Dean Kurth’s Message on COVID-19
To the YSN community at large:
As humans and health professionals, we are in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic, which is unfolding by the minute. I write to share with you the equally unprecedented efforts that our leadership, faculty, students, alumni, and staff have taken on to minimize the impact of this virus to the greatest degree possible. We are all working tirelessly to keep our entire community safe—and by community, I mean not only YSN and all of our affiliates, but the entire region that we here at YSN call home and especially all of our neighbors who are at greatest risk of severe illness.
YSN began to mobilize as soon as the potential impact of COVID-19 became evident. We were the first sign-on to the open call for an effective COVID-19 response. As a nurse epidemiologist and on behalf of the school, I’ve been involved in providing guidance, including for Yale University at large. I serve as a core member of the COVID-19 Advisory Board for Yale University through daily calls for President Salovey to contribute to strategic responses first aimed at containment, then mitigation, and now for health workforce planning. Provost Strobel and all the deans are working to ensure that our efforts are aligned. We’ve been working to coordinate efforts at a state level, through participation in weekly calls with the other Connecticut schools of nursing deans, and we are pushing through our Deans’ Nursing Policy Coalition on issues to address COVID-19 nationally. I could not do any of these things without the expertise and support of our entire community who are working nonstop behind the scenes. Our expert midwives and nurse practitioner clinicians are at the forefront of practice from acute care units to outpatient clinics, addressing needs of our students, and working with preceptors. Our staff are working remotely in creative ways to ensure that business operations continue and that our faculty and students continue to receive the support they need. Students are entering a new learning environment all via technology, as Yale has moved all didactics to virtual. Fortunately, YSN has been ahead of that curve with our hybrid DNP program and a terrific academic support unit, simulation faculty, and other help. And to all of our alumni—we know you are out there on the front lines, and we are thankful for all you are doing across the country and the globe. We want to hear about your stories, concerns, caregiving, and alliances as this crucial work continues. None of the many ways our Yale Nursing community is assisting in this crisis is going unnoticed.
I am grateful to be part of such a generous community of dedicated nursing experts. I have no doubt that our combined efforts will continue to reverberate during this pandemic and beyond—we will emerge with many sobering lessons learned. Thank you all for all that you do to help keep our community as safe as possible.
Ann Kurth, PhD, CNM, MPH, FAAN
Dean, Yale School of Nursing
Linda Koch Lorimer Professor of Nursing
Professor of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases)