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Monday, April 6, 2020
Photo of Dr. Christopher  Cooper
Dear Colleagues/Students:

COVID-19 continues to impact our missions of education, research and patient care. On the education front, there are several pieces in today's newsletter about AAMC recommendations regarding student participation in clinical roles during the COVID crisis and that Step 2 CS testing centers are now closed through the end of May. With all this going on, we are contemplating a restart to the clinical experiences in late June, as are many of our peer institutions in Ohio and beyond.

Last week, I had several opportunities to join Dr. Joan Duggan on rounds through COVID-19 care areas in UTMC – 3CD, MICU and now 4CD. It was heart-wrenching to see so many people so sick from this scourge, and heart-warming to see the dedicated staff and faculty that have stepped forward to care for them. We are trying to keep our healthcare teams informed with daily updates and a website dedicated to their needs. Our partners at ProMedica are also working hard to keep everyone informed and safe in their facilities, including our learners and faculty.

As much as this has impacted all of us, we will find a way through this. Each generation has a challenge it must rise to meet, and this is our challenge. Our research faculty and graduate students have already begun experiments, are writing grants, and are publishing papers to address COVID-19. We will keep going.

As the new week begins, I’m happy to share the next Dean’s Update with you today. If there is newsworthy information that you would like to share, please email Nikki Russell.

Thank you for reading. Go Rockets!


Christopher J. Cooper, M.D.
Dean, College of Medicine & Life Sciences
Executive Vice President for Clinical Affairs
Vice Provost for Educational Health Affairs
UToledo coronavirus website for HSC workers
The COVID-19 Incident Command team has a dedicated website to provide our healthcare workers up-to-date information to help protect them, and help them do their job.
Visit the UToledo coronavirus clinical page
Text graphic: LCME Connection
A weekly look at themes from the Liaison Committee
on Medical Education (LCME) accreditation process.

Photo of faculty member giving a lecture to students.

Standard 4: Faculty Preparation, Productivity,
Participation, and Policies

The faculty members of a medical school are qualified through their education, training, experience, and continuing professional development and provide the leadership and support necessary to attain the institution's educational, research, and service goals.

4.1 Sufficiency of Faculty

A medical school has in place a sufficient cohort of faculty members with the qualifications and time required to deliver the medical curriculum and to meet the other needs and fulfill the other missions of the institution.
396 1,000 284
Learn more about our LCME Process
Graduate student pens column for Toledo Blade
“Nitric oxide made by your body has many more jobs however. We are currently studying its potential role in the reversal of early stage breast cancer.”

Joshua Letson, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Cancer Biology, wrote a column in Toledo Blade about researching breast cancer. Joshua is doing his research project in the laboratory of Dr. Saori Furuta
Read the article in Toledo Blade
Wellness resources available
It is normal to feel some degree of anxiety or concern. But, above all, we need to remain calm. Much of the fear or concern that people might feel comes from the unknown and the uncertainty in the current situation.  

Under the Staying Well tab on our Coronavirus Clinical website, we share some important steps you can take to deal with any anxiety and to keep you and your family healthy.

If you are experiencing increased anxiety or stress related to concerns about COVID-19, you may benefit from seeking counseling.

If you feel it would be helpful to talk to someone, here are some resources:  
  • UToledo/UTMC Faculty & Staff can call a 24-hour helpline at IMPACT: 800.227.6007
  • UTMC Outpatient Behavioral Services: 419.383.5695
  • UToledo students can call the University Counseling Center that also has a 24/7 helpline number: 419.530.2426
Faculty and staff should contact their mental health provider or reach out to the University’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or call 1-800-227-6007 (Use “UT” as the username).
Learn more and click on Stay Well tab
AAMC releases recommendations on medical student patient care activities outside of school
Although the  AAMC continues to strongly suggest that in the absence of a critical health care workforce (HCW) need locally, medical students not be involved in any direct patient care activities. It also realizes that some medical students will want to engage in independent voluntary or paid clinical work outside the school’s purview during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In anticipation of these requests, the AAMC suggests schools consider whether or not the activities are aligned with current local, national and regional COVID-19 risk mitigation strategies, and ensure that students have appropriate understanding of how exposure to COVID-19 impacts their own health and the health and well-being of their community.

Additionally, schools should determine if students are fully versed in the implications of an extended medical leave of absence on their graduation and/or financial aid eligibility.

Schools must also consider their institution's responsibility to the health and well-being of their students during these activities.
Read the statement from the AAMC
Step 2 CS test centers in the U.S. to be closed through at least May 31

On April 3, the USMLE program announced that the Step 2 CS test centers in the U.S. will be closed through at least May 31, 2020. This decision was based on a number of factors, among them the current federal social distancing restrictions as well as other possible longer-term implications on travel and movement throughout the U.S. due to COVID-19.  

Many students from LCME-accredited medical schools are scheduled to take Step 2 CS during this shutdown period. We are aware of the importance of the examination to students’ future goals and obligations. Given the unique human-to-human delivery mode of the Step 2 CS exam, however, it is important to extend our test center shut down in order to protect the health of examinees, as well as the test center staff, e.g., standardized patients (SPs).

Furthermore, USMLE has temporarily suspended the scheduling functionality on the Step 2 CS websites. The basis for this is to control the existing available exam slots, should some prioritization need to be developed for future testing. These future slots are not visible to the third-party scheduling “bots,” of which many examinees have recently availed themselves.  

As we work toward operational recovery of the Step 2 CS exam, we are keeping annual capacity targets in mind. Working with organizations in medical education and medical regulation, we hope to address the unprecedented environmental challenges we face currently to provide your students the best experience possible under the circumstances.  

Forward additional questions and concerns to Dr. Michael Barone, NBME Vice President for Licensure Programs, at
Learn more
Clinics consolidated for face-to-face visits
Ambulatory is in the process of doing clinic consolidation for those face-to-face visits that need to be seen. With that being said, the GI Clinic, Urology Clinic, Pain Clinic and Surgery Clinic will be moving into the PM&R space in the Medical Pavilion. The hope is to have this accomplished by Monday, April 13.
Those face-to-face encounters will be called by office staff to let them know where they will be seen in PM&R and to go directly to that area to register. Once in that space, the MA from the clinic will assist providers in seeing those patients. For those using Telehealth, they can do it from PM&R or from their office.
The staff from the Surgery Clinic will all locate to PM&R, hence closing the entire 2nd floor of the hospital clinical areas.  The other staff in the clinics may have to stay where they are because of social distancing.
The Transplant clinic is NOT moving. A registration employee will sit inside of the Transplant clinic to register those post op patients on Monday and Friday mornings.  This way, patients will not have to linger in the Medical Pavilion waiting room.
The lab in Ruppert is closed, so the lab in the Medical Pavilion will be open until 4:30 p.m. Radiology plain film exams can also be done in the Ortho Center. Ortho will remain where it is.
Welcome, Dr. Tomoaki Ogino!

Dr. Tomoaki Ogino has accepted an Associate Professor's appointment in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, effective April 1. Dr. Ogino's skills, expertise, and reseach, as a virologist, will be demonstrated as he will play a very important role in the current COVID-19 research collaboration project with our outstanding group of virologist on campus. 

Dr. Tomoaki Ogino was most recently an Assistant Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, where he worked for the last seven years. He brings with him an R01 NIH grant.

Dr. Ogino also served as an adjunct staff member at the Lerner Research Institute in Cleveland for the last six years.

Molecular diagnostics specialists profiled in Toledo Blade for bringing COVID testing to area
Congratulations to our molecular diagnostics specialists on campus for their hard work on developing coronavirus testing for our community. They were recently profiled in Toledo Blade
Read the article in Toledo Blade
Toledo Blade profiles first-year medical student
First-year medical student Nate Locke was recently interviewed for a sports column in Toledo Blade

Nate, a former football player, talked to writer David Briggs about the coronavirus pandemic.

David writes: "The hard-hitting ex-linebacker appreciates the real superheroes — the doctors and nurses and first responders — are those wearing a different kind of face mask these days."
Read the article in Toledo Blade
Students, faculty members selected to present at conferences, now canceled due to coronavirus
While upcoming conferences have been canceled because of safety concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, we want to take a moment to recognize those in our community who received awards or had posters accepted for national or international conferences. 
Dr. Ritu Chakravarti, assistant professor in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, was selected for podium presentation at IMMUNOLOGY 2020 in Honolulu, originally scheduled for May.

Her abstract is “Novel Mechanism of Regulating IL-17 Signaling by 14-3-3zeta.” Additionally, she was selected by the American Association of Immunologists (AAI) as a recipient of a 2020 AAI Early Career Faculty Travel Grant.
Smrithi Sugumaran Menon, a third-year graduate student in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology and trainee of Dr. Viviana P. Ferreira, was awarded a travel support of $1,500 to present a poster, also at the AAI's annual IMMUNOLOGY 2020 meeting in May in Hawaii.

Her abstract will be published in a special online supplement to The Journal of Immunology late April or early May. The title of her abstract is “Assessment of function of neutrophil-derived properdin in a novel functional assay.”
If you would like to be added to this list and recognized in a future Dean's Update, email your headshot and information to
On April 8, 10, and 13: Neurosciences continues Bioinformatics webinar series
The Department of Neurosciences invites you to join several upcoming webinars to enhance your understanding of Bioinformatics.
  • Wednesday, April 8, 1-2 p.m.: Introduction to Bioconductor and Analysis demonstration, Presented by Ali Imami
  • Friday, April 10, 1-2 p.m.: Introduction to kaleidoscope and curating new datasets, Presented by Khaled Alganem
  • Monday April 13, 1-2 p.m.: Introduction to iLincs and CMap, Presented by Khaled Alganem
Register or view past webinars
Photos of the Week: AEC gives students a break from studying, throws a tailgate
At the beginning of March, the Academic Enrichment Center (AEC) hosted its 2nd annual Step 1 Qualifier Tailgate for second-year medical students on the day prior to their exam.

Students took a well-deserved break from dedicated study to enjoy some home-cooked food, Jimmy Johns, and various desserts.

The mission of The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences
is to improve health in the communities and region we serve. 
We do this by educating excellent clinicians and scientists, 
by providing patient centered and high-quality care and 
by producing nationally recognized research in focused areas.

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