Expert faculty members in the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine are at the helm of a new COVID-19 Medical Response Office, which will oversee the implementation of a virus monitoring program on all five Pitt campuses. The program will direct the University’s COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, reporting procedures and isolation and quarantine protocols.
With the help of data analytics and administrative staff members, the office will develop and oversee implementation of the virus monitoring program, including strategies, protocols and methods for testing, symptom monitoring, contact tracing and quarantine and isolation on all five of the University’s campuses.
While this office will implement virus monitoring protocols, the COVID Medical Response Office will not provide medical care or medical advice. Symptomatic individuals and those with positive COVID-19 test results should call Pitt’s Student Health Service or employee health clinic, MyHealth@Work.
John V. Williams, chief of the medical school’s Division of Infectious Diseases, Henry L. Hillman Endowed Chair in Pediatric Immunology and professor of pediatrics, will direct the new office. Williams is a member of the University’s Healthcare Advisory Group and serves as the director of the Institute for Infection, Inflammation, and Immunity in Children. He is also a faculty member in the graduate program in Microbiology and Immunology and an affiliate in the Center for Vaccine Research.
Supporting Williams as the office’s chief operating officer is Christopher P. O'Donnell, and faculty members Elise Martin and Joe Suyama.
O’Donnell is a professor of medicine in the medical school’s Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine and executive vice chair of academic affairs in the Department of Medicine. He is also assistant vice chancellor for Special Projects in the Health Sciences and played a central role in developing School of Medicine guidelines for the restart of research operations in June.
Martin is an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine and Division of Infectious Diseases and the associate medical director of infection prevention and hospital epidemiology for UPMC Presbyterian.
Suyama is an associate professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine and chief of emergency medicine services at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC’s emergency department. He recently co-chaired the UPMC Pandemic Flu Task Force and assisted in its preparedness and response efforts to the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.