No one is untouched by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although all departments in the School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins Health System have come together in remarkable ways to meet this challenge, no group has given more than the Department of Medicine. COVID-19 is fundamentally a medical illness, and our department is at the forefront in every aspect. Our nurses, residents, fellows, faculty and administrators are all involved and have substantially changed their work flow and, in many cases, their job descriptions to meet the demands of COVID-19. Each of our divisions has contributed in unique ways, addressing the clinical care, research and educational missions that are so critical to this response. With profound gratitude for these efforts, we are dedicating a series of brief reports to inform, thank and celebrate the contributions of these key divisions to our COVID-19 response.
- Mary Jo Appel, Matt Trojanowski, Jesse Benza and Jamison Kies led the DOM’s transition to a telemedicine environment and consolidated clinic operations, ensuring thousands of patients could continue their care.
- Sarah Disney, Kevin Hsu and Susan Phillip shepherded endoscopy, CVIL and echocardiography (respectively) JHH operations in close partnership with Meg Souder, Kit Schwartz and Kenn Ridley at JHBMC, even exploring how staff could provide cross coverage should the need arise.
- Kay Glisan and Jacki Christopher provided untold assistance to our inpatient operations converting to (and from) COVID care. Their help reduced the stress of our nursing and provider teams.
- Randy Komenski and Kit Schwartz provided steadfast leadership for those based at the JHBMC campus, even in the midst of flooding and a major power outage.
- Holly Sellers, Helen Harrison, Kinjal Kakadiya, Kay Glisan, Shanshan Huang, Sarah Disney and Kanak Vyas helped coordinate the DOM Incident Command Center schedule, answer questions coming to the command center, distribute PPE, track/assist with staff redeployment and provide much-needed behind-the-scenes support to keep the command center functional and organized.
- Matt Lautzenheiser led the ADAPT effort to administer our department as we negotiate our recovery and plan for future surges in the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Kate Walls, Andrew Byrd, Shannon Bishop, Clint Shifflett and Amanda VanderZyl stepped in to develop, recruit providers for and manage a redesigned provider deployment schedule for the DOM. This schedule included inpatient services, occupational health call center and a virtual clinic for recovering COVID patients without a primary care physician.
- Amanda VanderZyl and Alex Eschenbach, under Lee Biddison’s leadership, helped stand up the first-ever incident command center focused on redeployment of providers from many departments to cover both JHH and JHBMC. This critical effort helped match providers to patient care needs.
- Matt Lautzenheiser and Andrew Byrd provided coverage as the incident commander of the department’s command center, which was activated in early March and quickly became a 7-day operation to help the DOM navigate the quickly changing environment created by the COVID pandemic.
- Our division administrators and their administrative teams, in partnership with division directors, helped communicate changes and provide guidance to members of their divisions adjusting to a virtual work environment, and found innovative ways (virtual happy hours, happy half-hours, etc.) to connect with their teams.
- Judith Kimball, John Crockett and Juliet Allen (and their teams) coordinated the credentialing, billing training and Epic training (respectively) of a myriad of providers in record time with minimal disruption to patient care operations.
- Chris Sulmonte, Andrew Michalek, Neysa Ernst and Jade Flinn, under Brian Garibaldi’s leadership, opened the Biocontainment Unit to care for our first few COVID+ patients. The team provided important education and support to nursing and provider teams new to donning and doffing PPE.
- Fourteen faculty members rotated as Medical Control Chief for the DOM, overseeing the placement of COVID patients, receiving calls for patient transfers 24 hours/day and more.
The Collaborative Inpatient Medicine Service (CIMS):
- The division helped open and staff the JHBMC COVID units and converted the ED OBS unit to a hospitalist COVID unit.
- Clinicians and staff signed up for extra night shifts to cover the expanded patient load.
- The division is involved in multiple COVID related projects including an assessment of provider morale during the pandemic.
- All members of the division made efforts to take care of each other, often checking in with each other and sharing food and treats to keep up morale.
- They participated in small group zoom meetings three times a week to catch up, answer questions, give updates and share information and concerns. Women within the division participated in tea and chat sessions in an effort to support each other. Underrepresented in medicine (UIM) faculty and staff will hold meetings to discuss current events and offer support.
- Individualized thank you cards were shared with the frontline staff by leadership.
Johns Hopkins Hospital Hospitalists:
- JHH Hospitalists cared for patients on the first COVID+ floor unit to go live (Meyer 9). They were the first on the frontlines.
- Clinical providers and staff remained flexible, worked long hours and picked up extra shifts to ensure patients were taken care of.
- Carrie Herzke and Sarah Johnson Conway stepped up to fill new leadership roles.
- Ben Bodnar worked to create care pathways in Epic.
- Nkemdilim Mgbojikwe helped orient surge faculty.
- Gigi Liu helped with needed bedside ultrasound.
- Tye Clark, program manager, was featured in a video with her mother: