A message from Michigan Medicine leaders: A year of pandemic

March 10, 2021  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership

This month marks the one-year anniversary of our first imperative experiences brought on by the COVID-19 virus: diagnosing our first COVID-19 positive patient in UH, standing up our first dedicated regional infectious containment unit, and navigating the first days of lock down and operational shut down. Despite the uncertainty, so much resolve has occurred since then, including our efforts to flatten the curve, prepare for a second wave, and most recently, vaccinate our workforce and patients. It’s but one year in our lives, but a historic one like no other.

Our leadership team would like to take a moment of reflection to acknowledge how far we have come as an organization, community and team of professionals. The past year has brought us so many unknowns and anticipated challenges that it sometimes feels we are in a different world, one that is not altogether familiar to us. The one bit of familiarity, however, is the spirit of Michigan Medicine’s workforce, and how we rally together when our team needs it the most. We saw that camaraderie and collaboration time and time again.

March is also National Recognition Month and an opportune time to express our gratitude, appreciation and awe for the work that you do and the compassion you share. It has been a very long, exhausting and oftentimes frustrating year, without a doubt. The bright spots that I hope you will remember are the moments when your teams saved a life, made a new discovery that changed patient care, learned new things together and came together to support one another while addressing so many new challenges. Those moments are what we value and cherish the most, as they speak to the incredible caring, integrity and talent of the people who work here.

Thank you for your resilience, your strength and your resolve this past year. After riding the roller coaster of this pandemic, together we surely can navigate through what lies ahead.

With deepest gratitude,

Marschall S. Runge, M.D., Ph.D.
Dean, University of Michigan Medical School
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs
CEO, Michigan Medicine

Steven L. Kunkel, Ph.D.
Executive Vice Dean for Research, Medical School
Chief Scientific Officer, Michigan Medicine

Nancy May, D.N.P., RN-BC, NEA-BC
Chief Nurse Executive, U-M Health System

David C. Miller, M.D., M.P.H.
President, U-M Health System
Executive Vice Dean for Clinical Affairs, U-M Medical School

Brian J. Zink, M.D.
Interim Executive Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, Medical School
Interim Chief Academic Officer, Michigan Medicine
Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Faculty Development