April 22, 2020

Dispatch From Campus: Occupational Health and Safety

  • Jason Holmgren delivered a donation of masks and gloves to Oregon Health & Science University in early April.

On March 17, 2020, President Wiewel announced that only critical-services staff should report to work on campus. This Q&A series offers a closer look at how the stay-at-home order has affected various campus services and operations.

The following Q&A caught up with Occupational Health and Safety Manager Jason Holmgren.

What is it about your job that requires you to work on campus?

Since campus closed, much of my time has been spent coordinating the student relocation effort to a consolidated set of residence halls. While some of my typical daily duties can be performed remotely, many require my physical presence on campus.

How has your job changed?

My job already has many different facets; the priorities are what have changed. Keeping the remaining students and staff safe by providing protective equipment and disinfectant, while working with Student Life, Health & Wellness, Campus Safety, and Bon Appetit to continue providing ongoing care is the highest priority.

Can you tell us about any interactions that highlight the morale and/or creativity of students living on campus during this difficult time?

After helping students during the relocation, most remain pretty upbeat. I’m interested to see how general morale is affected by a prolonged period of isolation amid the campus closure.

What are you doing to keep yourself occupied during this stay-at-home order?

My work duties have been keeping me very busy, but I’ve also had plenty of time to spend with my family and perform deferred household projects.

What personal hobby or activity are you most looking forward to when this pandemic is over?

When spring rolls around, the smell of fresh-cut grass always gives rise to a yearning for baseball. Both my son and I are on teams, and I miss getting outside to chase down fly balls and cheer on my son’s team. Things will start to feel normal again when we’re able to gather to watch a little league game.

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