Archive: Apr 2020

  1. Updates: PPE and Research

    Comments Off on Updates: PPE and Research


    We hope everyone is well. Thank you for everything you are doing at UCH and remotely to continue research and to care for patients. We know these are extremely difficult times.  We have some updates and requests:

    1. PPE Help:

    As you may know, we have been working in collaboration with colleagues at Storrs to develop and produce PPE. Our efforts morphed into the COVID Critical Clinical Needs Project, which is supported by both Andy Agwunobi and President Katsouleas. The project is producing mask frames, face shields, swabs, and even ventilators!  Dr. Michael Baldwin, who is a member of the UCHC-AAUP Executive Council, is the Clinical and Production Coordinator for this project. Thanks Mike!*

    Working with Mike is an UCHC-AAUP subcommittee and we need your help!

    PPE Needs: Clinicians, please contact subcommittee member Mingfu Yu if you have any PPE needs.

    PPE Production: If you would like to volunteer to produce PPE, please contact Stefan Brocke.  Please contact subcommittee members Stefan Brocke or Kevin Claffey if you have PPE from your lab to donate.Here’s what we need for PPE donations:

    Surgical gowns (S, M, L, XL, XXL)

    Face/surgical masks (adult, pediatric)

    Gloves (nitrile, vinyl or butyl)

    N95 particulate respirators

    Isolation gowns

    Face shields

    Tyvek coveralls


    Foot coverings

    Ventilator tubing

    Headbands available for providers and staff!

    Over the past weeks, UCHC-AAUP Executive Council member, Alix Deymier Ph.D., delivered 400 beautiful headbands made and donated by the Sewing Face Masks-Farmington Valley collective of volunteer sewers. Surgical masks are secured with buttons on the headbands, increasing comfort while adding a splash of color! Thanks, Alix!

    2. Clinical Housing:

    We have been asked about housing for providers working at the hospital. We encourage everyone seeking shelter to apply to UCH temporary housing. Please contact us if you are denied.

    (Reposting UCH info)TEMPORARY HOUSING DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC:  To support the availability of critical staffing during the COVID-19 pandemic, UConn Health will provide temporary housing at participating area hotels to eligible individuals. Those eligible include UConn Health employees or residents who are caring for COVID-19-positive patients or patients who are Persons Under Investigation (“rule outs”), and who have high-risk individuals residing with them at home.

    Others may be considered to be eligible on a case-by-case basis.  Please see the new policy, which  became effective on Monday, April 13.  Employees and residents seeking this benefit should follow the approval process outlined in the policy.

    3. Research:

    The Unfunded Legacy Fringe Liability:

    Yesterday, UCHC-AAUP President Ibrahim Elali requested that President Katsouleas provide UCH researchers with relief from the legacy fringe costs that will be approaching 74%.  While we appreciate the fiscal situation caused by the COVID crisis, we believe that providing relief to researchers will expedite economic recovery. Conversely, failure to act will exacerbate the dire economic situation in which we find ourselves.  As Dr. Elali wrote:

    More specifically, on behalf of our researchers at UConn Health, I am requesting sustained and multi-year relief from the burden of the unfunded legacy fringe rates which will be approaching 74% in the upcoming year. UCH researchers bring in almost $100 million in research dollars annually and the exorbitant fringe-rates will undermine Bioscience Connecticut and research operations in general.   We are concerned that we will soon experience substantially reduced productivity along with the exit of the productive research faculty and the funds they have garnered. We understand that, as the result of your intervention, researchers at UConn Storrs will enjoy three years of relief from the unfunded pension liability with a 43% fringe rate.

    We are asking that you help provide us with relief from this artificial increase in our fringe costs and reduce rates to a maximum of 43% for at least the next three years.  We cannot plan with temporary yearly relief. That is most counterproductive because, as you know, almost all grants are multi-year awards.

    Research Q&A:(reposting UCH info)

    Stay safe and thank you again for all you do!


    Kind regards,

    Ibrahim and Cindy

    ps.  *Here’s a short news clip with Dr. Mike Baldwin about our efforts!

  2. Power of Attorney- Updated

    Comments Off on Power of Attorney- Updated


    We wanted to share some benefit information that we hope you will never have to use, but may provide you with some peace of mind in the upcoming months.

    We want to call members attention once again to the limited durable power of attorney form which can be found at the Comptroller’s website.  Pre-Retirement POA.

    The POA is intended to address the situation in which a living member may wish to make a change concerning his/her SERS retirement  — e.g. apply for disability or choose a particular spouse option  – but as a result of illness or accident is physically or mentally unable to do so.  We strongly recommend that every member covered by SERS(including Hybrid) complete this form.

    Thanks to the work of SEBAC, there are now three ways members can sign POAs during the crisis;

    (1) As always, with a live notary and two witnesses. Those POA’s last indefinitely as always;

    (2) Using an online notary or attorney process, pursuant to Executive Order 7Q.  (attached)  That process basically uses Zoom or the equivalent to create a recording of the electronic signature, and doesn’t need witnesses or any live contact. These POA’s too last indefinitely as always;

    (3)  With no notary or witnesses, emailed in with a digital photo or other legible copy of a valid photo ID of the member.    This is the special exception the State agreed to, but these POAs will be valid until 60 days beyond the end of the crisis.   Members will get notification from the Retirement Division that the will need to replace the POAs with properly signed ones within 60 days of when the emergency ends.  Please see agreement.   

    All three options incorporate the other request you all made that members could include only the last 4 digits of their social on the form instead of the full number for security purposes. You can find the most recent memorandum here.

    We hope this helps and clarifies the process.

    Kind regards and stay safe!