March 18, 2020
Dear Members of the Baylor College of Medicine Community,
Baylor, like all medical schools and research institutions across the country, is working with local and national authorities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. On Tuesday, March 17, the Executive Leadership Team and I met telephonically with the Chairs, Center Directors, Deans and Administrators to discuss our response plans. I want to share these plans with you.
As you know, there is a nationwide shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). Throughout the country all medical, research and first-responder organizations are carefully managing the distribution of PPE to assure that we can, as a country, care for patients and conduct research. Based on disease patterns in other communities, Houston could have a large number of cases. We appreciate the responses and directives from our local, state and national leaders to limit gatherings of large groups and restaurant dining. Our affiliated hospitals have also added screenings of patients, visitors, and all personnel prior to entering the facilities to protect hospitalized patients. These are important actions to prevent community spread.
Joe Doty, our Sr. Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, has met with administrators to explain the process for them to implement telecommuting so that many of our employees can work from home and decrease the number of personnel on the main Baylor Campus.
Beginning Monday, March 23, the main Baylor Campus (Cullen, DeBakey, Alkek, Smith Taub, ABBR and the Jewish Institute buildings) will implement restricted access to this campus. Badge access to all the entries to the main campus will be deactivated at 6 p.m. Friday, March 20. Authorized personnel will enter through either the Cullen entrance or the Garage 6 entrance.
The Chairs and Administrators with faculty and staff on the main campus will identify individuals who should be given access to the campus during this restricted entry time period. A separate plan on access to research facilities on the main campus will be sent by Dr. Mary Dickinson, VP and Dean of Research, to department and center leadership immediately following this email.
Specific plans for each educational program have been developed. Details available.
Dr. James McDeavitt, our SVP and Dean of Clinical Affairs, has been in ongoing communication with the clinical faculty and healthcare team so that they can continue to provide outstanding care to patients in our affiliated hospital and outpatient clinics.
I want to thank the mission leaders, chairs, center directors, administrators and the executive team for their strong leadership over the last several weeks. We are uncertain how long we will need to continue restricted access to the main campus but it may be as long as eight to 12 weeks. I ask for your patience and cooperation as we work through this pandemic and the challenges that we are facing as a local, national and global community.
I know that you will have many questions about this change and your administrators will be able to answer your questions. We will continue to provide updates on the Baylor website and through the Incident Command Center. As always, please be certain that your contact information is up to date in the emergency notification system in the event we need to communicate with you through that service.
Thank you for all that you do to support Baylor.
Paul Klotman, M.D.
President & CEO