Tip sheet

Wayne State University experts are available to comment on various topics regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), including: medical, economics, psychological, legal, sports/entertainment, nutrition and crisis communications.

To reach an expert, contact:

Ted Montgomery: tedmontgomery@wayne.edu, 313-577-5699 

Tom Reynolds: treynolds@wayne.edu, 313-577-8093


COVID-19 pandemic updates

The minute-by-minute news cycle revolves around the COVID-19 pandemic examining causes, prevention, treatment and future projections. What are the facts? What is the science?

Dr. Teena Chopra, an infectious disease specialist and professor in the School of Medicine, has been on the front lines in Detroit treating patients and joining efforts to battle the pandemic. She is available to discuss various issues surrounding COVID-19.

What is the trajectory of COVID-19?

At what point should people contact their doctor if they think they are having COVID-19 symptoms? How can we help elder family members and neighbors in a safe way? What is the trajectory of COVID-19 as metro Detroit is now considered a "hot spot" for the virus?

Dr. Paul Kilgore, associate professor and director of research at Wayne State's Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, is ready to discuss the public safety issues surrounding the coronavirus and offer suggestions for effective prevention and care.

Dr. Michael Ryback, professor of pharmacy practice and director of WSU's Anti-Infective Research Laboratory, is one of the founding members of the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists and has helped develop national guidelines on MRSA, infective endocarditis and vancomycin. He is available to discuss research being conducted in collaboration with the WSU COVID-19 Research Consortium, including a study to determine what dose of hydroxychloroquine is most efficacious and safe in treating patients with COVID-19, as well as a multi-center, multi-state retrospective evaluation to compare the safety and efficacy of various treatment being used to treat COVID-19. 

COVID-19: Importance of testing

Now that COVID-19 test kits are finally becoming available and testing is ramping up, what do the numbers tell us? How important is it to administer testing throughout the community?

Dr. Phillip D. Levy, professor of emergency medicine, assistant vice president of translational science and clinical research innovation, and chief innovation officer for Wayne State University Physician Group, has been at the forefront of testing Detroit citizens and first responders. He is prepared to talk about the importance of testing for COVID-19 and reaching a large portion of the community.

Risks associated with treatments not fully tested and approved
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, people are looking for drug cures and practicing extensive sterilization in their homes to protect against the coronavirus. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued an emergency authorization to use chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to treat patients with COVID-19, noting that the potential benefits using these drugs outweigh the risks. Is it a good idea to jump on the latest potential cure?

Dr. Cynthia Aaron, medical director of the Michigan Poison Control Center at Wayne State University's School of Medicine, can discuss issues surrounding the use of drugs not yet fully tested, and exposure to toxins through excessive sterilization.


Allen Goodman, professor of economics, and Janet Hankin, professor of sociology, have conducted research on the long term consequences of epidemics, and are prepared to discuss.

Employment fallout — long and short term

The pandemic has forced the shuttering of businesses — small and large — and idled the assembly lines of the automotive companies. Entertainment venues are on hold; restaurants' dining areas empty only offering takeout; and air travel down as much as 80%. What is the long- and short-term prognosis for the workforce?

Kevin Cotter, professor of economics, is ready to speak about the ever-changing employment situation and where it may lead.

Economic ramifications of mitigation measures

How do the pandemic mitigation measures in place affect the economic wellbeing of residents, communities and employers in Detroit? What are the short-term projections to identify opportunities to reduce the negative impact of mitigation measures on the local economy?

Shooshan Danagoulian, assistant professor of economics, is prepared to talk about the economic wellbeing of residents during the pandemic mitigation measures.  

Impact on the labor force

Since the closure of the Big Three plants, the United Auto Workers union has been vocal about its opposition to the handling of closures, citing the compromised safety of employees in the factories and the wages and benefits adjustments that may result.

Marick Masters, professor of business and labor expert, will talk about the influence of the unions and possible scenarios in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Working from home transition

"Stay-at-home" orders have shifted a substantial proportion of the workforce from the office to working from home. How can organizations best support employee success in these environments and how can employees best manage the sudden integration of their work and family lives?

Matt Piszczek, assistant professor of management, can discuss the management of work and family roles and maintaining work-family balance as well as the implications for working from home for employers and employees.

Stock market and personal finance hits

As the pandemic has rapidly traveled around the globe, the stock market and international markets have seen historic lows. Personal finance has also taken a major hit through widespread and sudden unemployment and interruptions of virtually all commerce and businesses.

Matthew Roling, professor of accounting and executive director of Wayne State's Office of Business Innovation, is prepared to discuss the global meltdown of the markets and the economic hits on personal finance retirement savings. He can also offer tips to help small business make it through the pandemic.

Supply chain disruptions, parts costs

The pandemic spread from China to Europe, North America and virtually all points of the globe. It has definitely had a negative effect on the worldwide supply chain network. Disruptions of parts manufacturing and shipping, and escalating costs are projected well into the future. What are the short- and long-term effects?

Kevin Ketels, lecturer of Global Supply Chain Management and former CEO of KMED Inventory (healthcare supply chain management company) and KMED Research (clinical research site management organization), is prepared to talk about the healthcare supply chain challenges of personal protective equipment and ventilators during COVID-19.

John Taylor, associate professor and chair of the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management, is available to discuss how the supply chain disruptions will affect the economy and consumers — and he can also shed light on what the future holds.

Tingting Yan, associate professor of supply chain management, is prepared to explore how the COVID-19 pandemic has effected the supply chain.

Hakan Yildiz, associate professor of global supply chain management, is ready to discuss the effects on the global supply chain.


Managing anxiety during the COVID-19 outbreak

COVID 19 continues to spread, and efforts to contain it have led to profound disruptions in many of our lives. This potential threat is rapidly changing and disrupting routines. How do we manage the anxiety and uncertainty?

Suzanne Brown, associate professor in the School of Social Work, is ready to talk about anxiety and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Krista Brumley, associate professor of sociology, is ready to discuss how shifting conditions (remote work, school closures, etc.) are shifting expectations about work/life balance and creating new conflicts in families. How working conditions are impacting the well-being of families (people unable to work from home, families of healthcare workers, unemployed families).

"Stay Home, Stay Safe" executive order
Throughout the United States, families are quarantined at their homes. Michigan residents are practicing "Stay Home, Stay Safe" and shelter-in-place directives. As challenges emerge in family relationships from being together 24/7, what coping mechanisms can we employ?

Annmarie Caño, professor of psychology specializing in clinical health psychology, can offer relationship tips for couples and families trying to navigate the challenges of being quarantined at home for long periods of time.

Katheryn Maguire, professor and chair in the Department of Communication, can talk about how individuals use communication to maintain relationships and cope with stressful situations in both distanced and face-to-face contexts. The role of computer-mediated interactions in long-distance relationships. How families cope with stress, and how to maintain relationships during the pandemic.

Rahul Mitra, associate professor of communication, is prepared to discuss how to create meaningful work discourses in a remote working environment; and the effect of the Detroit water shutoffs on community spread of COVID-19.

Jessica Robbins, anthropologist and assistant professor, can discuss the ways the disease is impacting older populations and caregiving for older adults, and how the crisis impacting multi-generational families.

Stephanie Tong, associate professor of communication, is ready to talk about how people initiate, maintain and terminate relationships using popular social media platforms; and how to effectively communicate scientific research to a broad-based public.

Increased risk of intimate partner violence during COVID-19

Intimate partner violence (IPV) impacts millions of Americans. It is the physical, sexual, psychological, or financial abuse that can occur in a current or former intimate relationship. It can be a one-time event or a pervasive series of events that worsen over time. Periods of social isolation, including that caused by the current COVID-19 pandemic, increase the risk and severity of IPV.

Kristina Nikolova, assistant professor of social work, is ready to talk about the issue of family violence, particularky in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.  


Public health and other legal implications

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads around the globe, legal issues are emerging around public health policy, research ethics, emergency preparedness and other topics.

Lance Gable, associate professor of law — and an internationally known expert on public health law and bioethics — is prepared to address these topics.

Bruce Russell, professor of philosophy, is ready to talk about the ethical issues faced by doctors and hospitals when there are limited ventilators and PPE, and how social justice intersects with the ethics of health care in Detroit.

Pandemic effects on Detroiters

Detroit's population has been described as particularly vulnerable to the pandemic in light of economic disadvantages, lack of access to health care services and other factors identified in an urban area.

Peter Hammer, professor of law and director of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights, specializes in economic and social issues impacting the city of Detroit. He is ready to discuss the quarantine effects on hourly wage earners, minimum wage and the unemployed.

Jonathan Stillo, medical anthropologist and an assistant professor who teaches anthropology and public health anthropology, is ready to talk about disease spread and inequality in Detroit and globally, and how issues like water shutoffs impact disease spread.

Corporate white-collar behavior during pandemic

Corporate leadership has been criticized for compensation policies, layoffs and medical benefits instituted during the pandemic. What is the proper behavior for addressing these issues during a time of crisis, and are laws and policy being manipulated to the benefit of management?

Peter Henning, professor of law and former assistant U.S. attorney, is prepared to address the issues surrounding corporate behavior as it applies to the law and recent actions at the federal level.

Mental health and substance abuse

Mental health issues and substance abuse, particularly within prisons and other areas of the criminal justice system, have been identified as a major problem during the COVID-19 outbreak. What are the challenges facing the prison populations, in particular, as the pandemic continues to spread?

Stephanie Hartwell, professor of sociology, adjunct professor of psychiatry and dean of the College of Liberals Arts and Sciences, is prepared to speak about community trauma and vulnerable populations, including prisoners.

Bradley Ray, associate pofessor and director of the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice, can discuss the challenges and remedies affecting these populations. 


Future for sports and entertainment

The pandemic has triggered the suspension of sporting events at all levels worldwide. The 2020 Summer Olympics have been pushed back to 2021; NCAA spring/summer sports canceled; Kentucky Derby rescheduled; NASCAR halted at all venues; and the list continues. What does this mean in terms of collegiate athletes and their scholarships? What is the economic fallout? Will this require a reconfiguration?

Scott Tainsky, associate professor of management and director of sport and entertainment management, is ready to explore the future of sports and entertainment.


Proper nutrition during quarantine

Hoarding of food, paper and cleaning supplies at grocery stores has become commonplace as many families are mandated to stay home in self-quarantine. Frozen and canned goods have been the products of choice as shelves continue to empty. What are the best foods, nutritionally speaking, to stock in kitchens as people wait out the "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order?

Diane Cress, associate professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science, can offer nutrition tips and share insight on what to stock, foods with nutritional value and cost savings.


Pandemic policy and governance in Michigan and federal level

Kristin Taylor, associate professor of political science, is prepared to look at the local, state and federal levels regarding the process of crisis-related policymaking and decision-making; disaster management and governance processes; and, what policy narratives are already emerging and what do they say about the state of governance.


Crisis communications response: adequate?

Since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in early March, there has been an overload of messaging emanating from all levels of government: The federal government was criticized for downplaying the pandemic, and state and local governments were accused of responding too slowly. The mass media has been criticized for sensationalizing COVID-19 coverage and causing anxiety and stress among the population.

Matthew Seeger, professor of communication and crisis communications expert, is prepared to discuss how the pandemic has been handled and what areas of improvement are necessary.