Celebrating Causeway Collaborations on COVID-19

This is the message from leadership that appeared in today’s edition of Friday Update at UC Davis Health.

Dear Colleagues,

David A. Lubarsky mugshot
Gary S. May mugshot

The COVID-19 pandemic shows that it’s never been more important to collaborate across the causeway. UC Davis and UC Davis Health are doing just that, and the impact is felt both in the Sacramento region and far beyond.

We’re showing the world what a top research university with an outstanding academic medical system can achieve during a global emergency. Working together, our teams of faculty, students and staff show that UC Davis is making a difference and is part of the COVID-19 solution.

Our experts are lending an important voice to the COVID-19 debate. UC Davis has organized several widely viewed COVID-19 symposiums, featuring experts from UC Davis Health and the Davis campus, along with civic leaders and leading researchers from around the country. Thousands of people from throughout the U.S. and Canada as well as Germany, Brazil, France, Indonesia and India virtually attended the first two. Our scientists presented information and answered pressing questions, including about the safety of homemade masks, vaccine development and whether children or pets could transmit the virus.

Leadership in testing

As you may know, UC Davis Health made national headlines in February after treating the first apparent case of COVID-19 that was acquired from community spread. UC Davis Health was instrumental in prompting the Centers for Disease Control to change its testing protocols, and we have also taken a leadership role on expanding COVID-19 testing. We’re one of two rapid testing hubs designated by the State of California.

In recent weeks, UC Davis Health has provided updates on how the virus is transmitted, efforts to test antibodies produced by COVID-19 patients, and research on a vaccine and dermal patch that could be delivered by mail.

24 active COVID-19 studies

UC Davis Health isn’t working alone. Our entire campus community is rallying to collaborate on solutions and provide support for the COVID-19 response.

UC Davis has 24 active COVID-19 studies and we’re pursuing possible treatments on many fronts. They include plasma transfusions from blood donors who recovered from the virus used in an effort to boost another patient’s ability to neutralize the virus.

Our schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine and Center for Immunology and Infectious Diseases are collaborating in the hopes of making breakthroughs in vaccines and diagnostic testing. In the bigger picture, our One Health program continues to work on issues related to climate change, population growth, land use and pandemics. 

Technological innovations

In regard to COVID-19, our College of Engineering is working with School of Medicine researchers to make technological innovations for producing ventilators and 3D printing of test swabs. And, we have communication experts analyzing millions of social media posts to identify emerging outbreaks.

Another example of a “causeway collaboration” is the Department of Environmental Services, or EVS. In response to UC Davis Health’s spike in cleaning and sanitizing needs, we combined 350 EVS staff from the medical center with 40 more from the Davis campus. This allows us to more comprehensively meet this challenge on a daily basis in our hospital and medical facilities. We offer them our heartfelt gratitude for crossing the causeway to go above and beyond the call of duty.

Campuswide supply effort

Our campus community stepped up to help UC Davis Health deal with COVID-19. More than 30 departments from across campus donated more than 175,000 gloves, more than 8,000 surgical and N95 masks, as well as isolation gowns, goggles, face shields and cleaning supplies.

These are just a few examples of how teamwork between UC Davis and UC Davis Health is generating fantastic results.

We couldn’t do it without each and every one of you — our faculty, staff and students. Thank you for rising to the challenge during this time of need. We deeply appreciate your hard work and your unwavering commitment to the university, the medical center, our patients and our broader community.

While we’re in uncharted territory, we’re working together to solve the greatest health crisis of our time.

Yours in health,

Gary S. May

David A. Lubarsky
CEO, UC Davis Health 
Vice Chancellor, Human Health Sciences

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Chancellor Gary S. May and CEO-Vice Chancellor David A. Lubarsky

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