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Team Resilience

Updated: Feb 22, 2021

What a past few weeks it has been... Maybe for the first time ever, I have truly experienced what it means to be part of a team, to work in healthcare, to see the selflessness and passion that primary care team members bring every day. It has been challenging, draining, and, at times, self-doubting... Trying to make decisions based on ever changing information that impacts both team members and patient care, trying to ensure that our patients stay engaged with us, trying to comprehend the impact this will have on our health system, trying to protect our families, our friends, our communities... a sense of being overwhelmed has been present each day. Bridget and I have compared it to a cell phone losing charge due to an unknown app in the background; fatigue and burnout have been prevalent... Guilt and shame have been a constant... We can see and sense it on our support staff, our fellow providers, fear and uncertainty, worry that cannot be resolved by a simple intervention...

And, yet, here we are... working together... providing each other grace when mistakes happen and, as was the case for me this past week, when the sense of being overwhelmed turns to frustration and lashing out... an incredible amount of grace has been present... Our medical providers and leadership looking to BHCs for guidance and advocating the need for integration... And, even more impressively, I have been completely humbled by the BHC team at CHCW the past two weeks. Close to 200 BH visits were completed with our patients in just the last four days. Handoffs, scheduled, phone calls, Zoom visits, etc. The team never questioned their role or their importance. They responded by saying "how can we support our medical teams and our patients... how can we reach our community, even from a distance... how can we keep our patients engaged and supported." And, I laugh reflecting on this, they did all of this while schedules were changing, while workflows that take months to develop were brainstormed and implemented in a matter of days. Our pediatric BHCs coming up with a video on tips for families that are now at home together (see below), BHCs coming up with handouts to put on our website and to distribute to staff and patients on self-care, a doctoral intern asking if she could do a debriefing group with our support staff and providers, our BHCs staying late because a medical provider was staying late, a post-doc asking to be put back in clinic to support her team and patients... a never ending amount of stories…

I keep telling myself, "we will get through this..." and while that is undoubtedly true, I am just thankful to go through this with my team and you all... what a response there has been... what a story about resilience... what a story about PCBH in action...

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