Ohio University

University leadership answers COVID-19 questions during town hall meeting

Published: April 3, 2020 Author: George E. Mauzy Jr.

Ohio University recently hosted a virtual town hall meeting on Microsoft Teams for about 215 supervisors and planning unit leaders to share the latest happenings and best practices for dealing with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Ken Johnson, D.O., chief medical affairs officer at OHIO and executive dean of the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine; Colleen Bendl, chief human resources officer, and Dr. Nicole Pennington, executive dean of regional higher education and dean of the Southern Campus, were the featured presenters during the March 31 meeting.

The purpose of the meeting was to provide participants with important need-to-know information about COVID-19 and answer their questions.

Dr. Johnson provided an update on coronavirus, highlighting symptoms, preventative measures and the rapid pace of the disease’s spread.

Supervisors meeting

Dr. Johnson said everyone should follow the instructions of their primary care physician and encouraged employees who are unable to work from home because of illness to contact Human Resources to discuss the Family Medical Leave Act. An yone who is experiencing symptoms and does not have a primary care physician can call the ODH coronavirus call center at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

Bendl provided policy clarification and guidance regarding employee concerns throughout the meeting.

Dr. Pennington shared general recommendations for supervisors and outlined some of the specific screening actions/steps for supervisors to take when faced with possible COVID-19 exposure in the workplace. She also provided an update on the current COVID-19 situation at OHIO’s regional campuses.

She said the campuses’ preventative actions have included: a reduced on-site workforce; student workers working remotely; increased technology support (laptop loaner program); and upgraded safety and cleaning measures.

Dr. Johnson said he and Bendl would continue to share updates for supervisors as the pandemic evolves. A second townhall for supervisors will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, April 9.

In closing, Johnson said “the most unusual times that we are in right now call for some of the most creative solutions. I am so proud to be a member of Ohio University right now with the kind of solutions I am seeing every day.”

All supervisors and planning unit leaders who missed the meeting are highly encouraged to watch the 47-minute recording on the OHIO Human Resources website at https://www.ohio.edu/hr/resources/coronavirus-updates-faculty-staff.