UTHSC Prepares COVID-19 Hospital

The UT Health Science Center is managing the operations of an alternate-care COVID-19 hospital that will be used if the number of those infected exceeds available hospital beds in Memphis and the region. The 401-bed hospital is in the former Commercial Appeal building in the Memphis Medical District near UTHSC. It is designed for less-acute-care COVID-19 patients, those who might need oxygen but do not need the higher-level care that hospitals provide. The alternate-care hospital is intended to ease the burden on hospitals in the event of a surge in COVID-19 cases. Richard Walker, chair of emergency medicine, is the chief executive officer, and Amik Sodhi, interim chief, division of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine, is the chief medical officer.


‘Why Aren’t We All Mad?’

The UTHSC College of Medicine hosted a roundtable discussion in June titled, “Why Aren’t We All Mad? A Dialogue on Structural Racism in the Health Care System.” More than 400 joined the Zoom dialogue, the first in a series to better understand the role of the college to make necessary changes to improve a system of structural racism that has created inequities in health care. Altha Stewart, senior associate dean for Community Health Engagement, was the moderator. Others participating were Executive Dean Scott Strome; College of Pharmacy Dean Marie Chisholm-Burns; David Schwartz, director of the Center for Health Equity in Radiation Oncology; Claudette Shephard, incoming interim chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Rabbi Micah Greenstein from Temple Israel in Memphis; Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings; and Memphis community activist Charlie Caswell.


UTHSC Graduates 793 Virtually

Reed Turpin is hooded
Class of 2020 valedictorian, Reed Turpin, was hooded in person during the college’s virtual commencement celebration in May

UTHSC presented degrees to 793 new health-care professionals during virtual commencement exercises this year. Graduates included 121 from the College of Dentistry, 30 from the College of Graduate Health Sciences, 243 from the College of Health Professions, 158 from the College of Medicine, 86 from the College of Nursing and 155 from the College of Pharmacy. In addition to its virtual ceremony, the College of Dentistry also held a commissioning ceremony in May for its graduates who are members of the armed forces.


Police Department Accredited

A police officer checks a staff member's temperature
During the coronavirus pandemic, the UTHS Campus Police Department is working to ensure safety on campus in all areas, including taking temperatures as employees enter a building.

The UTHSC Campus Police Department recently received accreditation through the Tennessee Law Enforcement Accreditation (TLEA) program. The accreditation is awarded to law-enforcement agencies that have provided exemplary service to their communities. It is the third accreditation and fifth consecutive honor earned recently by the Campus Police Department. The department is also accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies and the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators.