Dean's Update

June 11, 2021 - Aron Sousa, MD


I have the chance to be brief this week; let’s see how I do. There is plenty of work going on, but I hope you are scheduling some time away and taking advantage of being vaccinated as the university, county, state, and nation ease COVID-19 restrictions.

This week, the university announced new rules allowing vaccinated people to go without masking or spatial distancing indoors and outdoors on campus. At the same time, the health screening tool now includes a question about vaccination status, and the college and departments are revising return to the office plans.

The aim is to be patient and slowly bring people back to class and offices. Slow progress will allow people to arrange for childcare and other caretaker needs. And, if we bring everyone back at once, there are concerns that the IT needs for fixing connectivity and re-registering devices will overwhelm our staff. So, we need to be patient, and there is no rush. You can expect to see plenty of Barbara Forney at our Town Halls, thank goodness for Barbara Forney!

This week we welcomed two new cyclotrons to Grand Rapids for the Doug Meijer Medical Innovation Building. These machines and the attached radiopharmaceutical producing units will help provide cutting edge therapy for cancer, as well as research and medical opportunities for many conditions. There are very few places in the world with these kinds of machines, and their delivery to Grand Rapids this week completes a remarkable part of the vision of those who started the college’s expansion in Grand Rapids so many years ago. Marsha, Peter, Lou Anna, Denise, Liz, Jeff, Jerry, Peter, Rich, Steve, Lowell…wherever you are, Cheers!

Remember that your safe return to the office – and to normal life in general – depends on you and those you love being vaccinated.

Serving the people with you,


Aron Sousa MD
Interim Dean

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