UNMC Doctor Leading Big Ten Conference Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases

UNMC Doctor Leading Big Ten Conference Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases

The first-ever Big Ten Conference Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases has Nebraska influence at the forefront.

Chairing the group is Dr. Chris Kratochvil,  who is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Clinical Research and Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and 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.”

Each conference school is represented within the 14-member group. It was initially formed March 7 at the request of Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren “to provide counsel and sound medical advice to ensure the health, safety and wellness of the Big Ten’s students, coaches, administrators and fans.”

“These are unprecedented times in our world and the focus of any conversation taking place in college athletics right now is the health, safety and welfare of students and the public,” said Warren. “We are truly blessed to have a collection of world-class research institutions with the resources and talented medical experts on campus that allowed us to quickly assemble this task force to address a global pandemic.”

The Task Force will have a say in not only decisions during the current COVID-19 pandemic, but going forward as well. Their guidance will help Big Ten decision makers on sports returning.

“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,” said Dr. Kratochvil.

The Big Ten canceled all conference and non-conference competitions through the end of the academic year March 12 and currently has a suspension of all team activities through May 4.

Complete membership for the Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases is listed below:

Illinois Dr. Robert Parker Director of the McKinley Health Center
Indiana Dr. Larry Rink Clinical Professor of Medicine and Team Physician
Iowa Dr. Edith Parker Dean, College of Public Health
Maryland Dr. Boris Lushniak Dean, School of Public Health
Michigan Dr. Preeti Malani Chief Health Officer
Michigan State Dr. David Weismantel University Physician
Minnesota Dr. Brad Nelson Medical Director and Team Physician, Dept. of Athletics
Nebraska Dr. Chris Kratochvil Associate Vice Chancellor for Clinical Research
Northwestern Luke Figora Chief Risk and Compliance Officer
Ohio State Dr. Susan Koletar Director, Division of Infectious Diseases
Penn State Dr. Roberta Millard Assistant Professor and Team Physician
Purdue Dr. Gail Walenga Director, Student Health Center
Rutgers Dr. Vicente Gracias Sr. Vice Chancellor for Clinical Affairs, Chief Academic Officer RWJBH
Wisconsin Dr. Ann Sheehy Assoc. Professor & Clinician, School of Medicine & Public Health

Table courtesy BigTen.org