Return to Campus Resources for Staff

Sent to the PPSA listserv on September 15, 2021, this message calls attention to a non-exhaustive selection of return-to-campus resources that are available to Penn Staff.

  • Return to Campus Support Circles for Penn Employees
    Restorative Practices @ Penn (RP@P), with partners from across the University, will be hosting three Circle conversations for processing and building community during the re-population of campus.
  • Caregiving Resources
    Links to resources available on backup care, child care, and senior care are available via the embedded links.
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
    Penn’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides eligible faculty and staff and their families access to free, confidential, 24/7 counseling and referral services for personal and professional life issues from any location.  EAP services are not limited to emotional health issues; EAP legal and financial resources are also available.
    COBALT is a digital platform that offers immediate access to mental health support for health care workers during this critical time.  Launched in May 2020 by Penn Medicine in collaboration with United Healthcare, COBALT connects Penn employees to curated mental health and wellness content, live groups, and individual virtual support.
  • Ombuds Office
    The Ombuds Office welcomes any member of the Penn community who is experiencing difficulty, conflict, or confusion at work, within their studies, or throughout their life at the University more broadly. They offer an accessible and safe place to resolve differences, explore matters of concern, improve communication, and generate and evaluate options.  Their mission is to ameliorate those conditions that may impede community members finding satisfaction with their lives at Penn. They encourage people to contact them at the earliest stages of a problem so that they can assist before it escalates.
  • Other Offerings from the Division of Human Resources
    The Wellness & Work-Life pages of the HR website contain a wealth of information, including periodic workshops (a mix of virtual and in-person).
  • Overflow Parking Available at Discounted Daily and Monthly Rates for all Penn and UPHS Employees
    Transportation and Parking announces the availability of discounted daily (12-hour) and monthly permit parking rates at the Amtrak CIRA Parking Deck, 2929 Arch Street, next to the 30th Street Train Center. This location, operated by SP+ Corporation (also known as is conveniently connected to the Lucy Gold and Green Routes, which operate Monday – Friday from 6:10 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and provide free transportation to campus and the hospital complex for riders who display their PennCards or UPHS IDs.  Advanced registration is required. Click here for further information.
  • COVID Testing and PennOpen Pass
    All staff are required to complete a “gateway” COVID test on their return to campus.  Tests can be scheduled here.  Staff may also request COVID tests for themselves (at no cost to them) at any time and for any reason.  Staff members must also complete PennOpen Pass daily, whether or not they come to campus.
  • University Council’s Open Forum
    Twice yearly, a platform is provided for members of the Penn community to publicly address concerns or issues to administrative leadership, via University Council’s Open Forum.  The Open Forum dates this academic year are December 1, 2021, and February 23, 2022 at approximately 4:00pm ET.  (Meeting format, in-person vs. virtual, is still TBD.)  To speak at the next Open Forum, write to and indicate the subject of your remarks.  The PPSA leadership would also welcome being made aware of your request (so that we might provide assistance if applicable), by cc’ing us at  (An historical example of Open Forum format and rules is here.)