March 20, 2020: Message from Dean Marcus

Dear Public Health Community Members,

I’d like to take this moment to acknowledge that for now, we have a new normal in communicating with each other, but there are some things we think are important to continue, such as our monthly newsletter. This is where we celebrate the accomplishments of our students, alumni, faculty, and staff for innovation in research, education, and service.

As this pandemic continues to bring challenges to our communities, I encourage you to press on with your work. Public health is more important than ever before–whether your research is on HIV, substance use, environmental health, or data science.

I am especially thankful to our faculty and alumni, and the staff who support them, working on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. From the tirelessness of the director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, MPH'11, to the emergency room efforts of Dr. Megan Ranney, MPH'10, there are countless School of Public Health faculty and alumni working in clinical settings and in communities near and far.

As public health scholars and professionals, we appreciate the urgency of this moment, and we are supporting one another through the challenges ahead. These are just a few examples.

  • Through the delivery of virtual learning staff, faculty, and students are working together to maintain the rigorous standards of our undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs.
  • Adapting our research practices to continue important and timely research to impact population health.
  • Keeping our community of learners engaged though Zoom lectures, social media, and this newsletter.
  • School faculty lending their expertise to the public though the media.
  • Forging ahead with a virtual version of Public Health Research Day on April 6.
  • Informing our community and the public about the coronavirus with a recent panel of public health experts.
  • With the Mindfulness Center, offering daily virtual mindfulness sessions to help our community reduce anxiety and maintain mental health.
  • Working around the clock to address issues like child care, trainee support, and staff grant pay.

I urge you to continue to consult the University's coronavirus website, as it has up-to-the-minute information for the entire Brown community as it pertains to safety, teaching and learning, and research. The actions being taken by the University are absolutely necessary to maintain the health of our community, and I assure you that great care is taken with every updated policy.

Again, please follow the CDC’s common sense guidance for preventing the spread of illness, including hand washing, social distancing, and staying home when you are sick. I am grateful for the strength of our community and to everyone working to respond to this challenging situation. I thank you for your ongoing support, understanding, and commitment to the public's health.

Bess H. Marcus, PhD
Dean, School of Public Health