PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) — Leaders at CSU Pueblo have received an excellence and innovation award from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) for their pandemic response.
In January 2021, CSU Pueblo partnered with Spartan Medical to create an on-campus testing site for students and all employees. During the first six weeks, the student populations Covid-19 positivity rate dropped from 20% to less than 1%.
“If you had a headache that morning, we heard about it, you told us,” Dr. Donna Souder Hodge, Chief Strategy Officer at CSU Pueblo, said. “And then we immediately said you know what you should go get tested, and then we were able to follow up with the rapid test with a more accurate PCR test right after and we were able to do that on site.”
During the coronavirus pandemic, leaders at CSU Pueblo had to rely heavily on local health officials during an unforeseen time.
“We were not medical experts. We were occupational experts. Really thinking about processes and policies for our campus, but we needed that expertise from our medical community,” Dr. Hodge said.
Through heightened awareness of public health in Pueblo, the university as as a whole now has a playbook for adjusting to students returning to the classroom.
“We have developed a playbook on how you do this and do this well,” CSU Pueblo President Timothy Mottet said. “We have developed it through our experiences and I’m proud of that work, but moving forward if we were to have the unfortunate opportunity to live through this again we have got a plan for doing that.”