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May 2020 Dean's Letter

Dear Weill Cornell Medicine Community,

So much has happened in the past ten weeks since the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 began to emerge in New York City.  In an incredibly short period of time, we switched to remote learning, implemented social distancing protocols and work-from-home capabilities, and suspended non-essential research.  We focused our energies and resources on meeting the surge in patients, and in close collaboration with NewYork-Presbyterian, worked to acquire personal protective equipment and respirators, redeployed staff to areas of urgent need, created specialized screening and treatment facilities, developed new tests and clinical protocols, and provided exceptional care to many, many patients.

Our faculty, staff, and students have been resilient and flexible throughout these extraordinary times.  They’ve stepped up to find creative solutions to unforeseen challenges, and they’ve taken on new responsibilities and roles with determination and resourcefulness.  Our healthcare workers on the front lines of care have inspired us with their courage, and we’ve tried to support them in any way we can, even by simply staying at home and cheering them in the evenings.

Despite the pause on many of our on-campus clinical, research, and educational activities, Weill Cornell Medicine has remained busy, as we carry on much of our operations remotely.  In the new normal, we expect some of these methods for staying connected, like telemedicine and remote training sessions, to continue. 

As we plan our recovery, our top priority is to ensure a safe and secure environment for our patients, students, faculty, and staff.  We are taking a measured and phased approach to resuming activities across our mission, and we are working closely with our many partners to identify the steps that we will need to take to achieve our strategic goals and long-term success. Throughout the entire process, we are being guided by public health recommendations and directives from the government.

Every day during the past ten weeks I have been inspired by each and every member of our community.  Our healthcare workers on the front lines, our faculty, staff, students, and board have all demonstrated their commitment to our patients in so many ways, often behind the scenes.  Thank you so much for everything that do for Weill Cornell Medicine, for our patients in New York City, and for the health of people around the world.  We are getting through this challenging time and are moving forward, together.


Augustine M.K. Choi, MD

Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean
Weill Cornell Medicine
Provost for Medical Affairs
Cornell University