Our dedication extends far beyond campus.

Temple is grounded in our desire to serve. We quickly came together to treat patients, innovate ideas and forge pathways toward a better understanding of the virus. We actively pursue resources and services for our neighbors and community members. Temple’s reach is defined by our commitment to all.

Temple University Hospital Medical Staff 

Referred to by WHYY as “ground zero” for the pandemic in Philadelphia, Temple University Hospital houses the most COVID-19 patients in the city, and its staff are serving on the front line of the pandemic. In March 2020, the hospital quickly converted its Esther K. Boyer Pavilion—which typically is an administrative building—into the space where patients with the virus receive the critical care they need from the hospital’s medical teams.

Temple University Hospital medical doctors and nurses not only provide necessary patient care, they also serve as thought leaders in research and, at times, as friends and family members for patients.

Dr. Gerard Criner, director of the Temple Lung Center and chair and professor of thoracic medicine and surgery in the Lewis Katz School of Medicine, is the principal investigator for the first U.S. clinical trial for an experimental therapy treatment for the virus. A recent Philadelphia Magazine article highlighted a typical day for Criner at the hospital, noting that he spends 18 hours on his rounds and studying critical data.

In an interview with WHYY, Francine Frezghi, president of the Temple University Hospital Nurses Association, remarked that nurses often step in as support systems for patients whose families cannot be with them due to restrictions, providing the emotional care patients need in addition to healthcare. In many cases, the hospital’s nurses are the only visitors patients can see.

Temple Transforms the Liacouras Center

In March, we announced plans to transition the university’s Liacouras Center into a temporary facility—Temporary Surge Facility at the Liacouras Center—to aid the city’s hospitals as the number of patients who needed treatment increased. Through the collaboration of Temple staff, Spectra Venue Management and the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management officials, the first patients were admitted for treatment in April. It housed patients over 18 who were in the final stages of their recovery.

Serving Our City

See how the Liacouras Center—Temple’s multipurpose venue that typically hosts campus events—became a medical facility.

Public Health Efforts

Temple’s College of Public Health faculty experts join alumni working on the front lines for a series of panel sessions called Beyond the Biology. Together, panel participants explore COVID-19 beyond the symptoms—how it impacts health socially, emotionally, mentally and physically. People are encouraged to submit questions and comments for experts to address in the sessions. Session topics include how the pandemic has impacted health delivery, people with developmental disabilities, mental health and more. All sessions are available to the public.

Krys Johnson, assistant professor of epidemiology and biostatistics in the College of Public Health, shared her expertise about how COVID-19 impacts population health in our communities and how the public perceives health guidelines. In April, she was interviewed by 6ABC Action News anchor Tamala Edwards to discuss contact tracing for the virus, which involves tracking and alerting individuals who have been exposed. She notes that contact tracing helps the city identify when reopenings can occur based on the number of cases per 100,000 people.

In May, Johnson spoke to Fortune Magazine and explained why public health recommendations may change and evolve over time, often creating a sense of confusion among populations. Since so little was known about the virus at the start of the pandemic, Johnson stated that many scientists stress the importance of reducing risk.

Research and Relief Efforts

Temple is actively involved in research and relief efforts that push us further toward understanding the virus and providing support for the well-being of everyone. The entire Temple community came together to create solutions, offer resources and share knowledge to expand awareness and alleviate impact.

Temple Thought Leadership

Administrators, faculty and staff from across the university have shared their expertise and collaborated on endeavors to help the public better understand and provide solutions for the medical and social impacts of COVID-19.

Scott Burris

Director, Center for Public Health Law Research

Scott Burris, director of the Center for Public Health Law Research at Temple University, addressed as early as March what the coronavirus quarantine might look like for the United States.

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Frank Farley

Professor, Psychological Studies in Education

Frank Farley, Laura H. Carnell Professor of psychological studies in education at Temple University and a practicing psychologist, explores potential coping mechanisms for children and adults struggling to adapt in an increasingly uncertain world.

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Sara Goldrick-Rab

Director, The Hope Center for College Community and Justice

Sara Goldrick-Rab, the founding director of The Hope Center for College Community and Justice, a Temple University-based research group focused on college students’ needs, and a sociology professor in the College of Liberal Arts, speaks to the struggles—and the hopes—of housing-insecure students.

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Jerry Stahler

Professor, Department of Geography and Urban Studies

Jerry Stahler, a clinical psychologist and professor in Temple University’s Department of Geography and Urban Studies, addresses the inherent difficulties facing those with a substance use disorder or alcohol addiction.

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Yang Yang

Associate Professor, School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management

Yang Yang, an associate professor in the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management at Temple University, discusses the overall economic impact of the pandemic in Philadelphia and, more specifically, its tourism industry.

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