The telework continuity plan for faculty, staff and AAPs is now in full effect.  Georgetown requires faculty to work from an off-campus location for online delivery of educational instruction until further notice. Office hours and student advising must also be conducted remotely. All staff/AAPs are required to telework beginning Monday, March 16 unless considered essential.  Staff were notified Friday and their managers were also made aware.

Faculty conducting research should also work from an off-campus location unless the nature of the research requires you to be in a laboratory or if your research situation can’t be replicated in your off-campus space. A group of Georgetown resarchers are developing additional guidance for these situations to minimize disruptions in balance with necessary steps to keep our colleagues safe. To that end, Provost Bob Groves and I will share new research continuity guidance this weekend.

Just to be clear, as with staff, your return to campus is not permitted until the university lifts the telework requirement. If you have a need to come to campus during this telework continuity period, you must notify your dean for approval.

2) I am pleased to share with you information about a new resource/benefit for our faculty regarding the use of dependent care funds. Under exceptional circumstances due to the coronavirus, all full-time faculty(tenure line and full time non-tenure line) who are teaching during this educational continuity period can use dependent care funds. These funds can now be used by faculty who have child care responsibilities, and are designed to help defray costs due to added child care needs resulting from school/daycare closures during the Georgetown spring semester.

Awards of $50 per day for days when providing online instruction with a cap of $500 per faculty member through the end of 2020 Spring term will be available. 

For information about reimbursement, please contact Mary Glasscock.  

3) Finally, I’d like to remind you that we have restricted in-person events, meetings and other activities until further notice.  You are encouraged to proceed with your event virtually, using an online conference service such as Zoom. If you feel that there is a compelling reason that your scheduled event should still take place in person, please submit a request for a waiver to the Office of the Executive Vice President using this form.

Thank you again for the dedication.  I hope you have a restful and safe weekend.

Edward B. Healton, MD, MPH
Executive Vice President for Health Sciences
Executive Dean, Georgetown University School of Medicine


Date: March 11, 2020
Subject: Covid-19 GUMC Update:  Instructional Continuity, Campus Operations, and Events

Dear GUMC Community Members:

As the COVID-19 outbreak increasingly affects our daily lives here in Washington and around the world, the health and safety of our community has been our shared and deepest concern. Many colleagues across the university have been working together nearly around the clock to respond to the challenges posed by COVID-19.  I am most grateful for their work and mutual support.  Against that background, all faculty, students and staff have received a communication from President DeGioia announcing that all classes at the university will move to online instruction until further notice.

ALL CLASSES MOVING ONLINE

Later today, letters specific to the School of Medicine, School of Nursing & Health Studies and our Biomedical Graduate Education community will be sent to faculty and students. These communications will provide Information focused on educational continuity planning and Implementation. We are committed to supporting your work as teachers and learners, and to continuing to maintain a high-quality learning environment.

RESEARCH CONTINUITY

We also are committed to maintaining a supportive and uninterrupted research environment.  Later today, you also will receive guidance on research continuity.

TELEWORKING IMPLEMENTATION

For our staff, AAPs and temporary employees, the same safety concerns will lead to a significantly increased use of our teleworking policies and practice of working remotely.  An announcement of that policy and practice will be released immediately. Direct supervisors will work with each staff member to implement these practices.

OPERATIONAL UPDATES

As of now, the Medical Center’s campus buildings will remain open. Campus services including copy/mail and campus food services are available, but will be limited. Operations will be evaluated and adjusted on an ongoing basis, as needed.

EVENTS/ CONFERENCES/ CO-CURRICULAR PROGRAMMING

For the protection of our community and consistent with University policy, we will restrict in-person events as much as possible until further notice.  If you would like to proceed with your event virtually, we recommend that you consider using Zoom as an option. You can find more information about using zoom here. If you feel that there is a compelling reason that your scheduled event should still take place in person, please submit a request for a waiver to the office of the Executive Vice President using this form.

All of this important information is available on Georgetown’s dedicated COVID-19 page. Consider bookmarking it as it will be updated with all announcements.

As always, I am confident that we will work together as a community in this unique and very challenging time.  

All the very best,

Edward B. Healton, MD, MPH
Executive Vice President for Health Sciences
Executive Dean, Georgetown University School of Medicine


Date: March 6, 2020
Subject: COVID-19/GUMC Information

Dear Colleagues:

While there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 with any connection to Georgetown, university officials are monitoring the situation closely. As you know, the situation is quite fluid and we need to think of possible scenarios and how to reduce the impact on our students and faculty.  Now is the time to be thinking about instructional continuity carefully in the event that our campus has to close.  All faculty who have classes between now and the end of the semester should prepare before Spring Break to be able to deliver all lectures and educational materials remotely for an extended period. In addition, we are working closely with our clinical partners to ensure a safe learning environment for our students in clinical rotations.

Resources for instructional continuity (including useful tips, faculty examples, and contacts) may be found at https://instructionalcontinuity.georgetown.edu/ including a preparation checklist.

●      Delivering course content online: This should include options for delivering course materials—such as course documents and course lectures—online. There are many options for locating digital versions of course materials and the library can help create electronic versions of materials that are unavailable in digital format. Lecture capture, voice over PowerPoint, and synchronous delivery of lectures are excellent ways to deliver lecture content to your students.

●      Engaging with your students: This should include options for conducting synchronous and asynchronous interactions with your students. Zoom is an excellent option for synchronous (or real time) meetings and virtual office hours. Zoom can handle up to 300 participants at a time (with availability of up to 500 by request by emailing zoom@georgetown.edu). Asynchronous engagements can include discussion board posts (for example, through Canvas) and peer e-meetings that students can complete outside of class time.

●      Assessing student progress: Should instructional continuity require longer time away from campus, it’s important to create mechanisms for assessing students. These can include quizzes and exams, graded blog and written, critical reflections, and group projects produced digitally. These are all possible in the Canvas learning management system. For quizzes and exams, there are pilot licenses for exam proctoring to ensure academic integrity.

Dahlgren Memorial Library is offering workshops to learn how to leverage the functionality of Zoom for teaching remotely. Dates for the workshops are Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13. Click on the links for more details and registration. Canvas courses are also available.  You can find additional information on the DML website including the fact-filled Infectious Diseases and Biohazards LibGuide.

CNDLS is also offering resources for learning how to implement remote teaching options, and will be holding daily drop-in office hours for the foreseeable future, with both virtual and in person (314 Car Barn) options. These hours will be posted on the Instructional Continuity website. If you need immediate assistance from CNDLS, please contact them at cndls@georgetown.edu, 202-687-0625, or by visiting their website. A growing set of additional resources for instructional continuity (including tips, faculty examples, and contacts) may be found here.

We expect additional announcements about educational continuity today and research continuity and other planning in the days to come. The university has set up a webpage with all announcements and additional information concerning COVID-19.  You can also find a link to it on the GUMC.georgetown.edu homepage.

We’ll continue to update you as information warrants.

Thank you,

Carole Roan Gresenz, PhD
Interim Dean, NHS

Stephen Ray Mitchell, MD
Dean for Medical Education

Anna T. Riegel, PhD
Senior Associate Dean for Biomedical Graduate Education