Message from the Dean April 20, 2020

April 20, 2020

Dear Students,

We’re now into our fourth week of remote instruction.  I hope that by now, you feel settled in this new learning environment and have reached out for any assistance you need during this transition.

There are many resources out there you can take advantage of during the COVID-19 pandemic to help you manage stress and your mental health.  Here are some free resources:

Headspace Application
Breethe Application
WHO: Mental Health and Psychosocial Considerations During the COVID-19 Outbreak
CDC: Daily Life Stress and Coping
AMA: Managing Mental Health During COVID-19
APA: Working Remotely During COVID-19: Your Mental Health & Well-Being
National Academy of Medicine Clinical Resilience and Well-Being Resources 

The Student Accessibility Support Center (SASC) is open and all appointments are being conducted via phone or virtual meeting.  If you need assistance or require accommodations to maximize your learning experience, please contact SASC at (631) 632-6748,, or visit the website.

In a recent email from Gary Kaczmarczyk, AVP of Environmental Health and Safety at Stony Brook, the University is dedicated to keeping the campus community safe.  Extremely important reminders and actions to take to decrease the spread of COVID-19:

  1. The virus is still prevalent.  The curve may be “flattening” in some areas, but people are still infected, whether they are or are not demonstrating symptoms. We also know that the virus sheds and is spread easily.   
  2. Governor Cuomo issued a new Executive Order on 4/15/20 that requires all people in New York to wear masks or face coverings in public.  Everyone on campus in direct contact with members of the campus community or the general public must wear a face covering and/or mask. This helps prevent the spread of the virus to others. 
  3. Continue active social distancing maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.

The best way to prevent illness is to participate in behaviors that help in avoidance of being exposed to this virus.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, throw the tissue away, and then wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects or surfaces such as remote keyboards and doorknobs.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick. Call your doctor if you develop fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. 

For more information on how to safely wear and care for face coverings and masks, please click on this link: Care and Use of Face Coverings and Masks for COVID-19 

As per my last email, there will be a University-wide virtual commencement ceremony in May.  The School of Health Technology and Management will be designing a web page to acknowledge our 2020 degree candidates.  The SHTM graduation task force has been meeting regularly, and the web page will be available on Friday, May 22, 2020.  An announcement will go out in May, to include the web page link.  In addition, the University is considering possible in-person convocation ceremonies sometime when it is safe to return to campus. When I receive further information, I will share it as soon as possible. 

Lastly, when predictions of ventilator shortfalls were on the horizon, SHTM faculty member and respiratory therapist, John Brittelli, RT, MS, RRT-NPS, RPFT, and colleagues from CEAS and RSOM moved fast to meet the challenge head on, creating the CoreVent 2020 Ventilator in 10 days.  Please see the article here to learn how they did it.

As always, we offer our support and assistance with any challenges you are facing during this time.

Please reply to this email and let us know how you’re doing.


Stacy Jaffee Gropack, PT., Ph.D., FASAHP
Dean and Professor 
School of Health Technology and Management