Michael Jordan contributes as university infection control health director, leads Tufts’ response to pandemic

Tufts Medical Center is pictured on Aug. 28, 2014. Nicholas Pfosi / The Tufts Daily Archives

In August, Michael Jordan, director of Tufts Medical Center, was named university infection control health director. He is tasked with spearheading the university’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jordan is an assistant professor of medicine and public health and community medicine at the Tufts University School of Medicine and an attending physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine at the medical center, according to the school’s website.

Jordan explained that the position of university infection control health director was created to diminish the immediate effects of COVID-19.

He detailed his extensive experience in the medical field and qualifications for the role.

“I was considered a good fit for the position because of my expertise in infectious disease, epidemiology, public health, laboratory science, and my professional experience, which includes work with the World Health Organization,” he wrote in an email to the Daily. 

University President Anthony Monaco praised Jordan and underlined that he was a clear choice for the job.

“[The COVID-19 pandemic] made it apparent to us that we needed an experienced infectious disease specialist to help guide us to a successful re-opening and to help keep us on track throughout the semester. Michael Jordan was the obvious choice for us,” Monaco wrote in an email to the Daily.

Monaco shared that Jordan’s established career with the university and expertise in infectious diseases strengthened his favorability. 

He also noted that Jordan’s ability to communicate complex findings in an understandable manner made him an ideal candidate. 

He also has a talent for communicating in a way that makes complex topics understandable, which is a great asset when dealing with information that can be quite complicated,” Monaco said. 

Having graduated from Tufts University School of Medicine and the Harvard School of Public Health, Jordan more broadly focuses on infectious diseases and specializes in HIV and emerging pathogens.

He explained the university’s current strategy in tackling the virus.

“Our COVID-19 prevention and preparedness plan, which includes routine surveillance testing, is informed by scientific evidence, modeling and advice provided by medical experts,” Jordan said. 

As director, Jordan works with different networks across campus, including the Office of the President, Health Service and undergraduate and graduate students. He also collaborates with regional and national public health departments and agencies. 

Jordan added that he meets with community members and leaders to discuss new developments and offer instruction.

I consult regularly with our schools, departments/divisions, and Health Service by providing guidance to senior leadership and managers on a variety of safety programs and activities,” he said.

Marie Caggiano, medical director of Health Service, commended Jordan for his role in shaping the university’s response to the virus, which has led to lower than expected cases of COVID-19 on campus.

Many individuals have contributed to the work that has allowed the University to open and operate safely this Fall and Dr. Jordan has provided key leadership and expertise that has informed the University’s response to the pandemic,” she wrote in an email to the Daily. 

Caggiano added that COVID-19 cases may begin to rise on campus as the winter season approaches. She underlined that continuing to work with Jordan will be critical in reinforcing the university’s early success.

I am optimistic that with continued vigilance among all members of the Tufts community, we can have a safe and healthy semester,” she said. 

Jordan praised efforts to prevent the spread and transmission of COVID-19 on campus. 

I have been tremendously impressed with and humbled by everyone’s efforts and sacrifices to date, and I encourage each member of our community to continue to adhere to our health directives and protocols to keep each other safe,” he said.