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A Message to the College of Health Professions Community

From: Dr. Denise Wells, Dean, College of Health Professions
To: CoHP students, faculty, and friends

“… this good work is so very valuable …”

Our lives have been challenged dramatically, and yet we see inspiring hope and courage at every turn. In the healthcare providers who selflessly leave their families to treat those at risk. In the students and alumni who have been activated for military service in support of the public health response. In the individuals who gather via social media to share words of encouragement, create and donate face masks, and organize letter-writing campaigns to long-term care residents. All of this good work is so very valuable in mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

To the College of Health Professions community, I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you for your efforts in striving for normalcy amid what often seems like chaos.

To our esteemed faculty, thank you for teaching our students — the future of healthcare — how to be successful leaders in a time of crisis.

To our hard-working students, thank you for embracing the possibilities of education and, in so doing, improving the quality of the care you’ll provide and the patient outcomes you’ll deliver in your careers.

Now, more than ever, WilmU stands with you.

Let us continue to work together by remaining safely at home in order to lessen the possibility of viral spread. By wearing a cloth mask or facial covering over the nose and mouth if it is necessary to conduct essential errands outside the house, such as a visit to the grocery store or pharmacy. By practicing effective hand washing with soap and warm water for no less than 20 seconds (or singing the “Happy Birthday” song twice). By cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, refrigerator handles, and faucets.

I also encourage us all to take this time, if we can, to appreciate some lighter moments as well. Share a laugh with distant family members through a video chat. Put together that puzzle that’s been sitting, unopened, on that shelf. Try your hand at making a new dessert. Most importantly, keep our essential workforce personnel in your good thoughts and prayers.

Man wears headphones while waving through webcam computer

Health educators and students, as with the healthcare industry as a whole, have been experiencing and managing enormous changes to their field. Simply put, a lot of people have a lot of questions and concerns about the degree and certificate programs to which they’ve devoted their time, money, and energy.

The College of Health Professions hears you, literally. We’ve been scheduling weekly “town hall” meetings online since March 15 for our students and faculty to discuss the issues that matter to them. Held on Sunday evenings, the one-hour forums provide accurate information through the personal interaction for which WilmU is known.

The meetings have covered local, regional, and national public health updates; nursing accreditation and certification updates; how our academic programs are responding and revising in the face of the current circumstances; and our shared perspectives on the personal and professional impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

They also proved essential in addressing the CoHP’s decision, based on authorities’ recommendations and healthcare facilities’ restrictions on access to their facilities, to suspend all direct care clinical experiences for graduate nurse practitioner and post-graduate certificate programs, and in developing alternative courses of action.

These sessions provide a sustainable sense of community and connectedness. They’ve been a sure thing in a world of day-to-day uncertainty. If you’ve not yet joined us, I encourage you to check the CoHP’s faculty and student Canvas sites, where I post a new Zoom meeting invitation each week.

Female health professional wears protective equipment while looking at camera

The past month and the global response to COVID-19 have demonstrated the critical importance of the roles that healthcare providers play and the roles toward which nursing and allied health students are training.

As the educator of many healthcare workers throughout Delaware, South Jersey and Eastern Maryland, and partner to several regional healthcare facilities, Wilmington University and its College of Health Professions expresses its sincere appreciation to those who are staffing the front lines of an emergency situation. We will meet these challenges together.

Information on WilmU’s operations during the COVID-19 pandemic can be found here.

For information on national and regional responses and recommendations, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or ChristianaCare, Delaware’s largest health system, which includes links to the Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland state governments’ COVID-19 web pages.

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