June 3, 2020, Briefing - Answers to Commonly Asked Questions

Questions submitted for this briefing include these topics:

Employee Incentives

As part of FY21 budget planning, UT Southwestern leadership has looked at ways to support our employees’ needs while balancing the unique financial position caused by COVID-19. In addition to the pausing of parking fees through June, there will be no rate increases for parking or health care premiums in FY21.

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Facilities Reopening

At this time, we don’t have a date for the reopening of the Student Center facilities. Please continue to monitor our website and your email for more information.

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Laboratory Opening

All laboratories, regardless of campus location, can increase to 50% occupancy. As of June 2, two people per bay are allowed with proper PPE and social distancing. Please see our Work on Campus website for more information.

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Layoffs

As we have previously stated, there are no plans for layoffs or furloughs at UT Southwestern. We firmly believe that maintaining a solid workforce is the key to a strong recovery as an organization. While we were on track to meet our annual goals through the first half of the fiscal year, the projected loss of revenue from temporarily halting elective procedures, coupled with our decision to maximize the number of employees retained, will drive a substantial loss for the current fiscal year. To mitigate these concerns, we must recognize and achieve cost saving opportunities in all areas. In addition to the difficult decision forgoing the annual merit plan for FY21, all departments are actively planning for expense reductions through M&O and travel cost savings and the delay of hiring for new and vacant positions. A healthy margin has been, and continues to be, essential to providing necessary resources for the infrastructure to support our educational, research, and health care missions.

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Merit Increases

In light of our projected financial position, which will include a substantial loss in the current fiscal year, the difficult decision was made to forgo the annual merit plan for FY21. We did not make this decision lightly, but it was made in conjunction with our desire to protect everyone’s jobs and to not have any layoffs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Reporting

PUI and confirmed COVID-19 cases are reported throughout the weekend on our main COVID-19 webpage. If you are looking for additional information regarding reported cases in Dallas County, please visit the Dallas County Health and Human Services website. (Source: CMPA leadership)

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Strategic Initiatives and At-Home Care

UT Southwestern is exploring the “Hospital at Home” model and other emerging models of care as a part of our health care delivery transformation and digital health strategy. The rapid adoption and sustained use of telehealth is a great example of how innovative our teams can be in evolving their care models.

To reduce hospital admissions and ER visits, we currently have multiple services available for patients who are needing at-home assistance.

  • UT Southwestern Home Health Care is a licensed and certified home health agency that works closely with patients and their families. Learn more on our Support Services webpage.
  • The UTSW Care of the Vulnerable Elderly (COVE) Program is a home-based primary care program that provides an interdisciplinary approach to elderly patients diagnosed with multiple chronic medical conditions and who have cognitive or functional impairment. For more information, please visit our Geriatrics webpage.

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Travel Recommendations and Post-Quarantine

You can visit our Travel website to view up-to-date information on travel recommendations and guidelines, including destinations that will require post-travel quarantine. The Occupational Health website (VPN required) and Student Health website (VPN required) have screening information, FAQs, and steps to take to return to campus following travel.

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Tuition Assistance Program

At this time, there have been no modifications to the tuition reimbursement program, but we will communicate to all employees if there are changes. UT Southwestern will continue to complete and pay any requests that have been previously approved before the COVID-19 event upon notification that the employee has met all the tuition reimbursement requirements.

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Listen to the Full Briefing