A Few Items to Note
Today I want to bring to your attention a handful of topics that I think are important for your awareness.
First, I want to encourage you to go ahead and get your flu shot. While last year’s flu season was less severe than most, it’s anticipated there could be a rebound this year – and possibly earlier than normal.
Student and Employee Health has developed a comprehensive plan to make flu vaccinations more accessible to employees and students than ever before (including the mobile Flu on Wheels team), so you should have several opportunities to get yours. Around 880 flu vaccinations have already been administered to UMMC employees and students since September 6. The details about our flu vaccine policy and the various ways you can get yours can be found on the Intranet here. The deadline for students to get their shot or receive an accommodation is Nov. 30, 2022 and for employees its Dec. 30, 2022.
A couple of side Student Employee Health notes:
- Soon, the renovated and much expanded SEH waiting room will be opened. This will be a major upgrade from the space it is replacing.
- The newly available Bivalent Pfizer COVID vaccine/booster is now available through SEH. They are administering that option on Fridays and you can schedule your appointment by contacting email@example.com
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Congratulations to the School of Nursing for a jump up in a ranking of bachelor in nursing science programs nationally. In the 2023 U.S. News and World Report rankings, our BSN placed 67th. Roughly 660 BSN programs get ranked so we are right outside the top 10% in the country! What an amazing accomplishment and reflective of the dedicated and transformative work Dr. Julie Sanford, SON dean, and her leadership teams have been doing. These rankings are based solely on peer reviews so it’s great knowing how well regarded our nursing school is by others.
Our place in the ranking is well above any other Mississippi BSN program (the next closest Mississippi school is at #137) which is further proof that the flagship for educating the next generation of nursing leaders is right here on our campus.
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A recent case of a Texas hospital hit with a ransomware attack prompts me to remind each of you to seriously consider the security of your computers and data. In just an instant, a bad actor can gain access to the Medical Center’s network – and ALL of our data – through the actions of a single user.
Email phishing attempts are more prevalent than ever so you should be very discerning before you click any link on an email received from a non-UMMC account. Benson Hill, privacy and information security officer, reminds each of us that if you are unsure whether an email request is legitimate, try to verify it by contacting the sender directly in a new email and don’t just hit “reply.” If you do receive an email you suspect is a phishing attempt, do not click on any of the links. Instead, forward the message to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the DIS Helpdesk.
There are a number of information security policies that govern how you should manage systems under your control, but the one that covers the most ground is the Acceptable Use Policy. What is found in this policy is good information for everyone and that’s why annually we are all required to go through information security training. This year, that training will kick off Oct. 1. A campus memo will go out shortly before that date with information.
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Next week is one of the most exciting times of year. It’s Sanderson Farms Championship week when the golf nation turns its attention to Jackson for Mississippi’s only PGA TOUR event.
It’s great to see some of the best golfers in the world conduct their craft (including 2021 champion Sam Burns who visited with some of our patients last week), but the tournament is also a major fundraiser for Children’s of Mississippi. It’s nice to know that every ticket, drink, shirt, etc. you purchase has a direct impact on the amount of the donation made by tournament host Century Club Charities to Friends of Children’s Hospital.
Since Sanderson Farms became the title sponsor in 2013, nearly $15 million has been gifted to benefit the state’s only children’s hospital. I’m so thankful to everyone involved in the tournament, and especially Joe Sanderson, Jr., for this support. Tournament play begins on Thursday, Sept. 29 and you can get your tickets here.
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I have one more security update but this time it’s about personal safety.
UMMC Police will soon be putting into use new body worn cameras along with an associated policy that governs when and how they are to be used by our police and security officers.
These cameras take the level of transparency for our security and law enforcement agency to new heights. They can be useful tools post-situation evaluation and to make clear in instances where there are complaint discrepancies. But most importantly, Chief Mary Paradis and her leadership team believe these cameras will strengthen the relationship between UMMC Police and the people they are sworn to protect.
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To round out today’s column, I want to congratulate and thank these appointed leaders for the newly established Academy for Excellence in Education at UMMC:
- President – Dr. Stephen Stray (School of Medicine)
- President-Elect – Dr. Amol Janorkar (School of Dentistry)
- Secretary/Treasurer – Dr. Amanda Capino (School of Pharmacy)
- Membership Committee – Dr. Rob Rockhold (emeritus, School of Medicine)
- Strategy and Planning Committee – Dr. Kimberly Douglas (School of Nursing)
The new Academy is intended to create a “community of educators” from across the Medical Center and this inaugural leadership group promises to be a big help toward that goal. University is in our name and education is at the heart of all we do. Educating the next generation of health science professionals is the reason we are here and how we will make the most headway toward A Healthier Mississippi.