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News for BCM Faculty, Oct. 1, 2020
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COVID-19 Update: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams and Eric Hargan, deputy secretary of the Department of Health & Human Services, held a press conference at Baylor College of Medicine Monday to discuss progress on four coronavirus vaccines in phase 3 trials and plans for vaccine distribution. Dr. Pedro Piedra, professor of molecular virology & microbiology, pictured here, translated Dr. Adams' messages to the Spanish-speaking community.

Sewer Science: Researchers at the College, in partnership with the Houston Health Department and Rice University, have determined that testing the city’s wastewater for SARS-CoV2 provides a significant lead-indicator for the prediction of outbreaks. Since there is evidence that coronavirus is shed in excrement, wastewater sampling is a cost effective, efficient and highly comprehensive mechanism to capture total viral levels in the Houston population, with data down to the community and neighborhood level. In addition, such an approach is thought to capture presymptomatic and asymptomatic carriers.

Heart Transplants: The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services has certified the Heart Transplant Program at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, effective immediately. Baylor’s joint venture hospital has worked hard to strengthen the program in the last few years, including updated patient and donor selection criteria and dedicated heart failure physicians in the intensive care unit.

College (Virtual) Events

Geriatrics Conference: Baylor and the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center sponsor “Geriatrics for Primary Care Providers and Hospitalists,” 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 3. The virtual event is approved for continuing medical education credits. Online registration is open.

Cancer Seminar: The Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center presents Dr. Andrew Tutt, professor and head of breast cancer research at the Institute of Cancer Research, London, speaking on “Understanding & targeting mechanisms underlying chromosome instability in basal-like breast cancer” at noon Tuesday, Oct. 6, via Zoom, ID: 976 6405 2806, passcode: tutt.

Health Equity Grand Rounds: Dr. Joia Crear Perry, founder and president of National Birth Equity Collaboration, describes “Taking Action: Respectful Maternity Care of Pregnant and Birthing People,” at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 7, via Zoom, meeting ID: 930 0636 2884, passcode: 867116.

Education Grand Rounds: Dr. Teri Turner, professor of pediatrics, discusses “Transforming Your Educational Efforts into Scholarship” at noon Wednesday, Oct. 7, via Zoom. Contact the Office of Faculty Development to register.

Diversity Showcase: The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Showcase highlights activities in Baylor's academic, research and clinical programs, departments and organizations that promote an inclusive and welcoming community, 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 7. Register to attend.

Faculty Resources

Research Reporting: The COVID-19 pandemic requires temporary replacement of effort reporting with salary certification for several quarters. If you have external research funding, plan to attend a seminar on the new process:

Faculty Reviews: The 2020 Faculty Performance Assessment form is now available in your Performance Management System inbox. This is an opportunity to reflect on the past year and focus on your career’s trajectory. A goal is required to complete the self-review, which is due Oct. 30. If you have questions about the form or process, email facultyevaluation@bcm.edu. Faculty accessing the system through non-BCM networks will need multi-factor authentication.

Flu Season: Baylor employees and students are required by College policy to get an annual flu vaccine and submit attestation of vaccination by Nov. 30. You may schedule your on-campus flu shot with Occupational Health and complete your attestation online. Additional resources are available at Flu Central and by emailing flu_vaccine@bcm.edu.

Voting Reminder: Monday, Oct. 5, is the deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 3 election. See the Voter’s Guide for more information on mail-in voting, early voting and election day voting.

Benefits Update: The 2021 Open Enrollment period starts Monday, Oct. 5. Now is the time to prepare:

Drug Collection: Environmental Safety collects DEA controlled substances for disposal from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 7, in the ground floor ABBR Access Hallway from the Jewish Institute/Jones Building. Complete the disposal form to participate.

Datathon: The first of two Datathon events this month highlights case studies using Baylor’s and Baylor St. Luke’s data at 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8, via Zoom, ID: 977 2586 5750. Projects include COVID-19 comorbidities, hypertension control and mammography screening rates. Final projects submitted by clinical and research faculty will be presented at 2 p.m. Oct. 22.

Primary Care Conference: The 2020 Pri-Med Primary Care Now virtual conference covers health topics from COVID-19 to cardiac care and offers up to 13 CME credits on Thursday, Oct. 15. Free registration online.

Critical Care Conference: The Advances in Critical Care Conference explores critical care issues across specialties, with coronavirus-related sessions and state-of-the-art technology demonstrations, on Thursday and Friday, Oct. 15-16. Register online to attend virtually.

Charity Events: Pandemic or not, fall is the season to run for a cause. This year everyone’s going virtual:

  • Susan G. Komen Houston Race for the Cure, Oct. 3. Join the Baylor team and support breast cancer research and patient care.
  • Baylor Wellness 5K Race/Walk, Oct. 17. Proceeds support student-led healthcare outreach initiatives in the community. Sign up now for early bird pricing before it ends Saturday, Oct. 3.
  • The Walk to End Alzheimer's, Nov. 14. The Ageless Wonders team is waiting for you!

Faculty Opportunities

Health Equity RFA: Friday, Oct. 2, is the deadline to submit your proposal addressing the root causes of health disparities and ensuring equitable health outcomes to the Office of the President. The RFA document provides more details and submission information.

Faculty Interviewers: The Office of Student Affairs and Career Development Center seek faculty support to assist medical students in residency interview preparation, Monday, Oct. 5, through Oct. 23. This year all mock interviews will be conducted via Zoom and will consist of a 20-minute interview followed by a 10-minute debrief/feedback session with the student and a professional observer. A minimum two-hour commitment is required. Sign up for your interview slot.

Career Development: Applications are open for the Career Advancement Series, which offers professional development opportunities for instructors, assistant professors and associate professors. This series provides tools to enhance leadership skills and assist with professional and personal goals for advancement for early- and mid-career faculty in all departments, academic centers and schools. Applications are due Nov. 2.

From the Labs: Celebrate Postdoctoral Appreciation Week with a slideshow of research conducted by Baylor postdocs, featuring such projects as the “couch potato mouse” and teaching artificial intelligence to remember. Receive From the Labs via email by entering your email address in the box at the end of any article and clicking the "subscribe" button.

Questions or Comments?

Faculty Senate: Please contact your senator for faculty-related questions or suggestions.

Institutional Policy Committee: Contact the Policy Committee to learn more about College policies and procedures.

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