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Local public health, medical specialists assist with fall plans

A panel of local physicians and health professionals with expertise ranging from infectious diseases to public health to COVID-19 testing has been tapped to help guide the University of Dayton's plans to bring students back to campus in the fall, help monitor the impact of COVID-19 on campus, and inform any future medical decisions.

"This is a complex disease and our plans for the fall semester will touch every aspect of campus life," said University President Eric F. Spina. "In addition to the leadership of the University's medical director, Dr. Mary Buchwalder, and our strong relationship with Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County, we wanted to make sure we had a full range of specialists to ensure we're making the best decisions." 

Dr. Buchwalder said: “I look forward to the collaboration with our advisory panel as we navigate the challenges of this new disease. Scientific knowledge and recommendations about COVID-19 continue to evolve rapidly, so connecting with local physicians for support, advice and vetting of our plans helps us determine the best path forward for our students to return in the safest way possible.”

Through partnerships with Premier Health, Wright State Physicians and Miami Valley Emergency Specialists, the specialists on the University of Dayton COVID-19 Medical Advisory Panel are acting as resources to the University’s working groups on developing plans for the fall. Recently, one of the doctors toured various campus sites and explained how the panel is assisting the University.

"We are looking at COVID management at the University from all different angles — from residence halls to what happens when someone is exposed to COVID, to what happens when a student has COVID, to the classrooms, to the social activities and the sporting events," said Dr. Steven Burdette, chair of the advisory panel and medical director for infection control at Miami Valley Hospital. 

"We're really trying to take an encompassing look at this to make sure we don't leave any stones unturned," added Dr. Burdette, who also serves as an infectious disease specialist with Wright State Physicians and the Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State University.

Once the semester begins and students are back on campus, the panel will continue to provide expert advice on an ongoing basis, reviewing protocols, particularly as medical breakthroughs on COVID-19 evolve, and providing guidance if there are any outbreaks of the disease on campus. 

The panel includes:

  • Dr. Steven Burdette, UD COVID-19 Medical Advisory Panel chair; professor of internal medicine; director of the Infectious Disease Fellowship Program for Wright State Physicians and the Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State University; and medical director of infection control at Miami Valley Hospital
  • Dr. Joe Allen, family medicine, Premier Health Family Care of Vandalia; and primary care regional medical director, Premier Physician Network
  • Dr. Roberto Colon, associate chief medical officer, Miami Valley Hospital; system vice president of quality and safety, Premier Health; and associate professor of internal medicine and associate program director of the internal medicine residency program, Wright State University
  • Dr. Tom Herchline, professor of internal medicine education and infectious disease specialist, Wright State Physicians and the Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State University. Dr. Herchline served as medical director for Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County from 2005 to 2017.
  • Dr. Jeff James, sports medicine, Premier Orthopedics; medical director and head physician for University of Dayton athletics
  • Dr. Greg Kohls, emergency medicine, Miami Valley Emergency Specialists
  • Paula Thompson, president and CEO, Fidelity Health Care

The University is currently working toward development of a plan for bringing students back to campus in the fall and expects classes will involve a mixture of face-to-face, online and hybrid instruction.

"Our goal is to develop the best possible academic experience for our students while maintaining flexibility in instruction in this current environment," Spina said. "We are preparing to carry out our educational mission in a number of different ways, with the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff as our highest priority."


News and Communications Staff