Dr. Ann Sheehy Named to First-Ever Big Ten Conference Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases

Ann Sheehy, MD, MS, associate professor and division head, Hospital Medicine (pictured above), was named a member of the Big Ten Conference's first-ever Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases. Initially formed on March 7, 2020 at the request of Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren, the 14-member task force consists of a representative from each Conference institution appointed by the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors.

The Task Force was formed to provide counsel and sound medical advice to ensure the health, safety and wellness of the Big Ten’s students, coaches, administrators and fans. Members of the Task Force represent a diverse set of disciplines across campus healthcare systems and schools of public health, and their input will serve as a resource for the Conference to make important decisions based on information received from local, state and federal health departments, along with the NCAA.

The group is chaired by Dr. Chris Kratochvil, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Clinical Research and Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), as well as the Executive Director of the Global Center for Health Security at UNMC and Nebraska Medicine.

“The Task Force leverages extraordinary expertise from across the Big Ten, tackling COVID-19 related issues important to student-athletes and athletic programs,” said Dr. Kratochvil. “Strong participation by all of the Big Ten universities has provided for a robust and synergistic team. The group serves as a resource to the entire Conference, addressing current infectious disease concerns, while preparing the Big Ten for the safe resumption of athletic activities in the future.”

The Task Force has been working via weekly conference calls to assist the Conference and its member institutions with best practices both currently, in light of the fluidity of the COVID-19 pandemic, and long term. The group has provided input during Conference discussions regarding the cancellation of winter and spring sports competition during the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year and will provide critical guidance around return-to-campus decisions at the appropriate time.

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