MSU Community Unites to Fight Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19

Mar 26, 2020

Michigan State University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. has restructured the administration of the colleges of Human Medicine, Nursing and Osteopathic Medicine, and promoted Norman J. Beauchamp Jr. to the new position of executive vice president for health sciences overseeing the colleges as well as clinical practices. 

Beauchamp is supporting MSU’s community response to the novel coronavirus outbreak


“We need to take this very seriously,” says Beauchamp. “Sometimes in trying to give people optimism, we lose the fact that part of the reason for optimism is that if we take it seriously and adhere to the recommendations, that’s when we can be optimistic that we will have a good outcome.

“This is very different from an optimism that would cause people not to take this seriously. Then you will need to be very concerned because we won’t have the type of success some communities have had in the battle against the coronavirus.”

Beauchamp encourages us all to perform random acts of kindness in these perilous times to help assuage the fear, anxiety, and worry many citizens are feeling. He says he’s struck by how the community is coming together.

“We’re bringing together all those involved in providing health care and making sure we’re all using best practices and working together. And we’re mobilizing strengths across the university, like our top ranked supply chain program. How do you get resources to people when they need them?”

Beauchamp touts the volunteerism ethos MSU students and the “desire to give back” they’re showing in the community. And he credits university physician Dave Weismantel, MSU IQ leader Chris Contag, and Jeff Dwyer’s team at MSU Extension, among many others, for their efforts in coming together to battle the virus.

He talks about interacting with the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP), the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, Sparrow, McLaren and many others.

“One of the key things that a university is designed to do is to serve the community. It’s been inspirational how people have come together in difficult times. LEAP and the Chamber came together with MSU to bring together the community’s strengths to solve some of the challenges we’re facing. It’s really been a wonderful coming together.”

Dr. Beauchamp describes planning efforts to establish drive-through testing on campus and the potential to use dorms, Kellogg Center, and athletic facilities as field hospitals.

“When this comes, Spartans will be ready. I’m really pleased that we’re getting way out in front of this.”

Beauchamp celebrates food industry workers and emphasizes the importance of following the guidelines. He talks about the development of telehealth, which can help diagnose and treat COVID-19.

And he wants us all to have hope.

“Our community and state have done a really terrific job responding. Adhere to the guidelines, be kind and thoughtful to each other, and volunteer when you can. We will absolutely come through this on the other side as a community.

“And our community should know that MSU is working really hard to support the community, which is really the call of a university.”

MSU Today airs Sunday mornings at 9:00 on 105.1 FM and AM 870. Follow and subscribe at Spotify, Apple Podcasts, You Tube, or wherever you get your podcasts.