Pandemic Medical Advisory Team

Pandemic Medical Advisory Team decision-making framework for Changes to State of Campus Operations

The Pandemic Medical Advisory Team — comprising nine of the region’s top medical doctors and public health officials — was established to help inform our decisions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the primary tasks of this team is to develop a data-driven decision-making framework to shape decisions regarding campus operations in a way that prioritizes health and safety.
The team’s full decision-making framework is available here.

Below is a summary of the three key elements of the framework.

States of Campus Operations

The framework creates a continuum of five states of campus operation based on varying levels of population density. The five states range from Level 1 to Level 5, with Level 1 being a fully open campus and Level 5 being a mostly closed campus.

  • Level 1: Campus Open with New Normal of Managed Density
  • Level 2: Campus Open with Moderate Density
  • Level 3: Campus Open with Low Density
  • Level 4: Campus Open with Ultralow Density
  • Level 5: Campus Open to Essential Personnel and Individuals Only

Relevant Circumstances and Data

The framework has more than 30 indicators – including metric-based and non-metric-based indicators – we will use to inform decisions and evaluate our state of campus operations. These indicators are grouped into four categories: community considerations, campus considerations, leading indicators, and lagging indicators.

It’s important to understand that these criteria will be evaluated collectively, and their relative importance may change as circumstances change. In other words, there is no single indicator, single circumstance, “magic number” or “trigger” that will alone lead us to change the state of campus operations. Rather, the Pandemic Medical Advisory Team will evaluate all of these metrics when making decisions regarding campus operations.


Third, this framework lays out seven specific interventions that can deployed if the public health situation worsens on campus or in the community. Examples include heightened social distancing, specific residence hall occupancy reductions, and expanded testing.


Pandemic Medical Advisory Team


The Pandemic Medical Advisory Team comprises nine of the region’s top medical doctors, public health officials and scientists. Each member brings tremendous expertise and a unique perspective that has benefited the team’s decision-making framework. As a result, we can be confident that decisions related to campus operations will be data-driven and guided by the latest science, and will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our university above all else.

Team members include:

Douglas A. Girod, M.D.
University of Kansas

Thomas Marcellino, M.D.
Douglas County Health Officer
Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health Department

Graig Nickel, M.D.
Medical Director
Watkins Health Services, University of Kansas

Matthias Salathe, M.D.
Interim Vice Chancellor for Research
School of Medicine, KU Medical Center

Jennifer Schrimsher, M.D., M.P.H.
Infectious Diseases Physician
Lawrence Memorial Hospital

Robert Simari, M.D.
Executive Vice Chancellor
KU Medical Center

John Stipetich 
Interim Emergency Management Coordinator
University of Kansas

Steve Stites, M.D.
Committee Chair, Vice Chancellor for Clinical Affairs 
School of Medicine, KU Medical Center

David Volkin, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry
University of Kansas