Meet the face of UW Health’s COVID-19 response: Dr. Jeff Pothof
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many doctors have become household names. For many Wisconsinites Dr. Jeff Pothof fills that role, making hundreds of media appearances as the face of UW-Health’s COVID-19 response.
Pothof, UW-Health’s Chief Quality Officer, is helping lead a team in the fight against the novel Coronavirus. He quickly became a prominent voice in the news, informing people about the pandemic.
“I set up a google alert so when my name shows up I get a little email, and it has to be close to 100 TV, radio, newspaper interviews I’ve done,” Pothof said.
A modest answer, as UW Health staff reports they have been keeping track. Pothof has been featured in at least 350 media stories since March.
“I didn’t really have that on my radar. We did want to make sure that UW Health was a voice for the community so people would have something they could turn to so they could get reliable, true and factual information,” he said.
When the white coat is not on, Pothof is a native Wisconsinite. His roots are in rural Randolph.
He has been married to his wife Christen for 14 years. He has two young daughters: Natalie, 9, and Nora, 6. Pothof started working at UW Hospital ten years ago and ‘spokesperson’ was not in his original job description. The UW-Madison School of Medicine graduate is not only the chief quality officer, but also works in emergency medicine and med-flight.
“As a physician you are always thinking about how you can have impact and improve other peoples’ lives, and it’s easy to see in the emergency department where you have seconds to make decisions and you do cool things certainly in med-flight. With the media thing, it has that same thing- there’s a lot of people who don’t know what to think or do, they are looking for guidance,” he said.
Pothof said he and his family have had to adjust during the pandemic like many others, both personally and professionally. However, they are adapting and making it work.
“We are not immune from all the difficulties other families are having with basically the recommendations I go on TV and give, it’s not always fun to socially distance, there’s things we’d love to do,” he said
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