Archive for February, 2021

UVA Health – Challenges during COVID and the future

Thursday, February 11th, 2021

Dr. Craig Kent, executive vice president for health affairs at the University of Virginia, spoke on the challenges during the COVID pandemic including UVA’s COVID vaccination rollout first to health care staff and then to those over 75, and on the current status and future of UVA Health.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

To determine current eligibility and fill out a survey to obtain an appointment, go to the Virginia Department of Health, Blue Ridge Health District at, or call the district hotline at 434-972-6261.  There is now a state-wide hotline at 877-275-8343 that is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

To see a video of the Zoom presentation with moderator Rich DeMong, SSV Past President, click this link:

A podcast is also available here.

Dr. Craig KentK. Craig Kent, MD, is the executive vice president for health affairs at the University of Virginia. He is responsible for overseeing all UVA Health operations and reports directly to the president. A researcher, educator and physician, Dr. Kent is an internationally recognized leader in academic medicine. He was elected to the 2019 class of inductees into the National Academy of Medicine, one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine. He is the 2019-2020 chair of the American Board of Surgery.

Prior to joining UVA Health, Dr. Kent served as dean of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, vice president for health sciences and the Leslie H. and Abigail S. Wexner Dean’s Chair in Medicine. In his nearly four years as dean, Dr. Kent helped Ohio State make significant investments in research through growth of infrastructure and recruitment.

Before Ohio State, Dr. Kent served as chair of the Department of Surgery at University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health, and was chief of the Division of Vascular Surgery at Weill Medical College of Cornell University and Columbia College of Physician Surgeons.

He has been a funded researcher for more than 25 years, investigating molecular mechanisms underlying vascular disease with the goal of developing new treatments using innovative methods of drug delivery.

Dr. Kent has authored more than 325 articles and 65 book chapters and has served on the editorial boards of multiple medical journals. He has lectured nationally and internationally with more than 50 named visiting professorships and keynote presentations.

Dr. Kent earned his medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco, where he also completed his surgical residency. He then completed a research and clinical fellowship in vascular surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Program Summary

UVA Health has four sections: the medical school, nursing school, physician organization and hospitals including three hospitals in Northern Virginia. It has 14,000 employees and yearly revenue of $3 billion. One goal of the organization is to transition from the patient coming to the doctor, with the doctor going to the patient and care provided by a whole team on site, not just one physician. This new philosophy will be one focus of the new strategic plan being developed in the summer of 2021.

COVID information and questions from the audience filled the remainder of the meeting. UVA developed a COVID test early that had a six-hour turnaround time to diagnose the disease. They built negative-pressure rooms holding 84 beds to provide care for very ill COVID patients to decrease mortality.

Concerning the administration of the vaccine, Dr. Kent said that the VA Department of Health controls the supply distribution. Currently UVA has a location in the former Big Lots building  in Seminole Square, and has a capacity to deliver 3,000 shots per day. The supply has only been 3,500 per week. Admitting that specific answers for seniors would be preferable, Dr. Kent stressed that the recommendations for COVID vaccinations and the supply of vaccine are moving targets, and they change when more information is available from the Department of Health. For those who have had the vaccine, the current plan is to “stay the course” with masking, social distancing and personal hygiene.