Taking the lead on transitioning out of social distancing

UT Health San Antonio experts have been appointed by San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff to develop strategies to help the city and county safely ease social distancing restrictions while also combating the spread of coronavirus.

Barbara Taylor, M.D., M.S., will lead the new COVID-19 Health Transition Team.

Barbara Taylor, M.D., M.S., associate professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Long School of Medicine, will lead the new COVID-19 Health Transition Team.

“I am honored to have been asked to lead the team,” Dr. Taylor said. “Several of my colleagues from UT Health San Antonio and I will work alongside leaders from University Health System, San Antonio Metro Health and other health institutions. We look forward to using our combined expertise and the best science available to benefit the health of our community.”

Also appointed to the team are Tom Patterson, M.D., professor and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, Ruth Berggren, M.D., professor of infectious diseases and director of the university’s Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics and Dr. Amelie Ramirez, professor and chair of the Department of Population Health Sciences and director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research.

Jason Morrow, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of geriatrics, gerontology and palliative medicine and a member of the Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics, will serve through his position as medical director of Inpatient Palliative Care Services at University Health System, a clinical partner of UT Health San Antonio.

They will work alongside other top medical and public health experts in the city and county.

Stay Home, Work Safe social distancing orders have helped save lives, Nirenberg and Wolff wrote in a joint memo to the San Antonio City Council and Bexar County Commissioners Court.

“Nevertheless,” they wrote, “these measures are not permanent, and our community needs a local strategy to reenter into everyday life.”

The COVID-19 Health Transition Team was tasked with developing a health transition plan by April 27. Read the team’s report here.

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