January 05, 2021
Dear SCNM students, staff and faculty,
Welcome back. I hope you got some rest and rejuvenation over the holidays. Thank you to SCNM’s faculty and staff who spent much of the last several weeks planning a Winter Quarter that maintains the highest quality learning experiences in the fields of naturopathic medicine and clinical nutrition.
Yesterday, SCNM physicians and Medical Center staff braved chilly January weather to conduct over 100 rapid COVID-19 tests. The College implemented this internal testing blitz to safely expand 3rd and 4th year medical students’ participation in on-campus patient care in anticipation of a post-holiday surge in COVID cases. We planned a one-week testing blitz to start the Winter Quarter but will likely continue conducting increased testing until the infection rate diminishes.
Given the limited supply of test kits, SCNM cannot test every student, staff, or faculty member. Our priority is to test those caring for patients, participating in clinical training, and providing essential Campus services. Therefore, only those individuals whose work or clinical training requires it should be on campus.
Testing is but one facet of a holistic approach to campus safety. Please continue to practice social distancing, mask wearing, and proper hand-washing and personal hygiene throughout your daily activities. By doing so, we will continue to Achieve Excellence in safely fulfilling our mission to educate, to treat patients, and discover new therapies. Thank you!
Yours in health,
Paul Mittman, ND, EdD
The information from the CDC and AZDHS regarding COVID-19 is always being updated.
The needs of the campus population may also change. Therefore, all decisions made are subject to change.
This FAQs section was last updated January 05, 2021.
Q: Are there any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 at SCNM?
A: Yes. There have been confirmed cases within our community. SCNM has identified, notified, and tested those individuals who frequently encountered the infected individuals in the preceding three days prior to the onset of symptoms. Additionally, Maricopa County Health Department will conduct appropriate Contact Tracing.
Q: What steps have been taken to monitor the health of those still on campus?
A: In order to prioritize patient care, clinical training, and essential campus services, at this time we are only allowing individuals who work or clinical training requires it on campus. These individuals have been tested for COVID-19 and deemed safe to return to campus.
We are still conducting daily wellness screens for everyone who is required to be on campus and is mandatory when you first arrive. Additionally, all individuals on campus are required to wear masks maintain physical distancing guidelines.
Campus Mask Guidelines – Resources:
Q: Is the Campus closing?
A: We are limiting all access at this time (with the exception of patients). Campus services are only being offered remotely. Students who require assistance or appointments should make video/phone counseling or advising appointments with the appropriate individuals.
Q: Are campus buildings open?
A: All college buildings, with exception of the Medical Center and the Neil Riordan Center for Regenerative Medicine are closed to the public. Only essential campus employees or those with advanced permission from their supervisor will be permitted inside – dependent on need and a negative test result. The Medicinary is open for curbside pick-up or shipped orders only. The Library is available on a case-by-case basis with appointment in advance. Please see “Library Access and Printing” below.
Q: Who should I contact if I have questions about COVID-19 at SCNM?
A: Questions about SCNM’s response to COVID-19 should be sent to Dr. Stephanie Seitz (firstname.lastname@example.org). Employees should direct employment questions to the Director of Human Resources and students should direct student service questions to the Dean of Students.
Q: What services will still be available on campus for students who come to campus?
A: All Student Services and Business Services are now only being offered remotely. See “Facilities, Student Services & Business Services Hours”
Library services will be by appointment only and Printing Scanning and Faxing will be limited. See “Library Access and Printing”
Q: May I use the resources in the Library?
A: Due to the increased number of COVID cases in the state of Arizona, access to the Library has been reduced temporarily for the Winter 20-21 term. Students may access the Library to pick up needed books or materials only, between 9:30am and 3:30pm weekdays. Visits should be limited to 15 minutes or less. All students must go through the standard COVID health screening protocols before entering the Library. There will not be access to the Library after hours. Study rooms are unavailable for use at this time.
Q: How do I check out a book?
A: Please make an appointment to check out a book. Please find the book you are looking for in the Library Catalog and send that information to reserve it to the Library Help Desk. They will hold it for only 1 day before it is returned to circulation.
Q: How do I return a book?
A: No need to enter any buildings or get a health check screening. Simply drop it off in the brown Library Book Drop Box outside the east side of the Academic Building.
Q: How do I print, scan or copy?
A: The printer in the Library is available by appointment only. Please make an appointment directly through the Library email@example.com
Q: May I use the Study rooms or other open areas of the campus?
A: Due to health concerns during this pandemic, and to ensure sanitized facilities, students only have access to the Library at this time. Study areas are not accessible currently.
Q: What if I have other concerns or needs not identified?
A: Please contact the Library: firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Monday – Friday – 8:00AM – 5:00PM
Monday – Friday – 8:00AM – 5:00PM
Monday – Friday – 8:00AM – 5:00PM
Dean of Students
Monday – Friday – 8:30AM – 5:30PM
Available via phone, Skype, or Zoom.
Advising and Engagement
Monday – Friday – 8:00AM – 4:30PM
Phone appointments are encouraged
Monday – Friday – 8:30AM – 4:30PM
Additional appointments are available after posted hours by request. Please contact the Learning Specialist for arrangements.
Monday – Friday – 9:00AM – 4:00PM
Financial Aid Office
Monday – Friday – 8:30AM – 5:30PM
Available via phone, Skype, or Zoom.
Wednesday – 8:00 AM – 10:00AM
Friday – 8:00 AM – 11:00AM
Monday – Friday – 8:00AM – 5:00PM
Online, email, and phone
All new-hire on-boarding via Zoom. We are working remotely with full access to email and critical files. We have our desk phones forwarded to our cellphones. We will be on-site as needed with no specific hours or days.
Q: Are the clinics open?
A: SCNM Medical Center and Neil Riordan Center are open by appointment only. Call 480-970-0000 to schedule an appointment. Telemedicine appointments are the primary appointments available.
Q: Are any restrictions being placed on patients?
A: Medical Center and Neil Riordan Center patients must call and complete an assessment questionnaire with the front desk prior to entry. All patients and visitors must wear a mask to be seen on campus.(Please note that children under 2 do not need to wear a mask) To decrease risks, we are limiting the amount of non-essential visitors inside our clinics. A caregiver is permitted to accompany but otherwise, we are asking for all visits to be patients only.
Any Medical Center patients who are showing symptoms of illness will have a telemedicine visit for evaluation. If it’s indicated that they need to be seen at the Medical Center they must enter the “Sick” side of the Medical Center (east door, closest to parking garage). Well patients and immune compromised patients are to enter from the “Well” side of the Medical Center (normal entrance).
Neil Riordan Center:
Please call our front desk when you arrive to complete the assessment questionnaire. Once this review is complete, a patient services representative will escort you into the building.
Q: Is the SCNM Medicinary open?
A: The Medicinary is now open to the public with social distancing and safety guidelines in place to provide a safe shopping experience.
The Medicinary is still available for curbside pick-up and shipped orders. For curbside pick up, please park in one of the designated spots and call 480-970-0001 when you arrive.
Q: What is the impact on ND classes and ND clinic rotations?
A: The Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program will remain mostly virtual through the 2021 Winter Quarter. However, since patient care is considered an essential service, physicians, and students in quarters 10, 12 and 14, will expect to attend clinic rotations in person. ND student clinical rotations will have a limited on-campus component for in-person patient appointments.
Classroom laboratory sessions will be addressed on a situational basis and will return once it is safe to have classes on campus.
Q: As an ND student, what if I don’t have the technological support or equipment at home to participate in alternative modes of learning?
A: Information Technology Services will provide a way for members of the SCNM community to request support. The SCNM Library will work to safely accommodate students who do not have reliable internet access at home.
Q: How will labs and performances required for credit be completed?
A: The V.P. of Academics and the Dean of Naturopathic Medicine will work with faculty on how to best deliver the curriculum. Students in labs will be notified by the faculty member on methods for completing lab requirements. Each lab is being individually assessed and will be outlined by faculty in the course syllabus . Please wait to send course specific questions until after updated syllabi are posted.
Q: What library resources are available for students?
A: See “Library Access and Printing”
Q: Is ND New Student Orientation still scheduled to occur?
A: Yes, New Student Orientation (NSO) for our ND students contains both self-paced (asynchronous) and live components. The self-paced (asynchronous) portion of NSO will open 60 days prior to start of the program and requires a commitment of a total of 6 hours. The live component of NSO requires daily attendance and begins the Monday prior to start of program. Admitted ND students will receive information on NSO shortly after admission.
** Title IV: Financial Aid and Government Assistance
Q: Will my student financial aid disbursement be interrupted?
A: No, financial aid disbursements will continue as planned for the Winter quarter and be available on Friday January 9th upon enrollment verification.
Q: Can I come to campus and pick up my check in person?
A: No, students on financial aid will receive disbursement checks via mail.
Q: I’d rather not come to campus, can I sign up for Direct Deposit to receive my financial aid check?
A: Yes, please contact BusinessServices@scnm.edu for information on signing up for direct deposit with SCNM.
** International Students
Q: Can new F or M nonimmigrant (I20) students outside the United States obtain a visa to study in the United States if their program of study will be fully online?
A: Whether an individual is eligible to receive an F or M visa is a decision that must be made by the U.S. Department of State and is not made by SEVP. Consistent with the SEVP Broadcast Message dated March 9, 2020, DSOs should not issue a Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” for a student in new or Initial status who is outside of the United States and plans to take classes at an SEVP-certified educational institution fully online. As a result, new or initial nonimmigrant students who intend to pursue a full course of study that will be conducted completely online will likely not be able to obtain an F-1 or M-1 visa to study in the United States. If a nonimmigrant student was enrolled in a course of study in the United States on March 9, 2020, but subsequently left the country, that student likely remains eligible for a visa since the March 2020 guidance permitted a full online course of study from inside the United States or from abroad. The March 2020 guidance applies to nonimmigrant students who were actively enrolled at a U.S. school on March 9, 2020, and otherwise complying with the terms of their nonimmigrant status.
Q: Can new nonimmigrant students apply for a visa to enter the United States for a hybrid program of study with online components beyond the limitations at 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G)?
A: Whether an individual is eligible to apply for an F or M visa is a decision that must be made by the U.S. Department of State and is not made by SEVP. However, per the March 2020 guidance, nonimmigrant students seeking to enroll in a program of study that includes in-person and online components beyond the limitations at 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G), are able to maintain F-1 or M-1 nonimmigrant status if pursuing such programs during the fall 2020 school term. Nonimmigrant students in New or Initial status after March 9, 2020 will not be able to enter the United States to enroll in a U.S. school as a nonimmigrant student to pursue a full course of study that is 100 percent online.
Q: Can nonimmigrant (I20) students, who were on F1 or M1 nonimmigrant status prior to March 2020, remain in the United States if their school switches from traditional in-person or hybrid instruction to fully online instruction?
A: Nonimmigrant students pursuing studies in the United States for winter 2020/21 school term may remain in the United States even if their educational institution switches to a hybrid program or to fully online instruction. The students will maintain their nonimmigrant status in this scenario and would not be subject to initiation of removal proceedings based on their online studies. If a student violates U.S. laws or regulations, they could potentially be subject to removal.
Q: Can nonimmigrant (I20) students remain in the United States in a hybrid program of study with online components beyond the limitations at 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G)?
A: Nonimmigrant students may remain in the United States in a hybrid program of study, which consists of both in-person and online components beyond the limitations at 8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G). Students will not face enforcement action or loss of their nonimmigrant status based on engaging in hybrid programs. If a student violates U.S. laws or regulations, they could potentially be subject to removal.
Q: Will continuing nonimmigrant (I20) students be able to return to the United States if they are continuing their studies outside of the country as a result of COVID-19?
A: Students who continue to make normal progress in their course of study remain eligible for admission into the United States. However, because of the changing array of travel restrictions, nonimmigrant students should refer to their local embassy’s website through the U.S. Department of State for any updates about visa issuance. Also, DHS and CDC websites both provide information about current travel restrictions to the United States.
Q: Where can I find out about the 2020 CARES Act passed on March 27, 2020, and how those funds were used by SCNM?
A: The Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act made funding available to colleges and universities to assist eligible students who were impacted by on-campus COVID-19 financial disruption. Please visit SCNM’s Financial Aid page for more information.
Q: Will the US Federal Government make more Covid funding available through a CARES Act in 2021?
A: On December 27, 2020 the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (H.R. 133) was signed into law. This Appropriations Act is the second Corona virus relief bill; it modifies and extends many, but not all, of the original Covid CARES act.
Q: How can I work from home from a tech standpoint?
A: Most SCNM employees have been assigned SCNM laptops. These laptops are configured to allow you to work from anywhere – you only need an Internet Connection. You can access Outlook (email, calendar, etc.) using the Outlook client on your computer or over the web at http://365.scnm.edu. Faculty members can access Canvas (where applicable) at http://canvas.scnm.edu.
Your office phone voicemail can be forwarded to your SCNM email account – please contact the IT Department to facilitate this. This alerts you to new voicemails via your email account – you can listen to the email attachment and call the person back. Using a free app called Google Voice, you can forward your calls to a local (480 area code) number that runs as an app on your IOS or Android phone. When you make calls using this app, your real mobile number is hidden in the recipient Caller ID – it is replaced with the Google Voice number. Contact the IT Department for assistance.
Q: Since students will not be returning to campus for several weeks, do I still have to come to work?
A: All employees should continue to report to work from their remote location. Only employees deemed necessary for campus operations will in on campus. Any employee wishing to visit the campus for any reason must receive prior approval from their manager. Upon approval, you must inform Facilities in advance to let them know where you will be on campus and the length of your expected stay.
Q: What considerations are being made for staff who are at risk of severe illness from COVID-19?
A: If you cannot perform your work duties from home, your manager and human resources will work with you to evaluate your situation and explore potential solutions.
Q: Will there be reductions in workforce or pay?
A: Staff will continue to work their scheduled hours and receive regular base pay. Opportunities for overtime work may be impacted. Any changes to your schedule will be communicated by your manager.
Q: Will my benefits be affected?
A: There will be no changes to college benefit plans.
Q: What if I become ill with COVID-19 and my sick time accrual is already depleted or becomes depleted during my time off?
A: Employees who have depleted their sick leave balances will have the ability to take additional sick time as needed without penalty. For other health-related absences, employees should follow regular procedures for using their sick time and requesting a leave of absence.
Q: What if I exhibit symptoms or suspect I have been exposed to someone with COVID-19?
A: Refer to the COVID Exposure Procedure on my.scnm.edu.
Q: When can I return to work following a positive COVID-19 test?
A: Persons who have COVID-19 who have symptoms and were directed to care for themselves at home may discontinue isolation under the following conditions:
Added Cigna Resource:
During times like these, many may experience worry that can become overwhelming. Cigna is providing resources free of charge for all customers, clients, and communities to help manage high stress and anxiety. We’ve opened a 24-hour toll-free help line (1.866.912.1687) to connect people directly with qualified clinicians who can provide support and guidance. More information is available on Cigna.com/newsroom
Q: How is the college planning for a potential outbreak of COVID-19?
A: The college’s response to COVID-19 is being led by the SCNM COVID Response Team. The Team has outlined a COVID Exposure Procedure which documents the steps each community member is expected to take if they believe they may have been exposed to COVID.
Q: What should I do if I think I have COVID-19?
A: Please refer to the COVID Exposure Procedure on my.scnm.edu if you have been on campus. If you have not been on campus, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing. If you have had close contact with someone showing these symptoms who has recently traveled from an area affected by COVID-19, please follow the guidance below. Do not go in person to any medical provider without first speaking to medical staff over the phone for advice. If you are a student, after seeking medical attention, please notify the Dean of Students office immediately: email@example.com.
Q: What should students, faculty and staff do to minimize the risk of transmitting the disease on campus?
A: The college strongly recommends following CDC prevention guidelines, including:
For all students and employees that have traveled since March 1st, 2020 and who plan to travel in the foreseeable future:
Employees and students who are coming back from high-risk areas are required to self-monitor. If you become symptomatic, you are required to self-isolate and should contact your health care provider.
Please direct staff concerns to Human Resources
Please direct student concerns to the Dean of Students
Please direct faculty concerns to the Dean of Naturopathic Medicine
As case numbers and situations change, please monitor and use the CDC Travel Recommendations by Country and state by state travel restrictions. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices.html
SCNM Now Prohibiting College-Funded Domestic Travel
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not generally issue advisories or restrictions for travel within the U.S., cases of COVID-19 have been reported in many states and some areas are experiencing community spread of the disease. The CDC has noted that crowded travel settings, like airports, may increase your risk of exposure to COVID-19, if there are other travelers with COVID-19. With this in mind, the college is now prohibiting all college-funded travel within the U.S. and internationally.
All events on any SCNM campus or in any SCNM building that are not directly related to the educational or research mission of the college are canceled in order to limit the community spread of COVID-19. Before attending a previously scheduled event on the SCNM campus or in a SCNM building, please check with the event organizer or look for an update online.
Please view this video update on from Drs. Thompson, Mitchell, and me regarding Winter quarter.
Dear SCNM ND Students,
Of the many decisions college and university leaders make, the most critical are decisions that affect the academic experience and those concerning the safety of students, staff and faculty. Some are clear cut – especially those required by accrediting bodies, the department of education or the state. In other cases, the data must guide our decisions. In other words we let are evidence-based. This is what we did throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to fulfill our commitment to achieve academic excellence and to do the right thing by safeguarding the SCNM Community’s health and safety.
Last month, the data – COVID-19 infection rates, hospitalizations and deaths supported a measured January return to campus. This has changed significantly over the past two weeks.
Dr. Garrett Thompson, Vice President of Academic Affairs, has been daily tracking this data since March. The current trends mirror those in June that preceded the summer surge in cases. He and I conferred with key public health officials and each expressed alarm at the upward trend leading into the holiday season. All three recommended to stick with distance learning for our winter quarter.
Bottom Line: The Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program will remain mostly virtual through the winter quarter. However, since patient care is considered an essential service, physicians, and students in quarters 10, 12 and 14, will expect to attend clinic rotations in person.
SCNM continues to screen all Campus visitors, and recently received shipment of the rapid-COVID testing device ordered in July. In cases of suspected COVID exposures on campus, staff, faculty and students receive free testing. We will continue to take CDC and AZDHS precautions to ensure the health and safety of the SCNM Community.
I want to thank everyone in the SCNM Community who is working so diligently and adapting to the pandemic’s changes to ensure that the SCNM experience achieves excellence and maintains the safety of our students, staff, faculty and patients.
Yours in health,
Paul Mittman, ND, EdD
Dear SCNM Medical Students, Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition Students, Staff and Faculty,
Two diseases, one acute the other chronic, make this Summer Quarter like no other. A global pandemic and a gut-check on the history, legacy and devastation of racism in America challenge us to do better – as individuals, a school of medicine & health sciences, and as a nation.
Though beset with concern, anger and grief, we have a mission to fulfill – to train the next generation of healers and leaders, to help patients and discover cures.
Please log in to MySCNM’s COVID-19 FAQ page to review three key documents – Summer 2020 Campus Plan, COVID Exposure Procedure, and Summer 2020 Clinical Expectations Rapid Reference Sheet. Dr. Jessica Mitchell led a team of staff and faculty who compiled these guidelines and best practices from the State and County Departments of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and personal communication with Public Health officials. These documents will doubtlessly evolve and improve as we continue to learn more about preventing and treating COVID-19.
If you have a need to be on campus, please log in to MySCNM’s COVID-19 FAQ page to review key documents – Summer 2020 Campus Plan and COVID Exposure Procedure. A team of staff and faculty compiled these guidelines and best practices from the State and County Departments of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and personal communication with Public Health officials. These documents will doubtlessly evolve and improve as we continue to learn more about preventing and treating COVID-19.
At the June 22nd Board of Trustees (Zoom) meeting, the conversations and experiences shared by 36 attendees (half were guests) united and cemented our determination and commitment to move beyond the sentiment of diversity, equity and inclusion and into the space of action, education and lasting change. This was the most memorable Board of Trustees meetings in my 23-year tenure at SCNM.
Board of Trustee Emeritus, Dr. Rufus Glasper and Trustee Dr. Duane Roen led a discussion on diversity, equity and inclusion after all Board Members and attendees watched a compelling keynote to the natural products industry by Ijeoma Oluo, author of the best-selling book So You Want to Talk About Race.
Inspiring outcomes of the meeting included a permanent Board Agenda item on Diversity, Board support for increasing diversity in the composition of SCNM’s Board, staff and faculty. The Board helped initiate a campus-wide collaboration with ASU’s Center for the Study of Race and Democracy and the CSRD Director, Dr. Lois Brown.
I can’t predict the exact path moving forward, but I’m positive it won’t be a straight line. The ongoing and daily twists and turns make evidence-based decision-making and open communication more important than ever. I invite your insights and input in navigating this historic period safely, effectively and with love and compassion. During the next two months we will hold regular Town Halls open to the SCNM Community – students, staff and faculty. We will share the latest updates, seek your feedback and suggestions, and answer questions. Together we will not just fulfill SCNM’s mission, we will strive to achieve the highest ideals of health with its many expressions and determinants.
Yours in health,
Paul Mittman, ND, EdD
Dear SCNM Community,
Yesterday launched the Fall Quarter and the beginning of SCNM’s academic year. Most of you are returning, hopefully after some rest and rejuvenation, whether as students, staff or faculty.
Others are new, particularly the 86 students beginning their journeys in the Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition Class of ‘22, and the 96 students in the Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine Class of ‘24. A heartfelt welcome to you, and to the new members of our staff and faculty.
The year ahead poses opportunities and challenges for the College and for each of us as individuals. Thanks to staff and faculty’s hard work, planning and innovation, SCNM is well-positioned to fulfill its mission even during the pandemic. Our goal is to return to campus as soon as possible, hopefully this winter. Accomplishing this goal depends on factors outside our control – the pandemic’s impact on public health – and others that we do control.
The most important factor that we do control is the health and safety of ourselves and the SCNM Community. This begins with Primum non Nocere, first to do no harm – to ourselves and to others. Our personal and SCNM’s health and safety depends on our individual actions and decisions. SCNM’s COVID-19 Task Force has met throughout the course of the pandemic to ensure safe operations to protect our patients, students, staff and faculty.
For those who will be on campus this fall, the Task Force established campus safety guidelines outlined in documents available on MySCNM. Since the SCNM Campus is private property it is our right to require temperature checks for everyone, social distancing and mask wearing. How we each act off-campus is another matter.
Our off-campus safety is just as important as when we are on-campus. Please follow the public health guidelines to stay safe and healthy. Nearly all are common sense precautions – wear a mask when in public, maintain social distancing, wash/sanitize hands, avoid high risk areas if at all possible (e.g., bars, indoor dining at restaurants, etc.). When venturing out is necessary, be extra careful about maintaining these same behaviors. Keeping COVID-19 at a low rate within our community will increase our ability to transition back to campus.
Each of us has a responsibility to ourselves and our community. Conscientiously adhere to safe practices – do it for yourself and for each other.
Yours in health,
Paul Mittman, ND, EdD