Flu shots (or exemption requests) must be completed by Sunday …

Important Stuff Joe Knows - What's going on at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler

You couldn’t tell it from the weather this weekend, but time has almost run out to get your flu shot. As you know, all employees of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler (UTHSCT) are required to get the influenza vaccine, or submit an exemption request, by November 15. That’s this coming Sunday. If you haven’t gotten your vaccination yet, you can call Occupational Health at 903-877-7930 to schedule a same-day appointment. (Walk-ins are permitted, but you will have to wait for an opening between scheduled appointments. They prefer you call in advance to save your time.) If you decide to get your flu vaccination elsewhere, submit documentation of that to occhealth@nulluthct.edu. Requests for exemptions can be found here.

Important COVID-19 Updates … 

COVID-related employee health issues

We are still in an active pandemic, and now more than ever, proper use of personal protective equipment is imperative. This means that masks are to be worn at all times when interacting with patients or other employees. Additionally, eye protection should be worn with all patient encounters that are within six feet. Breakrooms and the cafeteria are no exception. This is a strong reminder that social distancing of more than six feet must be maintained when unmasked and eating in these settings. Please consider alternatives such as eating in a closed office work space or eating on your own outside.

    • Employees returning to work after time off for travel, illness or known/suspected exposure to COVID-19 must complete the Return-to-Work (RTW) Screening Questionnaire (https://www.uthct.edu/rtwsqand receive approval from the Occupational Health Department before coming back on campus.
    • Employees who have been directed to return to campus after exclusively working remotely are also required to complete the questionnaire and receive approval from the Occupational Health department before coming back on campus.
    • Your Return-to-Work Screening Questionnaire must be completed no later than 3 p.m. the day before your intended return to work. If return to work is on Sunday or Monday, it must be completed by no later than 3pm the Friday before. Occupational Health will make determinations on Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you develop symptoms over the weekend, please stay home and contact Occupational Health on Monday.
    • Occupational Health must be notified immediately if an employee has been tested for COVID-19 and once results have been received, so that Occupational Health can give the employee guidance about safely returning to work. You must stay home from work if you are sick and/or have been tested and awaiting results. Filling out the RTW survey is the preferred method of contact with Occupational Health about these issues. Should you need to clarify anything further, please email Occ Health at occhealth@nulluthct.edu.
    • Supervisors may not authorize employees who have taken time off or those who have been working remotely to return to campus without approval from Occupational Health. We are closely tracking information related to COVID-19 and need to be promptly made aware of any concerns.

Travel and COVID-19

Please remember that – despite the phased reopening by the State of Texas – we are still in a critical phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Physical distancing continues to be recommended to decrease spread of this illness. Following these safe practices from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is strongly advised: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-in-the-us.html.

    • Business travel on behalf of UTHSCT continues to be suspended except under extraordinary circumstances.
    • Additionally, personal travel outside our region (defined as more than 125-150 miles) continues to be discouraged. Travel by common carrier (public airlines, buses, trains, etc.) is especially problematic. If you must travel for personal reasons, use of a personal vehicle is preferred due to the inability to practice social distancing on common carriers.
    • Occupational Health cannot make return-to-work decisions before you travel. If you choose to travel, you may be subject to quarantine upon your return.

Announcements …

Northeast Texas Primary Healthcare Symposium

This is a four-hour Continuing Medical Education (CME) Teams symposium for Northeast Texas primary healthcare focusing on:

Xpresso Print Café billing/invoicing process clarification

The new billing/invoicing process with our print vendor Xpresso Print Café, which was supposed to have begun on October 1, did not work as planned. The Public Affairs department was supposed to have been provided with a single, monthly invoice from Xpresso Print Café to process for all UTHSCT orders placed in October. Unfortunately that did not happen and some individual invoices were still distributed after print jobs were completed. If you had a print project completed during the month of October and received an individual invoice for your order(s), please ensure that your order has been picked up or delivered and that you have requested a receiver before submitting your invoice for payment to DL-AccountsPayable@nulluthct.edu. Please verify that you are up to date with your payments to Xpresso Print Café, as some accounts remain past due. Please direct any and all questions regarding your Xpresso invoices/billing to publicaffairs@nulluthct.edu or call Sarah Buchanan at 903-877-5735.

Writing effective emails and additional resources – November 12

Learn more about writing effective emails and instant messages on Thursday, November 12, from noon until 1 p.m. This e-learning module is provided by SkillSoft and will be followed by a short discussion. The session will also include information on accessing and navigating the university’s newest professional development resource, LinkedIn Learning. Join the Teams session here: https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_MGQzNmRlMjAtZDdjZC00NWU1LTk5MjItNGQ3ZjdmNDE3NGI4%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%225f5c2410-cd60-4dbe-b97e-3c9c38140272%22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%22611e95f9-9940-4419-b997-940cc5d114f9%22%7d.

 Using the UTHSCT logo

Please remember that any public display of the UTHSCT logo without prior written approval from the Public Affairs department is prohibited. The following items can be obtained through the Logo Resources Portal (link below):

    • Items that can be customized: Business cards, envelopes, letterhead, note cards, special event name badge templates and specialty and promotional items
    • Items that can be ordered/reserved, but not customized include: Logo apparel (available via the UTHSCT online store), pocket folders (available from Materials Management/Stores) and tents for use at outdoor events
    • Items bearing our logo that are preapproved for use with your custom content added: PowerPoint templates, email signature templates, a fax cover sheet template, flyer/newsletter/poster templates (approval from Public Affairs required before shown or distributed outside UTHSCT) and digital letterhead (for email/digital use only)
    • The form to request permission to use a logo internally or to send a logo to a vendor for external use

For anything bearing our logo that’s not listed above, please submit a “Custom Design Request” on the Logo Resources Portal here: https://www.uthct.edu/logo-resources. If you have questions about this process, please email: publicaffairs@nulluthct.edu.

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Throughout the month of November, information and facts about lung cancer and tobacco use will be shared via the UTHSCT social media accounts. Today (November 10), facts about e-cigarette use (including vaping products) will be shared, On Thursday (November 12), UTHSCT Department of Community Health Chair Dr. Paul McGaha will discuss tobacco usage rates in East Texas and cessation programs available to you. If you happened to miss Dr. James Fox last week, he discussed the importance of early lung cancer detection through lung cancer screenings. Make sure to join in on our lung cancer awareness campaign! Please follow UTHSCT on social media to like and share our posts using the hashtag #ElimateTobaccoUseETX. If you have any questions, please contact Misty Lewis at 903-877-7369 or Sarah Tison Malone at 903-877-1430.

UTHSCT officer featured as UT System’s “Officer of the Month” (correction)

In last week’s issue of Important Stuff Joe Knows, we inadvertently misspelled Officer Roger Henry’s first name. We apologize for the error. Here is a corrected version of the announcement about the recognition he received from The UT System Police Division: Officer Roger Henry with the UTHSCT Police Department has been featured by UT System Police as their November “Officer of the Month.” Officer Henry joined the department in November in 2014. He retired after 28 years of service with the Smith County Sheriff’s Office. Henry is a Master Peace Officer, Crisis Intervention Team Officer, a certified hostage negotiator, a 1989 graduate of the North Texas Police Academy and a 1986 graduate of the East Texas Police Academy in Kilgore. Read more about Officer Henry’s career and contributions to East Texas and the UTHSCT family here: https://www.utsystem.edu/offices/police/blog/roger-henry-ut-health-center-at-tyler-featured-officer-of-month-2020-11-01.

Reminders …

Nicotine/tobacco cessation training

A new continuing medical education (CME) offering has been uploaded to Performance Manger for completion by December 15. This CME is offered in partnership with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston through the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) initiative to help east Texas. Our region has the highest number of tobacco users in the state. The CME is filled with important information and resources to help others quit smoking. If you’re a medical provider, it discusses best practices to offer support for your patients. But, even if you’re not a medical provider, you probably know someone you would like to help quit smoking or using nicotine products. This learning opportunity will help you do your part to reduce addiction to tobacco and nicotine products, which leads to many poor health outcomes in our region. Helping even one person quit is worth it! Please contact MD Anderson at 713-794-3175 with questions or concerns regarding the CME Training website.

Virtual appointments with UT retirement vendors

UT retirement vendors are not currently allowed to come on campus for face-to-face meetings with employees. But they are available for virtual appointments. Check availability and schedule appointments using the links for each vendor company below.

Submit your announcements …

Announcements for the Important Stuff Joe Knows newsletter must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on the Friday before the item is to appear in the following Tuesday’s newsletter. Submit announcements here: https://www.myuthealthnews.org/submit-announcement. Publication of The Friday Forecast event calendar is suspended during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Early submissions are always welcome!

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Important Stuff Joe Knows is a weekly newsletter published by Joseph Woelkers, EVP & COO of The UT Health Science Center at Tyler, stuffjoeknows@nulluthct.eduEmails to this address will not receive a personal response.