A message from the chancellor: Thank you to our health care workers

Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz reflects on meeting with physicians and researchers from the UNC School Of Medicine and the impact they make on our state.

A doctor uses a stethoscope to examine a patient.
A health care worker from the UNC Health examines a patient at the Mountain Area Health Education Center in Asheville, North Carolina. (Photo By Jeyhoun Allebaugh)

Dear Carolina Community,

I had the privilege yesterday of speaking at Grand Rounds at the UNC School of Medicine. I was there to talk about the health of our University, and I’m pleased to share that the prognosis is good.

That’s due in no small part to the strength of our School of Medicine and UNC Health, driven by the world-class faculty and clinician scientists who train our medical students, address the critical needs of North Carolinians and conduct groundbreaking research to cure rare diseases. The University supports the health of our state through the UNC School of Medicine and a strong partnership with UNC Health that has more than a dozen hospitals from the mountains to the coast. It was an honor to spend time with the physicians and researchers who care for citizens across our state.

Many of those brilliant people have been working around the clock for the past two years to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, treating patients and staffing vaccine clinics and unlocking the secrets of the virus. They are, as UNC Health CEO Wesley Burks wrote last week, “dedicated professionals who have devoted their lives to caring for others and to helping their friends and neighbors become and stay healthy.” They represent the very best of this University.

Whenever I hear the Air Care helicopter flying over campus so that someone can receive life-saving care, I think about all of the preparation behind that response, including the years of training for the doctors, nurses and clinical specialists who will meet that patient’s needs. I also think about the decades of public investment that built UNC Health into a world-class medical center and the generations of professors and mentors who helped guide talented students into health professions so they can create new treatments and improve the quality of care.

It’s these moments when Carolina is at its best, readying each of us to think, learn and discover so that we can make a difference in the lives of others. It’s a privilege and a responsibility that we all share. Join me in saying an enormous thank you to those on the health care front lines and to everyone who carries out Carolina’s mission every day. I am grateful to you all.


Kevin M. Guskiewicz