With students, many staff, faculty, and researchers already on campus, and others making plans to return this fall, I want to acknowledge that though this may not be quite the return we expected, we can make the best of it by staying connected and navigating the unknowns and uncertainties together.
Whether you are back in the classroom, lab, or office, or continuing to work from home, please continue to take care of yourselves and one another. Over a year and a half ago, we could not have anticipated this new norm of “face-to-face,” but we have proven we can adapt and thrive in changing circumstances.
Please see the following University resources on mental health and wellbeing:
- Health and wellbeing resources for staff, faculty, and students
- Explore resources for health professionals, the community, and students from the Bakken Center For Spirituality & Healing
- Coping and Daily Life
Thank you for your patience, extending understanding where it is needed, and being flexible. We will get through this latest stage of the pandemic by showing compassion for one another.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine under its normal approval process. This approval will inevitably impact vaccination requirements for universities, businesses and other institutions we partner with. When our University-related work requires us to travel off-campus and into our partner facilities that are not University of Minnesota-owned, University faculty, staff and students must comply with University of Minnesota requirements AND any additional vaccine requirements for the partner facility, e.g., M Health Fairview hospitals and clinics, UMP clinics, community research sites, and other university campuses. We strongly encourage faculty, staff and students to contact their advisor, on-site supervisor or leader, or the facility itself to obtain documentation on the current vaccination requirements prior to arrival at the facility. This will help ensure the work or educational opportunity can advance as planned. For the most up to date information on University of Minnesota vaccination requirements, visit the Get the Vax 2.0 website.
Driving Innovation & Discovery
The Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility’s Global Engagement Grants offer funding for innovative projects by faculty, researchers, and students that blend work in research, education, and capacity building. Global Engagement Grants also provide an opportunity to collaborate around specific CGHSR focus areas and with other UMN centers and colleges that share these priorities. In 2021, the focus is on global women's health initiatives, and future calls may center on issues such as human migration and health, health workforce development or specific areas of global health capacity building.
Advancing Interprofessional Education & Training
The Minnesota Northstar Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program (MN GWEP) was formed in 2019 with a mission to improve the health care and health of older adults across the state of Minnesota. Since its formation, Minnesota Northstar GWEP has been focused on its statewide mission, while maintaining a spirit of collaboration with other GWEPs across the nation. This cooperative spirit has been beneficial in MN GWEP’s efforts to improve geriatrics training for health professionals, community outreach and engagement, and its focus on age-friendly care and learning.
Partnering With Communities
Through partnerships with community-based organizations in southern Minnesota, the Mobile Health Initiative and its volunteers of health professionals and health sciences students recently provided health care services and COVID vaccinations for migrant agricultural workers and their families. These health fairs are part of the University’s longstanding partnerships with various state rural organizations to provide services to the thousands of migrant farmworkers who travel to Minnesota every summer to contribute to the state’s agricultural workforce.
On Aug. 14, CUHCC hosted a special Back to School clinic event for families and children in South Minneapolis in celebration of National Health Center Week. They provided general health check-ups and vaccinations, including COVID-19 vaccines for those 12 and older, and back-to-school supplies. They had 37 medical visits, 18 dental visits, and provided 26 COVID-19 vaccines. Staff and volunteers helped distribute backpacks, hotdogs, ice cream, library cards and books.
U-Wide Events & Opportunities
Register to Get the Vax at Free Mobile Clinic Sept. 9
Boynton Health will offer the Moderna vaccine to all U of M employees and students on Thursday, Sept. 9, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the President's Room, third floor of Coffman Memorial Union. (Note: This is not a booster shot clinic). Registration requires x500 login.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction at the Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing
Held live via Zoom, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is an eight-week course that will help you learn about the physiology and science of stress. This highly participatory, practical course includes guided instruction in mindfulness meditation practices, gentle stretching and mindful yoga, group dialogue and discussions aimed at enhancing awareness in everyday life, and daily home assignments.
The Department of Medicine is partnering with the COVID-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN) to conduct a research study to learn whether the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine stops the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus: both initial infection and transmission.