The past several weeks, as the COVID-19 epidemic has become more broadly experienced, a large, cross-functional group of St. Catherine University department and division representatives is meeting weekly to coordinate efforts, communicate, and plan next steps. We all understand that the global information changes throughout the day and will continue to do so at the national, regional and local level. We are truly blessed to be in the State of Minnesota with a wealth of resources and information and to have the cross-functional group working on our behalf.
In support of the cross-functional meeting, I have created the Incident Management Team. The purpose is to get the decisions made that need to be made, coordinate any communication that needs to go out, and ensure that the community is kept abreast of the situation as it impacts our community. I will chair those meetings. Our goal will be to make the best decisions possible with the available data we have, communicate them, and move forward.
The team is:
1. President (Chair)
2. Lynda Szymanski, Associate Provost
3. Laura Fero, Dean of Nursing and/or Lisa Dutton, Dean of HSSH (depending on availability)
4. Cindy Conley, Executive Assistant
5. Mark Johnson, VP of Public Safety, Security, and Facilities
6. Amy Kelly, MD, Director of the Health and Wellness Center
7. Drew Melendres, SVP of Enrollment and Student Affairs
8. Pat Pratt-Cook, SVP of HR, Equity and Inclusion
9. Angela Riley, EVP and CFO (Alternate: Tracey Gran, VP and Controller)
10. Toccara Stark, VP of Marketing and Communications
11. Sarah Schnell, Director of HR
12. Seth Snyder, Dean of Students
Communications from the Team:
- We will continue to rely on the Centers for Disease Control and the MN Department of Health as our guides for the facts.
- Our goal is to have one location where the answers to the questions as they relate to St. Kate’s are posted so our communication is timely, consistent, and factual. As a result, we have created a web page to house information about COVID-19. We will update this as information becomes available and provide links in the community announcements when we send them out. We are also incorporating Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) directly into the page for ease in updating it. The web page also allows us to have a place to direct people in social media posts, and for broader community members (e.g. parents) to get and access information.
MDH email message to higher education partners on 3/11/2020
“With the three coronavirus disease cases reported in Minnesota as of this moment, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) knows there is increasing concern around what the next steps are for institutes of higher education, given that other colleges and universities across the country are taking various measures including tele-courses and closures. At this time, MDH is NOT recommending those measures. Minnesota currently does not have evidence of ongoing community transmission, nor are there any cases currently in a college or university setting. IF an institute of higher education has a case in a student, staff, or faculty member, MDH will work closely with the impacted college or university to provide guidance. Moreover, depending on how transmission and spread evolves in the state, we will work with colleges and universities throughout the state on our recommendations. “
As you can all appreciate, this is new territory and a new opportunity for all of us to lead with calmness, patience, and grace. It calls us to our very best selves to help develop rational and wise solutions given the data at hand, to help each other and the community to stay healthy, and to help each other define what it means to be a world citizen. The gift in this experience is that we are all connected. We share the same air and the same water, and we are on the same earth together.