Weekly Address from Mary Faria - Fall Week 8

AOMA weekly updates (week of 11/2/20)

1. AOMA’s desire to combat racism and healthcare disparities –

- We have begun the process to bring new members onto AOMA’s Governing Board. Key Leaders in the Austin Community have been identified. Each will go through an interview process but if these individuals are willing to serve in this way they will bring not only more diversity to our Board but will bring rich experience, influence and vision that will support the growth and success of our school. When announcements can be made, I think everyone will be pleased with the expansion of our Board membership.

2. Plans and issues related to COVID-19 crisis including clinic and campus re-openings

- Because there has been a spike in COVID cases in Austin/Travis county we will now require everyone (staff, faculty and students) to wear not only a proper mask while in Clinic and in Class, but also a face shield. Face Shields and masks are available for you in our Clinics. Austin Public Health is recommending that if anyone is participating in holiday gatherings to get COVID testing.

I know all the safety measures can be exhausting but all measures are in the interest of keeping us all safe during this time of Pandemic. I’m so grateful for everyone’s gracious compliance during this challenging time. Please reach out to me or to Michael Jewell with any safety questions or concerns.

3. Key operational issues or updates

- No new updates at this time.

4. Important announcements or answers to questions sent in by students, faculty or staff

- If you missed the November 4th Wellness presentation by Karen Ranus, Executive Director for NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) of Central Texas will offer it again in December(we’ll get details out closer to the event). She provides great practical tips for stress reduction during this time of Pandemic. We encourage everyone at AOMA to take advantage of this great offering!

-Also don’t forget that AOMA has an agreement with the YWCA and Kaleidoscope for Counseling services at very reduced rates. For female Veteran’s services are free at YWCA. With the election, COVID and the normal stress with graduate school please take care of yourselves. There are many resources available to help!

- Our food pantry is still operating, so if you have a food need please don’t hesitate to utilize the pantry. Just call the Herbal Dispensary or Michael Jewell and make arrangements for pick-up.

Take care, stay safe and stay healthy (mind, body and spirit).

With Love and Peace,