March 27, 2020
Dear Members of the Baylor College of Medicine Community,
During my career in academic medicine, I have been a part of responding to many crises. In quick summary, there were three hospital fires, two floods, one hurricane, 9-11, two global economic disasters and two institutional economic disasters. All were terrible. The COVID-19 pandemic is the worst I have seen.
When confronted with disaster, Baylor College of Medicine stands up. We’ve done it for major flooding events, we’re doing it now. In a short period of time, the College has mobilized in significant ways. We stood up testing for COVID-19 in a small way, and then expanded it; we stood up a telemedicine service for our patients; our facilities crew constructed a lab to help with COVID-19 testing in record time; we joined other institutions in clinical trials for new therapies to treat the virus and, importantly, we served as policy leaders, both locally and nationally.
None of us have experienced anything like coronavirus and the uncertainties it brings, and yet, this is what Baylor College of Medicine does. We stand up.
Our researchers, clinicians, educators and administrative leaders and staff have been highly innovative in finding solutions to the myriad of challenges caused by the coronavirus, from restricting access to social distancing to the county’s order on Stay Home, Work Safe. All the while, no one has lost sight of our mission of continuing to care for our patients, guiding our students through their training in unusual circumstances and prioritizing our research efforts.
Everyone at Baylor is important to this effort. We have housekeepers who are working long hours to keep our environment clean, facilities workers who are taking on all types of projects, researchers who are adjusting to a new normal in their labs and accelerating COVID-19 efforts, administrative personnel who are supporting all College missions; and, of course, our front line clinical care team members who are keeping their focus on taking care of patients. You are all important. We need all of you.
It's a stressful time. Be sure to take care of yourselves and to take care of your families. In my family, we have a zoom call set up every night to check in with each other. It is important to keep in touch, to check on each other.
And be kind to each other – at home, at work and on those rare times you do go out in public.
I will end by sharing an inspiring video that, coming from a musical family, hits home to me on what can be accomplished working together, even if virtually.
Paul Klotman, M.D.
President & CEO