Today, the staircase into the BRB returned to its pre-COVID self.
The X's and arrows were removed so that we can encourage free wandering, stair climbing and oft engagements. All designed to be more encouraging for our discovery, chance conversations, questions and freedom to linger.
On the larger front, we are now two years into this pandemic—I arrived home from an international trip on March 11, 2020 (one person wore a mask the entire 11-hour flight) and what a two years it has been. Today is the Day of Remembrance for the city, recognizing COVID deaths and morbidity across our region, most often afflicting our underserved populations.
And as we mark the two-year anniversary of the pandemic, our focus and concern suddenly shift to the atrocities of Ukraine and its population and the risks to scientific and medical colleagues across that region. Additionally, we have uncertainty about the next turn of the pandemic as we see the surge of COVID in China and confusion about the best responses. During these unprecedented times of a global pandemic and instability, it is even more critical that we commit ourselves to our core values of integrity, respect, inclusive excellence and kindness.
May I indulge you to be kind to your fellow associates, trainees and staff.
Recognize when your direct statements are viewed as harmful, avoid intentional comments that may be seen as harassing, and statements of frustration—as there is always a simpler resolution and workaround. Use your creativity to find it.
The NIH has recently reminded us of the importance of a kind, inviting and safe workplace for our research and training. Over the next few weeks and months, we will be spending some time on this issue, but in the meantime, see the Preventing and Addressing Harassment and Inappropriate Conduct toolkit from the NIH.
We have the luxury of being back onsite more than in the past two years—please bring back a refreshed and positive approach to your activities and walk the stairs!
Stan Gerson, MD
Dean and Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs
School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University
Director, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (acting)
Director, National Center for Regenerative Medicine