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Update: Healthcare Working Group

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University of Denver

Meeting Held June 3, 2020

News  •
Internal  •

Attendees: Gregg Kvistad, Corinne Lengsfeld, Jeremy Haefner, Chris Short, David Odell, Eric Chess, JB Holston, Jerron Lowe, Karen Riley, Karlton Creech, Lloyd Moore, Nancy Lorenzon, Stephanie O’Malley

Welcome and introductions

Chancellor Haefner joined for first 30 minutes.

Chancellor update:

We’re in an incredibly busy time for the University. The protests stemming from the murder of George Floyd has created a heightened awareness of injustice in our society. There have been many requests for accommodation for our students, particularly our students of color who are managing through the end of classes during this very tumultuous time. Attention will be turned to institutions and the role they/we play in the reformations that must happen.

There will be the need for this group to be aware of physical and medical services, but also mental health.

This week is the spring meeting of our Board of Trustees, and some important decisions about the framework for our Fiscal Year 2021 budget will be determined.

Commencement is next week. While we have postponed our formal ceremony until spring 2021, we have a virtual Day of Recognition on June 12 with a video and celebration by the platform party.

Undergraduate enrollment for fall is looking strong. Pockets of graduate enrollment are looking strong as well. We are optimistic and hopeful for a healthy turn out for return to campus in the fall. Many students and families are asking about testing and tracing for student’s health and safety. The Chancellor asked this group to have a solid plan by mid-July to share with our community.

Review of DU Healthcare Working Group Document (shared by Gregg Kvistad)

  • Listed facts remain the same
  • Group agreed PCR testing (not antibody or antigen) is the direction we will go.
  • We need to continue researching contact tracing in a variety of forms. We need a method that allows us to be nimble and flexible.
  • Must develop a communication plan for sharing with community plan for testing and contact tracing.
    • Fairly invasive for an institution to require. Must consider our legal liability.
    • Plan likely will be influenced by governmental guidance.
  • Ideally, we will test the whole DU population
    • Some providers don’t feel this is necessary
    • Could tests be self-administered (saliva test)?
    • One institution is testing all students moving into University housing only
    • Maybe pool testing
    • Subset of DU population?
    • Could we require a PCR test before faculty and staff return to campus? This is what Pepsi is currently requiring for all (not just symptomatic individuals).
    • Concern was expressed about this, in terms of exposure to crowds and the staff who have already returned to campus?
    • Testing site downtown is a drive-through with a self-administered swab to inside of nose, then handed through car window to testing officials.
    • We will have to clarify timing requirements for testing and return to campus

Considerations re: Provider Partnerships:

  • Utilization of Kaiser makes sense considering our benefits are with them.
  • Do we want to have this be covered by claims for employees/staff?
  • Funding? Interim Provost Lengsfeld reiterated we have budget allocated for testing.
  • Important to involve Denver Public Health Authority sooner than later for contract tracing. We can’t do this on our own.
  • Need to have an epidemiologist sign off on any testing plan we come up with. CU and CSU have advantages given these folks are on staff.
  • DU needs a partner to help us determine what we need in terms of testing capacity and contact tracing.
  • Suggested that DU staff who have developed our current plan should remain involved as they understand what works for our community, despite our internal process not being scalable to full community return. They have rich knowledge we can lean on.
  • Suggestion for the group to join forces with the tracing group Chris Short serves on re: contact tracing (includes Chris Short, Sarah Watamura, Rohini Ananthakrishnan, Michael LaFarr). Our ability to do contact tracing will stop with the DU community, and DU will need a partnership with outside agencies.
  • Contact tracing group is looking at technologies for testing/tracing. We need solutions that are scalable.
  • Chris Short shared that two demos seen by the contact tracing group have different modules, each with a base level and then added customization depending on our wishes. One requires us to provide folks with a fit bit/blue tooth device. Cost could be significant.
  • Dr. Odell suggested partnering with an epidemiologist. Looking at local health authority, AmeriCore and SeniorCore options. We need assistance in determining what we need precisely.

Partner Outreach:

  • Have reached out to Kaiser, Centura, Denver Health and National Jewish, Paladina, Centennial Colorado Labs
  • Centura was eager for partnership. CEO mentioned epidemiological help and testing assistance. They are monitoring their own employees.
  • Health One (partner with Kaiser). They do active testing. Currently nobody is recommending active testing as a baseline; however, we may need to do this for community feeling of safety. Ability to run claims through Kaiser a plus.
  • Paladina has surprisingly robust offerings
  • UC Health – we weren’t planning to explore this since they don’t work with Kaiser. They do have a fairly comprehensive program, epidemiologists for consulting.
  • Ready Health has contact tracing for campus, not full blown, blue tooth alert (could be problematic)
  • Centennial Labs likely not able to accommodate our needs
  • Do we need to reach out to SCL (St. Joe’s/Good Samaritan)? Advantage that they are in Kaiser system.
  • Perhaps third-party providers who do scaled testing? JB Holston mentioned providers who have recently partnered with Grinnell.
  • JB mentioned Tempus (
  • Gregg Kvistad will discuss with Chancellor how many places to reach out to. Perhaps follow up with JB Holston’s suggested contacts.

Next Steps re: Request for Information (RFI)

  • Need to move quickly
  • Will have to have specific questions for RFI
  • Could Gallagher consultants help us with this?
  • Nancy Lorenzon pointed out we need to inform the RFI requests about what we’re looking for (just testing, or perhaps a longer-term clinic arrangement on campus? Chancellor had expressed interest in this).