Message from the President - 4/17/2020
Dear Southeast Family,
As we continue to navigate yet another week in this new reality, I want to thank all of you—faculty, staff, and students—for the outstanding job you are doing. Everyone has had to adjust quickly to an uncertain situation that changes almost moment-to-moment. Please know how much I appreciate each and every one of you!
Once again, I want to remind all of you to communicate as often as possible and to support each other. Whether we are juggling multiple tasks, working or studying from home while homeschooling our kids, or we are isolated from friends and family in order to protect ourselves and others, we are all outside of our comfort zones. We are all having to make sacrifices and adapt to a new reality.
At Southeast, we continue to be the community’s college. During this unprecedented crisis, our faculty, staff and students have stepped up for people and organizations in their communities, including:
- The College’s Nursing and Respiratory Care programs have donated to six area hospitals: Middlesboro ARH, Harlan ARH, Barbourville ARH, Whitesburg ARH, Harlan Health and Rehabilitation Center, and Pineville Community Health Center. So far, the College has donated over 6,000 masks, nearly 200 gowns, 25 lab coats, and 14 boxes of gloves. The College has respirators, ventilators, and hospital beds on reserve should they be needed. Some members of our faculty and staff are making masks at home.
- At the IDEAS center on our Middlesboro Campus, we are using our 3D-printers to create face shields for medical personnel and other first responders. So far, we have produced and delivered nearly 300 and are processing orders of 200 more. Shields have been delivered to several local fire departments, clinics, nursing homes, and hospitals.
- The parking lots at all five of our campuses offer Wi-Fi hotspots for community members who have no access to broadband Internet services. KCTCS has tracked as many as 1,300 people an hour using these hotspots. Southeast locations serve several hundred each day.
- Southeast continues to have food and clothing available for community members in need through the colleges’ food pantries and care closets.
Please be sure to share your stories of ways in which you and your family are helping your community.
I am sure you have been keeping up with Governor Beshear’s daily briefings. As he has discussed, he is working with Governors from Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, to reopen our economy in increments within Federal guidelines. We should learn more specifics within the coming days. Also, thanks to the generosity of private companies, we have been able to significantly expand our COVID-19 testing capacity throughout the state. While we are still seeing an increase in positive cases, and we continue to suffer the loss of our fellow Kentuckians, our social distancing efforts have kept our numbers lower than they would have been otherwise.
However, please do not let this good news allow you to become complacent. All indications are that our numbers have not peaked, and we would experience major setbacks if we were to relax our efforts too soon. Please continue to stay strong and stay the course.
As always, remember that these conditions are temporary, and although they are hard, we will get through them. Thank you again for all that you do.
Vic Adams, Ph.D.