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UW President Ana Mari Cauce and Provost Mark Richards delivered a University-wide message this week acknowledging the stress that COVID-19 has placed on employees and faculty as many struggle to balance work and family responsibilities for childcare, remote education for school-aged children and care for elderly or disabled family members. The University has asked everyone to provide as much support, compassion and understanding as they can to those with family responsibilities including flexibility in scheduling work and working remotely in cases where that is possible.

UW Medicine is in a unique position within the University of Washington. Like the greater UW campus, teaching and research are critical components of the work we do. Our hospitals, clinics and Airlift Northwest have an added responsibility to provide care to members of our community who need our services. We are committed to adopting campus recommendations with the goal of providing resources for those who need assistance as they balance work and family responsibilities while at the same time ensuring patient care and safety are not compromised.

A University-wide COVID-19 Caregiver Task Force was convened to make recommendations on how the University can best support staff and faculty during this unprecedented time. Anne Browning, UW Medicine assistant dean for well-being, and Pamela Renna, associate administrator for UW Medical Center, represented UW Medicine on the task force and provided leadership to a UW Medicine-specific task force charged with considering the unique needs of essential workers in the healthcare setting.

The UW Medicine task force members include representatives from human resources, the School of Medicine, clinical operations and communications to ensure that the various needs of our UW Medicine workforce are considered. Today this group has submitted their work plan to senior leadership, and we are now planning the implementation of the recommendations in alignment with the work of upper campus. We will provide the UW Medicine community with a more detailed description of our first steps next week.

Please note that the University-wide COVID-19 Caregiver Task Force has compiled several resources that we encourage all faculty and staff to access if they need assistance identifying child and elder care resources. Additionally, there are resources available to provide employees with personal and emotional support as needed. These websites will be continually updated, and we will alert our workforce to additions and changes. These resources are available to all members of our community including those who work in research and clinical spaces.

Additionally, faculty and staff may want to sign-up for UWHR’s listserv that provides timely updates on events and resources related to childcare as they become available. You can sign up for notifications at Subscribe to Another useful resource is C3 or Child Care Connections a resource that matches UW students with families in need of tutoring and childcare.

We understand the unique needs of our UW Medicine workforce and are committed to providing each of you with the tools and resources you need to do your work while you meet the needs of your families. We value the sacrifices and contributions you have all made and continue to make in response to the pandemic. Please continue to attend our virtual Town Halls and share your questions and concerns so that we can address issues that are impacting you and your family.

Thank you for all you do for UW Medicine, our patients and our community.


Lisa Brandenburg
President, UW Medicine Hospitals & Clinics

Timothy H. Dellit, MD
Chief Medical Officer, UW Medicine
President, UW Physicians