A Message From Dean Wilmott
Dear School of Medicine alumni,
First, thank you.
Chances are you are working through this global pandemic in some way that will forever hold a place in your memory. In your career, each of you has made sacrifices to be a physician, and now that crisis is upon us, you are not backing down; you continue to sacrifice. Thank you for your work and dedication to your craft; you are truly remarkable.
The Saint Louis University School of Medicine, like all medical schools, hospitals, and practices around the country, has been dramatically affected by COVID-19. The School of Medicine, our clinical practice SLUCare, and our partners at SSM are working in tandem to keep our campuses and community safe, informed, and operational.
We have quickly and efficiently implemented many protocols to meet the needs of the campus and our community:
- We canceled all on-campus and sponsored off-campus activities immediately.
- Our faculty moved their learning and lectures to an online format.
- Match Day was virtual, and we will hold a virtual Pre-Commencement Ceremony on May 15.
- We have arranged for virtual clerkships, rearranged the remaining clerkships and courses; we are waiting for USMLE test centers to reopen.
- Students have organized to offer childcare, pet care, and grocery delivery services to our essential healthcare workers. (SLU SOM students continue to amaze me!)
- We have secured temporary living accommodations on the north campus for healthcare workers, should they need housing to keep their families at home safe.
- Medical students are monitoring phone calls and emails in the Office of Employee Health and staffing the employee screenings outside the hospital and clinic entrances.
- Students are continuously updating our data on quarantined and at-risk personnel to mitigate and foreshadow staff shortages. (Again, our students are incredible!)
- We have been approved with ACGME for Stage 3 emergency pandemic status to create additional flexibility to allow residents and fellows to participate in ways related to the COVID virus that they might not typically experience in their programs.
- We started a trial with a new anti-viral agent, remdesivir; we have eight patients enrolled.
In addition to the adjustments we are making and the research we are conducting, I am pleased to announce that Stephen C. Peiper, M.D. (Med ’77) and his wife, Zi-Xuan “Zoe” Wang, Ph.D. have given $750,000 to SLU to support research aimed at developing new vaccines for COVID-19 and other illnesses. This gift establishes a center of excellence in vaccine research and will be called the Stephen C. Peiper and Zi-Xuan Wang Institute for Vaccine Science and Policy.
We have not experienced anything like this in our lifetimes, but we are working together to figure out the best course of action.
I wish you peace and focus as you navigate this crisis, as a Saint Louis University School of Medicine graduate, you have already dedicated the years of hard work, self-discovery, and emotional commitment necessary to accept the challenges that lie ahead.
Robert Wilmott, M.D.
Dean, School of Medicine
Vice President for Medical Affairs