The UT Health Science Center has stood at the forefront of the local and state response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to keep the public safe. In many ways, the university’s efforts to keep the campus community safe have mirrored the local and state response.
When UTHSC led the establishment of Memphis’ first drive-through testing site at the Mid-South Fairgrounds in partnership with University Clinical Health and city leadership in March 2020, a campus-only COVID-19 testing site soon followed at the Student-Alumni Center, where asymptomatic faculty, staff and students could be tested with no appointment necessary.
Thanks to an on-campus lab, intentionally established to analyze COVID-19 test samples, UTHSC has been able to quickly analyze and receive results for the campus, as well as its community partners. The on-campus testing site remains open and continued COVID-19 testing is available to the campus community.
In December, UTHSC began administering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine by appointment through University Health Services to personnel who provide inpatient services. UTHSC received 2,900 doses of the two-dose Pfizer vaccine and the UTHSC COVID-19 Vaccine Team—comprised of faculty, staff and students trained in administering vaccines—assisted in the effort.
Continued alternate work schedules and telecommuting for employees continued in 2021 as appropriate. To support employees’ mental and behavioral health, UTHSC will continue to offer psychiatric and counseling services and resources for employees through University Health Services, which employs a full-time counseling psychologist. Physical health also continues to be a focus. Employees can take advantage of ongoing free access to campus recreation offerings, as well as virtual sessions including yoga, Pilates and Zumba.
Additionally, human resources, the Employee Assistance Program and the Office of Equity and Diversity will host virtual engagement sessions to assist employees and supervisors with ongoing challenges.