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In the ever-changing landscape of providing care through the COVID-19 pandemic, each day brings an onslaught of new challenges — and on the flip side, examples of how our collective response to adversity is bringing out the best in us and our community. The 55-word stories you’ve been sharing over the last several weeks capture the emotional impact, the challenges and the hope in our responses:

Building a plane while flying it

Colleagues tried to close the airport. We still ended up at the gate, begging passengers not to board. When they didn’t listen, duty brought us on with our loved ones, colleagues, patients. Buckling seatbelts. Building as fast we can, knowing the plane will crash. Still with hope: the better we build, the more will survive.

by Jessica Bender, Attending Physician


Caring for a COVID+ patient, this PPE makes me feel miles of distance between us.
How alone must they feel in this sterile room?
Do handshakes and hands on shoulders feel as comforting with gloves on?
If only they could see me smile underneath my mask.
I hope my eyes show how much I care.

by Daniel Cabrera, Attending Physician

Please continue to share your 55-word stories with all of us. We want your help to chart the path toward well-being. Share with us what we could do to best support you and your team at this time. We have been hearing the stories of each other’s tremendous efforts to provide outstanding care.  Who have you noticed going above and beyond? Working behind the scenes while no one was watching? Help us lift up the stories that make us great and share your recommendations for well-being and gratitude here.

Our team has been gathering resources to help you and your families:

  • The Psychiatry and Behavior Sciences department has increased support for faculty and staff, now available Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Request support online or call 206.221.2768.
  • Take advantage of our child care concierge pairing service.
  • Leverage the Care & Share site for help with everyday needs that might arise as clinical needs increase. From dog walking to grocery shopping, child care and more, your community is eager to help out
  • Let your spouse or partner know that we’re here for them as well.  Today, March 25, at 11 a.m., Dr. Jared Baeten will join us for a drop-in Zoom session for Partners and Spouses of Healthcare Team Members. Drop in here — all are welcome.
  • Fortify your skill set to cope with the challenges ahead: Dr. Tony Back (Oncology) and Larisa Benson will offer “Preparing Ourselves for the Next Wave” starting next week. This 30 minute session will introduce mindfulness practices you can use on the fly and create space to address your concerns. Tune in so you can bring your whole self to the challenge we’re facing.
  • Join our Friday, March 27, 3 p.m. UW Medicine Zoom Town Hall and submit your questions in advance.

We continue to update our Well-Being and Support resources daily.

We are honored to be in this work with you and inspired by your dedication, resilience and support for one another. Please continue to take good care of yourself and reach out for support from the wonderful UW Medicine and broader community around you. We are up to this challenge — together.

With much gratitude,

Anne Browning, PhD
Assistant Dean for Well-BeingUW School of Medicine
Founding Director, UW Resilience Lab
Affiliate Assistant Professor, UW College of Education

Patricia Kritek, MD, EdM
Associate Dean – Faculty Affairs
Professor – Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
University of Washington School of Medicine