Maternal Deaths In the US More Than Doubled Over Two Decades. Black Mothers Died At the Highest Rate.
Karen Joynt Maddox, MD spoke with the Associated Press about a recent study on the alarmingly high rate of maternal mortality.
Maternal deaths across the U.S. more than doubled over the course of two decades, and the tragedy unfolded unequally.
Black mothers died at the nation’s highest rates, while the largest increases in deaths were found in American Indian and Native Alaskan mothers. And some states — and racial or ethnic groups within them – fared worse than others.
The findings were laid out in a new study published Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers looked at maternal deaths between 1999 and 2019 — but not the pandemic spike — for every state and five racial and ethnic groups.
“It’s a call to action to all of us to understand the root causes — to understand that some of it is about health care and access to health care, but a lot of it is about structural racism and the policies and procedures and things that we have in place that may keep people from being healthy,” said Dr. Allison Bryant, one of the study’s authors and a senior medical director for health equity at Mass General Brigham.
Among wealthy nations, the U.S. has the highest rate of maternal mortality, which is defined as a death during pregnancy or up to a year afterward. Common causes include excessive bleeding, infection, heart disease, suicide and drug overdose.
Bryant and her colleagues at Mass General Brigham and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington started with national vital statistics data on deaths and live births. They then used a modeling process to estimate maternal mortality out of every 100,000 live births.
Overall, they found rampant, widening disparities. The study showed high rates of maternal mortality aren’t confined to the South but also extend to regions like the Midwest and states such as Wyoming and Montana, which had high rates for multiple racial and ethnic groups in 2019.
Researchers also found dramatic jumps when they compared maternal mortality in the first decade of the study to the second, and identified the five states with the largest increases between those decades. Those increases exceeded:
— 162% for American Indian and Alaska Native mothers in Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Rhode Island and Wisconsin;
— 135% for white mothers in Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri and Tennessee;
— 105% for Hispanic mothers in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Tennessee;
— 93% for Black mothers in Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, New Jersey and Texas;
— 83% for Asian and Pacific Islander mothers in Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan and Missouri.
“I hate to say it, but I was not surprised by the findings. We’ve certainly seen enough anecdotal evidence in a single state or a group of states to suggest that maternal mortality is rising,” said Dr. Karen Joynt Maddox, a health services and policy researcher at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis who wasn’t involved in the study. “It’s certainly alarming, and just more evidence we have got to figure out what’s going on and try to find ways to do something about this.”
Maddox pointed to how, compared with other wealthy nations, the U.S. underinvests in things like social services, primary care and mental health. She also said Missouri hasn’t funded public health adequately and, during the years of the study, hadn’t expanded Medicaid. They’ve since expanded Medicaid — and lawmakers passed a bill giving new mothers a full year of Medicaid health coverage. Last week, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed budget bills that included $4.4 million for a maternal mortality prevention plan.
In neighboring Arkansas, Black women are twice as likely to have pregnancy-associated deaths as white women, according to a 2021 state report.
Dr. William Greenfield, the medical director for family health at the Arkansas Department of Health, said the disparity is significant and has “persisted over time,” and that it’s hard to pinpoint exactly why there was an increase in the state’s maternal mortality rate for Black mothers.
Rates among Black women have long been the worst in the nation, and the problem affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds. For example, U.S. Olympic champion sprinter Tori Bowie, 32, died from complications of childbirth in May.
The pandemic likely exacerbated all of the demographic and geographic trends, Bryant said, and “that’s absolutely an area for future study.” According to preliminary federal data, maternal mortality fell in 2022 after rising to a six-decade high in 2021 — a spike experts attributed mainly to COVID-19. Officials said the final 2022 rate is on track to get close to the pre-pandemic level, which was still the highest in decades.
Bryant said it’s crucial to understand more about these disparities to help focus on community-based solutions and understand what resources are needed to tackle the problem.
Arkansas already is using telemedicine and is working on several other ways to increase access to care, said Greenfield, who is also a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Arkansas Medical Center in Little Rock and was not involved in the study.
The state also has a “perinatal quality collaborative,” a network to help health care providers understand best practices for things like reducing cesarean sections, managing complications with hypertensive disorders and curbing injuries or severe complications related to childbirth.
“Most of the deaths we reviewed and other places have reviewed … were preventable,” Greenfield said.
Dr. Karen Joynt-Maddox Testifies at Senate Finance Committee Hearing on Health Care
The U.S. Senate Committee on Finance held a hearing on June 8 addressing the growing trend of “Consolidation and Corporate Ownership in Health Care.” The hearing explored the increase of corporate ownership in medicine, and its impacts on patient access, quality of care, costs and market competition.
ACC member, Karen E. Joynt Maddox, MD, MPH, FACC, associate professor of medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, MO, was among those testifying before the Committee. She spoke on the role private equity plays in the current market, the importance of increased data collection on ownership, quality and cost, and the continued shift towards value-based care.
The full video of the hearing can be found here.
Dr. Nancy Sweitzer Editorial on DCD Trial Makes Headlines
A study published this month in the New England Journal, “Transplantation Outcomes with Donor Hearts after Circulatory Death” looked at outcomes of recipients of heart transplants where the donor had experienced circulatory death compared to those with donors who had experienced brain death.
The accompanying editorial by Professor of Medicine and Director of Clinical Research for the cardiovascular division, Dr. Nancy Sweitzer was also highlighted in news coverage of the trial publication.
Dr. Kory Lavine Named As New Director for Center of Cardiovascular Research
Cardiovascular Division Chief Dr. Sumanth Prabhu has announced that Kory Lavine, MD, PhD, will serve as the next Director of the Center for Cardiovascular Research (CCR), effective July 1, 2023. Dr. Lavine is currently Associate Professor of Medicine and Associate Director of the CCR. In his new role, he will succeed Dr. Jeanne Nerbonne, who has ably led the CCR for the past 10 years.
Dr. Lavine received his MD and PhD degrees under the auspices of the MSTP program at Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM), with his graduate work performed in the laboratory of Dr. David Ornitz. He then completed internal medicine residency, cardiovascular disease fellowship, and advanced heart failure and transplant fellowship, and post-doctoral research training in the laboratory of Dr. Douglas Mann as part of the WUSM PSTP program. He joined the divisional faculty in 2014 in the Section of Heart Failure and Transplantation as an Instructor of Medicine, and rapidly rose through the ranks to tenured Associate Professor in 2019. Dr. Lavine also serves as Co-Director of the Pediatric Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research T32 Training Program and Director of the Cardiovascular Precision Medicine Research Initiative.
In addition to being a heart failure-transplant clinician, Dr. Lavine is an internationally recognized as a leader in the field of cardio-immunology, especially related to innate immune responses in heart failure. He has made several seminal contributions in this area, including the delineation of functionally distinct macrophage populations in the heart, the role of embryonic-derived macrophages in coronary vessel growth and adaptive remodeling, and understanding the cellular landscape in the human failing heart using single cell sequencing. He has contributed immensely to the rich scientific and training environment of the CCR, and the growth and expansion of Center activities.
“I am thrilled that (Dr. Lavine) will be assuming the reigns of the CCR, the flagship cardiovascular research organization at WUSM, and lead it during its next phase of development,” wrote Dr. Prabhu in the announcement sent to the Division.
“I want to express my personal gratitude to Dr. Jeanne Nerbonne for her outstanding leadership of the CCR for the last decade. Under Dr. Nerbonne’s leadership, the CCR reached new heights in national scientific reputation, with faculty expansion and a strong and cohesive cardiovascular research and training community at WUSM.”
Dr. Prabhu Receives ISHR-NAS Innovator Award
Tuesday July 27th, Cardiovascular Division Chief Sumanth Prabhu, MD accepted the Innovator Award at the North American Meeting of the International Society of Heart Research, held this year in Madison, WI.
Dr. Prabhu presented a lecture at the meeting entitled “Heart Failure and Inflammation – A Loss of Macrophage Rhythm”, highlighting his lab’s research. The award is designed to recognize NAS member(s) of ISHR for innovative contributions to advance cardiovascular biology and medicine.
Congratulations to Dr. Prabhu on this outstanding recognition!
Fogarty Fellowship Proves Pivotal for Dr. Agarwal’s Career
Anubha Agarwal, MD, MSc, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Cardiovascular Division, has much to be thankful for, including the recent addition of her son born on January 1st of this year.
She attributes much of her current success to her time as an NIH Fogarty fellow from 2017-2018 while based in India. The Fogarty Global Health Training Programs offers a one-year mentored clinical research training opportunity for doctoral students and post-doctoral candidates from the U.S. and low and middle-income countries (LMICs), sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (Fogarty International Center) in partnership with several NIH Institutes and Offices.
Dr. Agarwal was recently invited to participate in the 20th Anniversary of the Global Health Fellows and Scholars Program at the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. She participated on a panel with other early-stage investigators and had the opportunity to share how the fellowship was pivotal in establishing her career as a global cardiovascular physician-scientist. During her time as a Fogarty Fellow, Dr. Agarwal led a team to study the effect of a quality improvement toolkit among 1,400 participants hospitalized with heart failure in Kerala, demonstrating improvement of rates of guideline-directed medical therapy in the intervention group.
The prestigious K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award provides her with the necessary advanced training in implementation science, clinical trial methods, and regulatory science for global pharmacological clinical trials to become an independent investigator and leader in global heart failure clinical trials with expertise in cardiovascular implementation science.
Dr. Agarwal’s research program focuses on developing, implementing, and evaluating a polypill-based implementation strategy for patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction in South Asia. The proposed polypill combines four different classes of guideline-recommended medications into one pill, transforming the heart failure care paradigm with simplified care.
“I am lucky to have a dream job here at WashU as a global cardiovascular physician-scientist, a career that I didn’t think was possible as an internal medicine resident interested in combining both cardiovascular medicine and global health during my Fogarty Fellowship. I spend my time thinking about ways to improve people’s lives all over the world, including in St. Louis, to improve global health, public health, and population health,” says Dr. Agarwal.
Dr. Amanda Verma Appointed to Heart Failure Society of America Committee
Dr. Amanda Verma, a heart failure and transplant specialist and Interim Director of cardio-obstetrics at the Washington University School of Medicine cardiovascular division, was recently appointed by the Heart Failure Society of America to their Women in Heart Failure Committee.
The Heart Failure Society of America is a multidisciplinary organization working to improve and expand heart failure care through collaboration, education, research, innovation, and advocacy. HFSA members include physicians, scientists, nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, and patients. The Women in Heart Failure Committee is tasked with the development and oversight of programs to promote the careers and interest in women in heart failure.
Dr. Verma’s appointment will begin later this year, ahead of the society’s Annual Scientific Meeting.
IMPACT Program Hosts Networking event for Faculty and Fellows
The IMPACT program, (Initiative for Mentoring, Promoting networking and Advocacy for Cardiology Trainees) led by Dr. Sharon Cresci recently held an event to celebrate female division faculty and fellows. The women enjoyed conversation, networking and great food and drink at Black Mountain Wine House in St. Louis.
IMPACT, launched by Dr. Cresci in 2014, provides female fellows the opportunity to connect with and be mentored by current faculty as well as network with past alumni. These experiences foster both personal and professional development, and promote leadership, career, and research opportunities, both during fellowship and after graduation. In addition to directing IMPACT, Dr. Cresci serves as a fellow liaison and advocate for our women fellows. She has an open-door policy for all female fellows with questions, problems or challenges that arise during the fellowship training. The IMPACT program is committed to supporting our women fellows in their efforts to achieve their career goals.
Welcoming Our New Fellows
The Cardiovascular Division welcomed a new class to our Cardiovascular Fellowship Program on July 1st! Please give these fellows a warm welcome. We are thrilled they are joining our division!
Way to Shine!
“The purchasing team reviewed all landlines based on our monthly bill for accuracy. Their changes are resulting in a $30k annual savings! I just want to say thank you for the work you did on this project. You are quite amazing and working so well as a team. You are very much appreciated!”
Other Way to Shine’s for this month were Jane Marcinko, Millie Cova, Kelsey Fassold, Donna Fuehne, and Malinda Allen.
If you catch someone in the act of shining, contact or send an email to email@example.com.
Clinical Spotlight: EP Device Nurses
Each month, Heart Matters will highlight a research lab or clinical program. We want everyone in the division to be proud of the work we do across all of our locations and disciplines.
Every day, patients receive life-saving care from the Wash U electrophysiology team. Many end up needing implantable devices, such as a pacemaker or an ICD (implantable cardioverter-defibrillator). These devices are crucial to ensure the patient’s heart rhythms are monitored and regulated as they go back to their daily lives and routines.
Our team of device nurses are experts on each of the many devices a patient may have. They educate patients on their use, monitor data the devices send, and work with patients to make sure they are getting the medical care they need for various heart conditions.
According to EP Nurse Manager Lisa Winter, NP, the device nursing team has grown a lot in the 7 years she has been in her position. “We now have 14 nurses who take care of devices in clinic.” This includes supporting the EP physicians they work with by ordering procedures, follow-up phone calls with patients, and device checks when the patient is seen.
Tonya Becker has been an EP nurse for 12 years. She says that there have been a lot of changes to the devices they work with over time. “New devices last longer,” she notes, “and pacemakers are now leadless.” The nurses have to learn about each new device that is used, and be prepared to explain to patients what the devices do and how to keep them transmitting data properly, typically using a box in their home that is paired with the implanted device and programmed to send data regularly.
Two fully remote device nurses, Luann Wierzchucki and Matt Falkinburg work together to monitor device databases every day. Matt has worked in nursing for 15 years, and notes that with tech like Bluetooth being available, device monitoring “has really taken off” in patient care. These remote nurses make notes in EPIC based on each device’s reports, whether the data is just a standard periodic report, or something more serious, like an abnormality in heart rhythm. Sometimes, the report contains information that a life-threatening event has occurred, and they call the patient to advise them to seek emergency care.
Device monitoring allows the nurses to address situations as they happen, and not wait for a patient to come in with a complaint or an emergency. Luann recently saw a report that indicated a patient had a VT episode, and was able to get them seen in the heart failure clinic the same day.
Jen Abbas, who works with patients in the CAM loves working with patients with devices, and says “they really want to learn about their device”, and notes that there’s always something for her to learn also. “The patients tell us they really trust EP.”
Tonya says that one of the best parts of her job is giving long-term care and getting to know her patients. “You get to know them and their families, over time”. Melissa Lovell is the newest nurse on the team, and she also appreciates the one-on-one time with the patients, but also thinks that having a large team of knowledgeable and helpful co-workers to reach out to is invaluable. “I don’t hesitate to call if I need help with things. There is great communication.”
The EP physician team also makes the workplace rewarding. Jen says “I read papers while I was in school by some of these doctors. Now I work with them”.
Thanks to these device nurses, as well as the rest of the team (which includes Stephen Tepen, Craig Hunt, Joan Krull, Kathleen Cross, Angie Smith, Sylvia Kimani, Katie Bain, Betty Level and Nurse Practitioners Lisa Winter, Angela Higgins and Erin Pinkerton), over 5,000 patients with devices are supported and monitored. These patients can be confident that they are receiving the best possible care.
Meet The Team: West County Schedulers
About the scheduling team
How long have you been in the division?
Hiedi has been with the division the longest, at almost 7 years. Brenda and Suzi both have 5 years. Cynthia has been with us 7 1/2 months, and Catherine joined the team this past April.
What is the best thing about your job?
Brenda says, “my co-workers and getting to interact with long haul patients.”
Cynthia says she loves interacting with the patients. “I love talking to them and helping them get where they need to go if they are lost. I love talking to my co-workers they make me smile everyday!”
For Catherine it is, “working with my co-workers but especially the patients.”
The highlight of work for Heidi is “reliable and knowledgeable coworkers.”
Suzi echoes her team’s sentiments. “I enjoy talking to the patients and all the people I work with.”
What do you like doing outside of work?
Catherine says she loves to relax with a good action movie. Heidi also likes movies, as well as DIY projects. Brenda loves to craft. Cynthia spends time reading, skating, praying, and talking to family and friends. Suzi loves spending time with her family and kids, although one of her kids lives in Australia!
What is your favorite summer activity?
Heidi, Cynthia, and Suzi love to travel in the summer. Suzi says she takes long weekends at table rock.
Brenda and Catherine like to take time to have family get togethers with fun and food outdoors.
Division Staffing Updates
Positions open for hiring:
JR70488 – Research Nurse Coordinator II – Clinical Trials
JR72592 – Research Cardiac Sonographer – Cardiovascular Imaging and Clinical Research Core Laboratory
JR74941– Clinical Research Coordinator I – Global Health Center and Labs of Drs. Dávila-Román, Huffman, and Mahmoud
JR73467 – Clinical Research Coordinator II – Clinical Trials
JR74120 – Clinical Research Financial Coordinator II – Clinical Trials
JR73579 – Research Specialist – Mouse Cardiovascular Phenotyping Core
JR74113 – Research Assistant – Dr. Sah Lab
JR75520 – Billing Scheduling Associate I – Patient Access Group
JR75261 – Research Coordinator – Dr. Javaheri Lab
JR75440 – Medical Assistant II – West County Practice
JR75599 – Nurse Practitioner – South County Practice
JR75603 – Medical Scribe – South County Practice
JR75595 – Pub Health Res Coord I – Dr. Joynt-Maddox Lab
JR75743 – Research Technician II – Dr. Javaheri Lab
Welcome to the Cardiovascular Division:
5/30/23 – Holly Manning – Research Coordinator I – Clinical Trials
6/1/23 – Shreya Rajasekar – Research Assistant – Dr. Prabhu Lab
6/6/23 – Ryan Mikami – Research Technician II – Dr. Sah Lab
6/12/23 – Daksha Daggumati – Lab Assistant I/Glasswasher – Dr. Sah Lab
6/19/23 – Julianti Pitts – Medical Assistant II – West County Practice
6/26/23 – Amy Norheim – Clinical Research Coordinator I – Clinical Trials
Congratulations on your Promotion:
Elizabeth Bolhafner – Media/Marketing Administrator
Carolyn Iezzi – Manager Medical Education Programs
Caroline Kempter – Research Nurse Coordinator II
Emily Shaver – Billing/Scheduling Associate II
Kyle Smith – Clinical Research Coordinator I
Farewell to these Cardiovascular Division employees. Thank you for your service, you will be missed!
Wanda Boineau, last day 6/30/2023
Amanda Geisler, last day 7/16/2023
Health & Wellness
Staying Hydrated This Summer
Emma Greenhill, MS, RD, LDN
Manicia Doss, DI
Importance of Hydration
What is hydration? Hydration is the replacement of fluid lost through different body processes such as sweating, respiration, and eliminating waste. Hydration is not just how much water you need but also involves electrolyte balance. Electrolytes that are needed for optimal hydration are sodium, calcium, potassium, chloride, phosphate, bicarbonate, and magnesium. Water and electrolytes are interrelated because being over-hydrated or dehydrated can cause electrolyte imbalance which can lead to health problems. Overall, for good hydration one needs to be replacing fluids and electrolytes. If dehydrated one may experience symptoms and signs such as lightheadedness, feeling thirsty, dry mouth, dark smelly urine, feeling tired, and confusion.
How to Know if You are Hydrated
Here are a couple ways to know if you are properly hydrated. The first method is to utilize a urine chart. If your urine is a pale-yellow then you are hydrated. If your urine is 100% clear, then you may be over-hydrated. If your urine is dark yellow-orange, or darker, then you are dehydrated. Other colors may indicate use of medication or supplements. The second method to make sure you are properly hydrated is to track the number of ounces you drink each day.
Water is in Foods and Beverages
Many foods and beverages contain water. It is recommended that women drink about 9 cups of fluid and men drink about 13 cups of fluid per day. If you think about it when making a cup of coffee, the majority is water! Same goes for tea. Other beverages with high water contents include smoothies, milk, fruit juice, and sports drinks. Although all beverages count as fluids, don’t forget to drink plenty of plain water. Many foods have high water content as well such as fruits and vegetables. For example, apples are 86% water, cucumbers are 96% water, broccoli is 90% water, and lettuce is 95% water. Other than fruits and vegetables, soups, broths, and some dairy products have high water content. Because of the water content in our foods, about 20% of our fluid needs are met through the foods we eat.
What Impacts Fluid Needs
There are many different aspects to consider when trying to figure out fluid needs. Take consideration of your physical activity. The duration, intensity, and type of exercise can impact fluid loss, which would need to be replaced. The weather needs to be taken into consideration too. Hot and/or humid climates may increase needs due to increased risk of sweating. Body size affects water needs. Someone who is bigger will need more water. Age impacts fluid needs. As we age our body’s ability to reserve and conserve water decreases, and our thirst cues decrease. Pay attention to your total fluid intake even if you don’t feel thirsty to stay properly hydrated.
Tips to Increase Hydration
Easy steps such as buying and carrying a water bottle throughout the day, setting alarms/reminders to drink water, drinking a glass of water at meal times, using a water tracker, and checking urine color are great ways to maintain and increase hydration.
Watermelon Slushie Recipe
Serves: 4 • Prep Time: 15 minutes • Total Time: 15 minutes
Created by the American Heart Association, this tasty treat makes a great snack or dessert. Change up the fruit to explore fun flavor combinations.
- 10 cups Seedless Watermelon Cubes, frozen for at least 24 hours
- 2–4 tbsp Maple Syrup
- Juice of 1 large Lime
- 1/4 cup Fresh Mint or Basil leaves, loosely packed (Optional, but recommended)
- 1 1/2 cup Filtered Water*
- First, let the Frozen Watermelon chunks sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes to defrost some. Then, add the Watermelon, 2 tbsp Maple Syrup, Lime Juice, Mint, and Water to a high-speed blender.
- Pulse the blender until the Watermelon starts to break up some, then blend to form a thick, slushy consistency. Adjust the Maple Syrup to taste, adding more if necessary. If the mixture is too thick for your liking, you can also add in extra water.
- Divide equally into 4 glasses, serve, and enjoy!
*For a fizzy alternative use sparkling water instead of filtered water
More information at: https://frommybowl.com/watermelon-slushie-recipe/
Do you have BJC Cigna? Remember that you have annual coverage to meet with me, Emma Greenhill, a Heart Care Institute dietitian. Call 314-996-8165 for more insurance information or to schedule an appointment.
Reminder of Upcoming Enhancements to 403(b) Retirement Savings Plan Effective July 1
As previously announced, the two-year waiting period for university contributions under the Retirement Savings Plan is being eliminated for all Faculty and Staff employees except facilities maintenance and power plant bargaining unit employees (“eligible Faculty and Staff employees”).
Effective with the first full pay period beginning on or after July 1, 2023, eligible Faculty and Staff who are in their two-year waiting period and contributing at least 5% of pay each pay period will receive a university contribution of 7% of pay beginning with the July 28, 2023, paycheck if they are paid bi-weekly and the July 31, 2023, paycheck if they are paid monthly. After ten years of service, the university contribution increases to 10% of pay.
In order to begin receiving the university contribution, you must contribute a minimum of 5% of pay to the plan per pay period. The deadline to enroll or change your contribution to at least 5% in order to receive the university contribution for July is July 18, 2023, if you are paid bi-weekly and July 19, 2023, if you are paid monthly. To enroll or make a change to your contribution election, go to TIAA.org/wustl.
If you are already contributing at least 5% of pay per pay period, no action is required.
If you enroll/increase your contribution election after the July deadline the university contribution will begin as soon as administratively practicable following enrollment. University contributions will not be made retroactively. As a reminder, you may elect to contribute on a pre-tax, after-tax Roth or combination of pre-tax and after-tax Roth basis.
In order to be vested in the university contribution, you must complete two years of vesting service. Service prior to July 1, 2023 counts toward vesting. If you leave the university before you are vested, you may forfeit the university contribution.
If your immediate previous employer was another accredited higher education institution or a university-affiliated teaching hospital with which you also had an academic appointment with the affiliated university, and you were hired by WashU within 90 days of the date your previous employment ended, you may be eligible to receive vesting service credit for up to three years of your full-time continuous service with that employer. To receive vesting service credit for such service, you will need to complete and upload the Request for Recognition of Service with Prior Employer form to Workday by following the instructions on the form. Note: Previous employer service will not be recognized for purposes of determining if you have met the 10 years of contribution service necessary to receive a university contribution of 10% of pay rather than 7%.
If you have any questions, please contact the HR Benefits Service Center via email or telephone at 314-935-2332, option #1. If you have questions about the 403(b) Retirement Savings Plan, including how to enroll and/or change your contribution election, contact TIAA at 888-488-3419 or go to TIAA.org/wustl.
Support your family with WashU benefits
Same-day pediatric care on nights and weekends Washington University Children’s After Hours offers care for your child’s minor illnesses and injuries when the pediatrician’s office is closed. Patients are seen in order of arrival time, however, you can schedule your visit online to wait in the comfort of your home or car.
Children’s After Hours Care is available: Mondays through Fridays, from 5 – 11 p.m. Saturdays & Sundays, from noon to 11 p.m. Holidays from noon to 7 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas)
Locations include: St. Louis MO: 12436 Tesson Ferry Road, 63128, 314-454-6336 O’Fallon MO: 2206 Highway K, 63368, 636-696-4780 Edwardsville IL: 2122 Troy Road, 62025, 618-800-4600
Thrive tip: WashU’s Family Care hub outlines resources available for dependent children & adults of WashU employees.
2023 Summer Wellness Challenge
Join us in partnership with the WashU Office of Sustainability for the 2023 Summer Wellness Challenge, Sustain!
Sustain is a 4 week challenge that fosters everyday activities to reduce your ecological footprint, help conserve natural resources, and lessen the impact of climate change while enhancing your personal well-being.
Sustain lets you personalize your experience by practicing activities most important to you, choosing habits to shift toward more sustainable eating, reduce, reuse, and recycle, as well as deepening your connection with the natural world and advocating for the environment.
IT Spotlight: Smart Devices
Today many devices, such as phones and watches, provide capabilities that make our lives easier and more interconnected. Smart devices can contain credit cards, password managers, plane tickets, email, banking apps, and so much more. As a result, we are carrying treasure troves of sensitive information and losing a smart device can mean losing access to this data.
Below are some suggestions for securing your smart device(s). These techniques and tools help limit the possibility of unintentional data exposure and compromised information.
- Physically Control Access by keeping your device on you, in your control, or in a secure location when not in use and when charging. This will ensure you have control of the data it contains.
- Control Electronic Access by managing devices connecting using features such as Bluetooth. Ensure you know the device(s) being connected and remove bluetooth devices you no longer utilize.
- When using Public Wifi Networks, such as in airports and cafes, be aware that your network data may not be private. If you need to use public Wifi, then connect to the WashU VPN to protect the data being transmitted from and to your device.
- Update the Operating System (OS) and Apps on your device(s) promptly when available. Many updates contain security patches, new security features, and bug fixes which help keep your data safe. For additional protection, remove unused apps, you will have less updates to install, more storage space, and less clutter on your device.
Encrypt the Device
Turn on encryption for an additional layer of security. Encryption jumbles your data when the device is locked, making it inaccessible without your Passcode, Password, or Biometric Authentication.
Your device’s Operating System (OS) likely has built in encryption which can be enabled, but Washington University also provides a Mobile Device Management (MDM) tool, Workspace One, which adds an extra layer of security.
All Washington University owned mobile devices should have Workspace One installed as should any personally owned devices which are used to conduct WashU related activities.
|Keep up to date with IT news at the Office of Information Security blog|
Follow the Cardiovascular Division on Twitter!
Check out our division account, @WashUCardiology! We will be sharing division accomplishments, announcements, news, events, and more. If you have a story about the cardiovascular division that you think deserves a social media spotlight, email firstname.lastname@example.org.