We’re back! Well, not really, but enough to be worth celebrating. On Monday, Angie (who works with the residency program) was back in the office. It was a little startling—the lights were on, and I had to remember to wear my mask when I went out into the break room to get the coffee that keeps me going through my long parade of Zoom meetings. But it was so nice to see her! I wanted to celebrate.
One of the many lessons of this pandemic is that we have so much to celebrate—on a daily basis. Our health and long flat curves come to mind, as well as having outstanding colleagues who are experts in population health, hospital medicine, and ICU care who will share their experience with us at Medicine Grand Rounds this week. We’re celebrating the return of graduate students and postdocs, and in another week or so we’ll be able to celebrate medical students back in our environment. I want to celebrate the resiliency of our residents and their upcoming transitions into the next level of training, advanced subspecialty fellowships, and faculty positions. And we can celebrate small things that are rapidly improving our new normal, like infrared thermometers at screening entrances, “seeing” our patients again, that we have creative clinic and facilities people outfitting our workspaces with discrete social distancing stickers and plexiglass, and technologies that enable us to connect even in an era of social distancing. We can celebrate that we are a strong community that has sustained our health care system in many ways, such as making masks, contributing great ideas to preserve PPE, and filling the blood drives at Light Hall and OHO, which will continue in the coming weeks. Celebrate your return to campus by giving blood with a friend, and if you gave blood at the start of the pandemic, you are probably eligible again. If we wait to celebrate with the vaccine or an alternative cure, we will miss far too many opportunities to celebrate the joy in all that we do here.
In two weeks, Medicine Grand Rounds will be another annual time that we pause to celebrate who we are in the Department of Medicine, with the yearly “State of the Department.” A major part of this event is to celebrate our faculty, fellows, and residents with awards honoring their commitment to education, clinical service, and creativity. Please join us to celebrate with your colleagues (via Zoom) and to congratulate this year’s award winners. We also will talk about where the department is—academically, clinically, and financially. While that last point hardly feels like a topic to celebrate, I will choose to celebrate that we will be able to tackle this global pandemic and its aftermath together. I could not imagine a finer group to manage this with.
And while we are on the topic of “where the DOM is,” I’d like to ask that in the next week you send Cieara a photo (email@example.com) that shows us where you work, relax, or gather (in a socially distant way) in the Department of Medicine.
Looking forward to celebrating!
Follow us on Twitter!
* If you are a Vanderbilt employee or patient with fever, cough, or shortness of breath and are concerned about the coronavirus, call (888) 312-0847 to be assessed. If you become ill while at work, they will direct you to the testing site on campus. Employees will have their tests flagged for rapid resulting as of tests sent this afternoon.
* COVID-19 Public Information Hotline: (877) 857-2945, available daily (10a.m.-10 p.m.)
* Continue to review myVUMC and the COVID website for institutional information.
* For information on how faculty members can support students in traumatic times, see article published by the Chronicle of Higher Education, "Coping with Coronavirus."