Joe SuyamaExpert 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. 

Melissa McGiveney in a white blazer outside with the Cathedral in the background

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 Student Health Services or the University's employee health clinic, MyHealth@Work.

The office is directed by Joe Suyama, 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.

photo of Elise MartinSupporting Suyama are the office's deputy director, Melissa McGivney, and faculty member Elise Martin.

McGivney serves as the associate dean for community partnerships and professor of pharmacy and therapeutics in Pitt’s School of Pharmacy. In this role, she has helped lead the PittCoVax initiative since January 2021, which has directly provided tens of thousands of COVID-19 vaccinations at nearly 50 clinics for Pitt people and the greater community.

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.

photo of John WilliamsJohn V. Williams, chief of the medical school’s Division of Infectious Diseases, Henry L. Hillman Endowed Chair in Pediatric Immunology and professor of pediatrics, is an advisor to the 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.