Leading Dartmouth's COVID-19 Response
Information related to COVID-19 changes quickly and Lisa V. Adams MED ’90, Geisel’s associate dean for global health, is on the front line of keeping the Dartmouth community healthy and safe. She and Josh Keniston, vice president for institutional projects, co-chair the college’s COVID-19 Task Force charged with keeping students, faculty, and staff updated on the pandemic and its effect on the college. Task Force members representa broad cross section of the campus community.
Adams, who is also a physician in the infectious disease section at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, follows the epidemiology of the disease—she works with the College health services and is tapped into the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for the latest information. Keniston, oversees the day-to-day impact of the pandemic on operational issues.
An early issue the Task Force grappled with were CDC recommendations regarding travel, both international then domestic—bringing students and faculty studying and working abroad back to the U.S., whether or not to cancel summer study abroad programs, and limiting faculty and staff travel. They then focused on academic and workplace issues and recommendations to implement remote teaching, working from home, and to restrict, postpone, or cancel important campus events such as commencement.
Reporting to Provost Joseph Helble via Zoom meetings, the co-chairs convene the Task Force group to discuss key issues and formulate recommendations based on their areas of expertise—for some issues, special working groups are created to ensure critical input. In turn, the provost raises issues brought forth by Dartmouth’s senior leadership group for consideration.
“We weigh all of our options and do not make any recommendations lightly,” Adams says, “we want to be as thoughtful and transparent as possible.
“This is an opportunity for us to rise to the challenge, to step up together and do the right thing—while some of us are responding as healthcare providers and public health practitioners, we all have a role in altering the course of this pandemic.”
This is an opportunity for us to rise to the challenge, to step up together and do the right thing—while some of us are responding as healthcare providers and public health practitioners, we all have a role in altering the course of this pandemic.
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