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Video: School of Pharmacy Town Hall · COVID-19 updates, graduation, and APPEs

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In his second town hall during the COVID-19 outbreak, Dean B. Joseph Guglielmo, PharmD, shares the latest news on the coronavirus from national, state and university officials. He also provides updates on graduation and APPEs for PharmD students and answers questions from students

Video transcript

[Stephen Bruer]

And I'll hand over to Joe.

[Dean Joe Guglielmo, PharmD]

Thank you, Steve. So good afternoon, everybody. Welcome to what will likely be a weekly Town Hall. They will be unlike the one we had last week, which was a full 60 minutes and completely centered upon the COVID-19 virus. This one is going to be 30 minutes. And we're continue to do these every week. And it will be a mix of updates on COVID-19. And also a few other updates that are outside the COVID-19. And the real hope I'm going to go through relatively quickly is to allow QA to take place so that I can answer questions as before any questions I am able to answer. We will go through each of them after this and do our best to answer every one of them from the individual who posed the question. So

[Eric Davila]

Sorry, sorry to interrupt, but I'm getting several reports that people can't hear. So we probably should try to address that before we go any further.

[Dean Joe Guglielmo, PharmD]

Well, how can people hear me or can they not?

[Eric Davila]

They're the same. They they, at least a career to saying she can't hear. A couple of people say they can't hear. Okay, now people are saying making here so I think we can proceed. Sorry.

[Dean Joe Guglielmo, PharmD]

Okay, I'm going to start over again. So it sounds like we had a little bit of audio visual issues here. And so I'm gonna start off where I said before, so welcome to what will be a weekly 30 minute Town Hall. I'm going to do my best to give you an update everything from the national level and how it impacts us here in the School of Pharmacy, but I'm also going to hopefully have a few announcements. Beyond that are outside the COVID-19 virus. And then my real goal is to have time for Q&A. And what I mentioned before is that the goal is that whatever questions we're not able to answer, we will answer them after the meeting, I will delegate it to various individuals or answer them myself if I can. So, I'll start at the national scene. And I think the national scene, the best thing to do is to compare and contrast New York with California. I think, you know, at the moment, New York has logarithmically more cases than do we in San Francisco. And the questions that have been coming out is, "why is that the difference that exists, because we were exactly the same just in the first week of March?" And now as you all know, too, well, it's completely skyrocketed and in NYC particularly, and the system is truly overwhelmed at the present time. So I'll get back to a little bit later my talking about San Francisco specifically. So why is there the disparity between New York and California? We can't say for sure, we do believe and I know the leadership of San Francisco and California believes that the-shelter-in-place has had a impact and even a day or two or three earlier, really, in fact and make a difference in terms of the spread of this virus. That is certainly one possibility. The other one, of course, is testing. Since we still have a very inaccurate denominator in terms of numbers of people tested versus those that are positive, perhaps the best indicator is unfortunately deaths associated with the coronavirus. And I think you know, as of last night, the death toll in New York City was essentially four times that of California—210 deaths compared to 51. And it's felt, not surprisingly, that deaths are a more reliable marker of the spread of the disease than cases because determining how someone died is not dependent on the availability of testing kits. It's also possible that it had well, it had, it's hard to believe it did not have something to do with the shelter. But it also may well be that New York City is what it is, a much denser population, millions upon millions of people, compared to the 750,000 or so in the city and county of San Francisco that may have had an impact. It's also possible that it may come down to just luck. In pandemics certain individuals are sometimes found to be so called "super spreaders" capable infecting dozens, if not hundreds of others. As an example, in the 2004 SARS epidemic, which was also caused by a coronavirus. One person in Canada was linked with 128 cases in one hospital. What's the update on the San Francisco scene? I just finished just minutes ago, listening to the Mayor and the Director of the Department of Public Health in the city and county of San Francisco, and what's new there? As of this moment, there are 172 coronavirus patients in San Francisco. There has unfortunately been one death to date in the city. The other specifics, getting back to the differences between New York City and San Francisco approach what we're seeing in New York City, the mayor and Grant Colfax, the Director of (the San Francisco Department of) Public Health estimated we would need 1,500, ventilators and 5,000 extra beds but that was if the surge approximate that in New York City. They emphasize more than once that if this surge went along those lines to the scope of New York City that we would absolutely need both state and federal assistance to be able to cope with this. At the moment, however, it's felt that there are enough beds in San Francisco and enough ICU beds for the moment. And they highlighted specifically what they're doing at Saint Francis (Memorial) Hospital where an entire for is being prepared. With that preparations been taking place via the consolidated collaboration of all the hospitals in San Francisco from Kaiser (Permanente San Francisco) to Chinese Hospital to Zuckerberg San Francisco General and definitely UCSF. Mark Laret (President and CEO of UCSF Health) was part of this presentation. He's the CEO of UCSF. He highlighted the sense of community among San Francisco hospitals. He mentioned that San Francisco specific that we will be reopening Mount Zion Hospital, which will offer another, less than 100, but more than 40 beds, I didn't get the exact total there but definitely will help. He highlighted how directors of medicine in the various facilities and directors of nursing and he mentioned directors of pharmacy in the city were working closely together. He also highlighted something I've already discussed before. And that is he the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) in terms of creating testing, which is now augmented our testing for UCSF, which we are also sharing with the city, on the order of 2,000 tests per day. A question was asked of the Office of Emergency Services, "how exactly were we going to handle it among hospitals if in fact," because it is going to get worse they made very sure that we said this is not we're not at a plateau, we just hope it will not be New York City-like, they said, "how exactly we coordinate supplies N95, masks ventilators and so on?" And that's going to be handled by the Office of Emergency Services who will centralize resources working with the San Francisco Department of Public Health. So that is the update on the national scene, the state scene in the San Francisco scene as of the moment. I want to highlight a little bit more from a UCSF standpoint. And now get specific to the School of Pharmacy. I want to repeat something I've said in the many Zoom meetings I've had daily and beyond. I cannot say enough about the community, how responsive everybody has been, how collaborative they've been. And I include students, faculty, staff and beyond, in terms of rolling up their sleeves, doing their best to realize it's these tough situations and in fact, you show your mettle. It's where in fact, whether it's an APPE for students, or whether it's OEIS (Office of Education and Instructional Services) trying as successfully as possible to make the shift to a completely remote access to OSCA (Office of Student and Curricular Affairs), providing students support on the stressful times, to our many faculty and staff, over and above that had done so much to get us through this up to this point. In terms of the campus update, there's really not a whole lot new. In terms of UCSF, we're double digits, again, somewhere between 10 and 12. In numbers of patients that have been housed at UCSF Health, and I want to restate something at this moment, I can say, at least the last reports I had from UC why there has yet to be a case of a health care provider in hospitals and that's UCSF as well as Davis, San Diego Irvine and UCLA, there is yet to be a healthcare worker who has who has gotten the virus essentially from a patient. There have been staff who have gotten the virus however it has been community acquired up to this point. Other updates I want to again, compliment everybody, students, faculty, staff, the telecommuting has gone as well as possible. Some of you know we have daily meetings with our communication group. And while there been a few little issues we've had to work out by and large, this has gone as seamlessly as possible and I again compliment rank and file for having handled this as well as they have. There was a research update today, I'm not sure there's a whole lot new to say other than all the non essential labs are closed. still the only ones that are allowed to be open or those that are active with COVID-19 research or Those that have to keep research going with long term studies where they need to either get a sample or do something in a wet lab to keep a long term project going. You may so we see I've noticed there have been that everything from The New York Times to the Conversation to a number, a number of the local TV outlets have highlighted the organized research unit (ORU) that reports to me in the School and that's QBI, the Quantitative Biosciences Institute, and recall, their emphasis is taking drugs that already exist that are approved by the FDA and seeing if there are some of those that already have been approved, that actually might work for the treatment of coronavirus. There are I probably won't get the numbers correct, but there are about 70 candidates that have been moved forward. And in fact, it's being sent to the Pasteur (Institute) and Mount Sinai (Hospital) in New York to determine if in their coronavirus model, these drugs in fact demonstrate activity. From a PharmD education standpoint, as I alluded to, the remote learning has gone as seamlessly as possible. I particularly want to highlight Cynthia Zarate and Sharon Youmans, particularly for their ability to do that. And then the experiential piece which has been ably overseen with Val Clinard and Sharon Youmans and others and all the program directors has also gone as well as can be. Nothing new here. We we ultimately ended the Class of 2020 APPEs, we're still in good shape as a relates to graduating them. Well, they will be graduated on time they will be fulfilling the accreditation standards. At the moment, I think what the Class of 2020 is still interested in is, "what's the possibility of still having formal Graduation?" I want to say to them and to rank-and-file while we had to cancel it the May 1 graduation, and I don't know if I'm going to fulfill it, but the vision is that we are going to have some sort of graduation. So I want to say that, and time will tell, it all depends on shelter-in-place in California, as well as San Francisco and the county as well. But the goal will be. Whether we can fulfill it, I don't know. But the goal will be if at all possible, we are going to have some sort of graduation. For the Classes of 2021, as they know, well, we have delayed the beginnings of coursework until the second six-week block in the spring. The reasons for that are many and I've kind of discussed those before and there have been a number of communications from Val Clinard, who's Associate Dean for Experiential (Education), highlighting why we are doing that. It is giving us some time to coordinate with all our host institutions to clarify exactly what our students will be doing at those institutions and to where can we do the best we can to in fact, support the workload associated with the virus and the impact of the virus in terms of each of the facilities and then maintain a first class Experiential (Educational) opportunity for our students.

From a patient care standpoint, as I alluded to, there continues to be a number of partnerships with the School of Pharmacy that I want to point out. One is yet to be determined. It's the one that was mentioned in the recent conference that just took place, by the mayor of San Francisco, that alludes to and that's St. Francis. And UCSF Health has reached out to the School of Pharmacy to assist getting that unit together. Lisa Kroon is serving as the lead on this. We are going to have a combination of both faculty who are licensed pharmacists, as well as intern pharmacists, who are our students as well, in a volunteer effort. We're still getting our handle around, that what the workload is going to be, what the needs are, but Lisa will be serving as the primary contact.

And I wanted to have a shout out to Tiffany Pon and UC Davis Med Center and 12 of our students who are the classes of 2021 moving forward, who have been volunteering their time to help out with that center, both with medication reconciliation, and anticoagulation. And they already have IT access activated. And in fact, not only are they doing this, but we are using what we call CP198, which is an elective coursework that allows for some units to be assigned for students that are being involved. I've asked Dr. Clinard and the program directors that we should always be looking at where's best practice, where we are demonstrating that, in fact, good things are happening at one site, we very much want to make sure that takes place at all sites. And so that's the goal where good ideas are transmitted to all and hopefully moves this forward.

Leaving coronavirus for the moment and just sharing good news, I do want to just say a few things. And that is number one, yet again, we know from the Blue Ridge reporting, that in fact, this School of Pharmacy is number one in NIH funding and that's for the 40th consecutive year. And there's a whole lot of people listening in on this that deserve all the credit for that accomplishment. There is not no accomplishment like that has ever been done with any school in any discipline anywhere else in the world. So that's just fantastic.

Number two, you know that in our U.S. News & World Report, we were ranked number two, according to that finding, according to that particular periodical. If I can editorialize a little bit I shrug my shoulders a little bit on that because the way that I will take it, we'll take number two, but it is, it really is a not what I would call the best survey ever. They base the rankings on what everybody else says about you, and nothing else. In contrast schools of nursing schools of medicine they take into account other data including NIH funding, etc. Excuse me. But we will take it we're very proud that we have always been among the top three in the nation with U.S. News & World Report.

And then I also wanted to highlight other good news and that relates to the recent ASHP residency match. For this particular year, we had 85 of the class of 2020, who went into the match, and literally 75 of those 85 matched. So that's 88%, which is really phenomenal, particularly with the increased competition that has taken place throughout the United States with all the new schools. So my hat is off to the class of 2020 with that accomplishment.

And then lastly, as you saw the Koda Kimble Seed Awards were officially awarded. There were eight projects. They shared almost $100,000 in total funding, and that funding included students as well as faculty and it bridged all three departments in terms of awardees. And I'll close with, and hopefully leave time for questions, that I'll remind you again, we will have another town hall next week and weeks to come until we know where we are in terms of this epidemic. And at the moment, next week's Town Hall is being scheduled. You will receive an Outlook invitation by the end of the week. So at that point, I think I would like to stop. It looks like we have about 10 minutes for questions. And I believe Eric Davila will be giving me the questions and I'll try to answer as many as I can. Thank you.

[Eric Davila]

Yes, so we have some have a handful of questions, about six right now. There's some about education, some about operations, and some about the virus response in general. Would you like to start in one of those areas?

[Dean Joe Guglielmo, PharmD]

It doesn't matter to me. Maybe let's start with the virus in general and then when the more educational related ones come forward I will probably,depending on what the question is, I'll either defer it to Dr. Youmans or to Dr. Clinard and then or whomever makes sense. So why don't you start with the more general virologic questions.

[Eric Davila]

Alright, so we have we have two that are related. I'm just gonna ask them together, from anonymous. questioners. One says they keep reading that UCSF employees cannot be tested unless we show symptoms and have a doctor's referral. Is this still the case? And then the related question, I noticed there are a number of testing clinics set up in campus parking lots. Are they open to the public, and when should we visit them?

[Dean Joe Guglielmo, PharmD]

So the answer to the questions is, they are handling at the moment staff exactly as before. So no, they are not testing every single staff person. If you look at the COVID-19 site that UCSF's put together, it really spells this out very clearly at the present time, until we really truly have enough tests to do the kind of broad testing we're talking about. For people that have no symptoms, that is not going to happen. I think eventually the hope is because, ideally, we'd like to test everybody, but until we have the ability, that is not going to happen. In terms of setting up sites, the main one I'm aware of, as of today, opened at the Laurel Heights campus. That is one at the moment that you do need a doctor's order to allow yourself to be tested. It is being shared with another group, One Medical, and so those individuals that are part of that healthcare system, I should say, that both UCSF as well as those can, in fact, go to Laurel heights and get testing. Other than that it's status quo on testing.

[Eric Davila]

All right. Next up is Have there been any updates about frontline worker PPE protection in hospitals and outpatient pharmacy settings? This is from Henry Fong.

[Dean Joe Guglielmo, PharmD]

So I think the only thing that's new there, I can tell you that as of Monday's Chancellor's cabinet call, actually hundreds of donations were coming into UCSF. The chief of police, Mike Denson, actually highlighted that there were thousands and thousands of masks. He did not state how many were N95s. But it definitely, we're in a better place than we were before. The ventilators is a whole other story that has not been, that was not discussed in the Chancellor's cabinet call. But as I mentioned, the most up to date I have is that that came from Dr. Colfax with the press conference that just ended just minutes ago, Which estimated that we would need an additional 1500 respirators if we hit New York City-like surge in COVID virus infection.

[Eric Davila]

Another anonymous question asks, according to AI or epidemiology data, do we have an expected peak in San Francisco or California? And I don't necessarily understand what they mean here but in mortality infection figures in California during peak hours.

[Dean Joe Guglielmo, PharmD]

Peak hours. Okay, so I the best I can answer at this moment would be, we are going to know a whole lot more in the next seven to 10 days max because if the shelter in place worked, then we're not going to see a surge like New York City. If it did not work, and there's other factors that, you know cause this to be really pandemic, then we could surge as bad as New York City. And that means the peak is completely unknown. So the real answer is, we will know a whole lot more literally in a week. And I probably can't say anything more than that, in fact nobody can say more than that at the present time.

[Eric Davila]

All right, I'm gonna move into some of the more operational questions or operational impact. Sara Hoover would like to know if there's been an update on construction of Clinical Sciences and when Clinical Pharmacy will be moving in.

[Dean Joe Guglielmo, PharmD]

I can say everything's been delayed. All construction has been delayed because of the coronavirus issue. And I, I know that not only is there going to be a delay of moving into Clinical Science, there's also a delay in Block 33, the Vision Neuroscience Building, which again, a lot of the school is moving to as well. So it is delayed for months. And I don't know exactly how long that's going to be.

[Eric Davila]

All right. And next up in terms of coming back, Randy would like to know, has there been any discussion about temperature checks as people return to the office?

[Dean Joe Guglielmo, PharmD]

There has been no discussion of that. As you know, on the national level, there's a lot of interesting stuff going on with a special type of thermometer that's linked to the web that they argue may be a better predictor of surges and COVID-19 infection, with the hotspot in the nation, if you use that, being Florida at the moment. And we're going to wait and see if that surge in temperatures is going to also predict a surge in COVID-19 infection

[Eric Davila]

Rose would like to know, we had a student today requesting to access a fax machine to submit residency paperwork. Is there anywhere at school they can go right now to get access to a fax machine?

[Dean Joe Guglielmo, PharmD]

I think at the end, at the moment, that answer would be no, I guess we would call that non essential activities. I realize that's a very important thing. But at the moment, I think that until I am told by the chancellor and the city that, in fact, we can do, that we probably should avoid that. And we're going to have to look, you know, at different ways to in fact, accomplish that. I'm a little surprised that you would need to fax something for residencies. I'm hoping that you could use other individuals, printers and create PDFs out of that and send them that way. Again, not my expertise, but that would be what I would suggest at this moment

[Eric Davila]

I have a question about the different types of time accounting that are happening. Kane would like to know he has 120 hours of admin vacation been added to HBS to use by staff?

[Dean Joe Guglielmo, PharmD]

I'm going to have to ask Michael Nordberg to do his best to answer that question.

Are you there Michael?

Evidently not okay. We're going to have to answer that separately. If we can find out who asked that question. We will find that out. Next question, please.

[Michael Nordberg]

Okay, now,

[Dean Joe Guglielmo, PharmD]

Michael is on Michael is on.

[Michael Nordberg]

Okay. Okay. For one thing, it's not 120 hours of vacation. It is administrative leave that's in place if you cannot physically do the job, because it's a job you have to come to campus, is the basic concept behind that. I do not believe that it has been put in HBS yet. They've started to put the leave categories in there, but I don't think the balance has been put in there yet.

[Eric Davila]

Okay. Moving on, I think that moves us on to a couple of education questions. Bailey would like to know, in regards to the didactic curriculum for P1s, will the curriculum be taught online for the rest of the year? The schedule that has been released makes it seem that way. But they're looking for confirmation. Oh, wait. Joe, you're muted. Now let me see if I can.

[Dean Joe Guglielmo, PharmD]

Sharon should answer that question. Please. Sharon are you hearing me.

[Sharon Youmans, PharmD, MPH]

Sorry. So in terms of the didactic curriculum, we have been planning that that is what was going to happen. It was going to be remote access because of the lockdown in the city. So we actually have a curriculum committee meeting this afternoon that we're going to talk about that, and then we'll confirm that and clarify that with the students. Thank you for that question.

[Eric Davila]

All right. Julie would like to know if students cannot attend the postponed graduation, will those students receive class dues back.

[Dean Joe Guglielmo, PharmD]

If If Cindy Watchmaker's on the line, we have addressed this. Cindy, could you answer that question? Please?

I think maybe not, so let me I will.

Oh, there she is. Go ahead,

[Cindy Watchmaker]

I just needed to be unmuted. We actually are working on a plan for all members of the class of 2020 to receive their dues back, so we ask that you await some updates from your class officers.

[Dean Joe Guglielmo, PharmD]

Thank you, Cindy.

[Eric Davila]

All right. Last question I have in the queue then. Is there any information out there? Do you have any information on volunteer opportunities for intern pharmacists to help with COVID facilities in San Diego, perhaps in coordination with UCSD?

[Dean Joe Guglielmo, PharmD]

Maybe I will answer that. What I can do is, if that individual could send me an email directly, I will connect him or her with the dean at UCSD and try to figure something out. At this moment I do not have an answer, but that would be the way we will get that answer. Okay, I see that it is 2:31. I want to close on time. I want to say, for those individuals that maybe have more questions, please don't hesitate to contact me or anybody. In the meantime, please be well and be looking for the next Outlook for you for next week's meeting. So anyway, thank you all for attending.