Travel Policies, CEO Town Hall, and Extension of Probationary Periods

Published by David B. Roth, MD, PhD, on May 20, 2020

May 20 Update: From the Chair

Dear Members of the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Community,

Roughly three months have passed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic entered our circles and, consistent with projections, our COVID-19 census continues to slowly decline. I want to remind you, however, that this will be a long process and we may be entering a new phase where self-care becomes of paramount importance.

As we shift into the summer months and think about potential personal travel plans, the health and safety of our patients and staff remain our top priority. UPHS has released guidelines for Personal Travel and Vacations, available through the Remote Access Portal on top under "Email Update Links." Expert guidance strongly discourages travel and recommends staying at home as much as possible. If you decide to travel, it is important to continue to take appropriate COVID-19 precautions while you are traveling to and from your destination and while you are there. This includes continuing to practice physical distancing, frequently washing your hands, and wearing masks at all times in public.

As an important faculty reminder, I want to call your attention to the COVID-19-related Extension of Probationary Period for Tenure, CE, Research Tracks. The "Policy on Extension of the Probationary Periods that Apply to Granting of Tenure or Promotion to Associate Professor" provides the opportunity for an extension relating to the birth or adoption of a child, your serious medical condition of that of a family member, and the occurrence of a personal or professional catastrophic event. The catastrophic event clause has been expanded to include COVID-19-related circumstances that impact your academic productivity. Information and resources relating to this important change are available on the FAPD website.

I also want to call attention to two very interesting events for this Friday, May 22. UPHS CEO Kevin B. Mahoney and members of the UPHS executive leadership team will host a systemwide live-streamed town hall on Friday at 9 AM. Later that day, from 12 to 1 PM, the Penn LDI will host a Virtual Seminar on Health Care Innovation During COVID-19. More information is available here.

If there are moments when you need to be reminded of the importance of your work, I invite you to visit Penn Medicine's Gallery of Gratitude, which is an inspiring and hopeful collection of messages from patients, colleagues and our community at large. As we move toward the Memorial Day weekend, I hope you will be able to use this time to find some comfort, rest, and recuperation.

Many of you have been pushed outside of your comfort zones. Others have been making heroic efforts on behalf of others. Be sure to spend some time taking care of yourselves. If you don't take care of yourself, sooner or later you may not be able to take care of someone else.

David Roth

David B. Roth, MD, PhD, is the Simon Flexner Professor and Chair of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in these blog columns are those of the authors or other attributed individuals and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Department, Penn Medicine, or the University of Pennsylvania. Health information is provided for educational purposes and should not be used as a source of medical advice or diagnosis.