The Penn Medicine Community's Response to Covid-19

March 15, 2020

Dear Penn Medicine Colleagues,

We stand with you! As we prepare for the week ahead, we must continue to work together to fight COVID-19. The steps we’ve taken in recent days – including a restricted visitation policy for our hospitals, prohibiting business travel, curtailing our on-site workforce to maximize social distancing, and cancelling non-essential outpatient appointments and surgeries – are what we must do as an institution to slow the spread of this virus in our community.

We know this is an anxious time, with school and county closures adding to an already fast-moving and uncertain situation. We recognize the pressures on you and your families. We are asking you to balance your multiple personal responsibilities – as a spouse, parent, caregiver, and friend in your community – and as a member of the Penn Medicine team.

Today, we are announcing the creation of a Penn Medicine Employee Assistance Fund providing a total of $1 million to support the members of our staff who are experiencing financial distress as a result of this situation. The fund will provide emergency grants and interest-free loans to staff who are most in need of help and meet certain criteria, to assist with needs such as child care, housing, and food. Full details on this fund, including information on how to apply, will be released tomorrow. We are also working with state officials as they develop special childcare opportunities for hospital employees and we will share details with our workforce as we receive these plans.

We are also working closely with the hospital CEOs and Penn Medicine leadership to liberalize our paid time off policies to help you through what may be trying times ahead. More details will be provided early this week.

We've already seen the tremendous sacrifices and incredible collaboration that defines who we are as an organization.

From the clinical teams ensuring that our hospitals remain ready to serve all our patients to the foodservice vendors in our facilities who are keeping those teams and our patients nourished, every member of our team is focused on their mission.

From to the “red coat” Penn Medicine ambassadors who are helping our patients feel more at ease to our managers who have been designing new work arrangements to reduce on-site staffing density while seamlessly maintaining their operations, we are all in this together.

The challenges we face are highlighting the very best of Penn Medicine, and together, we will make a difference. Thank you for all that you are doing.




J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD

Executive Vice President of the University of Pennsylvania for the Health System

Dean of the Perelman School of Medicine

Kevin B. Mahoney

CEO, University of Pennsylvania Health System