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The numbers are looking good. They tell the story of our community members’ commitment to keeping themselves and the people around them as safe as possible. As we take a deep breath during this moment of reprieve from the COVID-19 response hustle, many of the other stressors in life have surfaced and captured our attention. It can feel like playing a game of high-stakes whack-a-mole with our well-being hanging in the balance.

For many of our colleagues and friends, on-going caregiving remains challenging.

New Advisory Group to Address Work-Life Concerns

UW Human Resources is launching an Advisory Committee on Work-Life. Formed at the recommendation of the COVID-19 Caregiver Task Force, this group will help guide the University’s continued response to COVID-19 caregiving challenges and shape post-pandemic work-life initiatives. UW Medicine will be represented in the committee by Anne Browning, School of Medicine Assistant Dean for Well-Being and Aimee Buckius, UW Medicine Human Resources. To help us understand the unique and nuanced needs of our community, please take a few minutes to share your thoughts with us.

Live, expert-led webinars for caregivers

Children’s social & emotional well-being during COVID-19

Deepen your understanding and skill related to strengthening children’s resilience and supporting their social and emotional well-being during the pandemic and beyond. This event features Drs. Liliana Lengua (Center for Child and Family Well-Being), Sarah Roseberry Lytle (iLabs) and James Mazza (College of Education).

Date: Wednesday, Feb. 24
Time: 12:30–1:30 p.m. (event will be recorded)
Register for this event.

Caring for children with complex needs during a pandemic

Robin Talley (UW Autism Center) and Kathleen Artman Meeker (Haring Center for Inclusive Education) specialize in Autism Spectrum Disorder and education of children with disabilities. They will explore meeting children’s needs while work and school are remote, arranging childcare, helping children cope with the unpredictability of the pandemic and respond to questions.

Date: Thursday, March 4
Time: 11–noon
Register for this event


Caring for a loved one with dementia AND taking care of you

As an employee or student who is also a caregiver, you may find yourself with so many responsibilities that you neglect your own physical and emotional health. Drs. Susan McCurry and Tatiana Sadak of the UW School of Nursing are experts in dementia care and caregiver support. They will provide insight to help those caring for people with dementia support themselves.

Date: Tuesday, March 9
Time: 2–3 p.m.
Register for this event


Employee Emergency Fund Reminder: For many, the financial strain of this time is significant. We want to remind everyone that the UW COVID-19 Employee Emergency Fund (EEF) remains available to employees most in need. In addition, we know that changes in the availability of child care resources and ongoing remote learning have at times felt overwhelming. To help ease some of these challenges the Employee Emergency Fund continues to offer an additional child care supplement. Eligible employees who are experiencing a financial hardship due to COVID-19 may request a grant of up to $750 plus a child care supplement of up to an additional $750.

Vaccines have changed the landscape for 2021. Our team has responded remarkably well to the challenges of rapidly standing up vaccine sites, scrambling to not waste any doses during freezer failures at a sister organization and navigating anxieties of our community while low and sometimes uncertain amounts of the vaccine make its way to us each week. To our Vaccine Teams and everyone involved in the amazing work done since we received our first doses of vaccine — thank you for rising to the challenges and going above and beyond when already hard work has thrown us for some extra loops in the past month.

As we continue our UW Medicine Gratitude Campaign, we want to recognize glassybaby for their generous support of our healthcare team members through our well-being programs. Through this partnership, we have been able to expand our support and offerings. Glassybaby’s philanthropy was provided in honor of our healthcare team members for providing excellent care and service to so many people in our community. We are grateful for all that you do and for this support from our community!

With deep gratitude,

Anne Browning, PhD
Assistant Dean for Well-Being, UW 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