Student Stories: Laura Polito, OOMPH Fall 2019

I am the Associate Medical Director of University Health Services at UC Santa Barbara. The clinical part of my job encompasses managing and providing care in our urgent care department here at Student Health at UCSB. Flu season is tough in any urgent care, and given the high density housing at any college campus, influenza transmits quickly, and we see a lot of sick people. Luckily, in our setting, it’s generally high volume and low acuity. In March, campus closed and 90% of the students went home. I went from being a clinician to a public health practitioner almost overnight. Our first task was to entirely restructure the clinic to protect the health and safety of our students and staff. We have transitioned to doing the majority of our one on one patient visits via telehealth. I am now participating in the task force to re-open the campus in a safe and secure way. This will involve mass testing, tracing, and supported isolation of our UCSB population.

— Dr. Laura Polito MD, Online MPH 2019

To learn more about Berkeley Public Health’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the COVID-19 Resource Page.

To learn more about online academic programs at Berkeley Public Health, visit the Public Health Online program page.