URI virtual COVID-19 panel discussion: Caring for the Caregivers

Dec. 9 discussion to examine impact of COVID-19 on healthcare professionals

KINGSTON, R.I. — December 3, 2020 — Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, emotional and physical distress affecting front-line caregivers has increased exponentially. Isolation, fear, physical and emotional burdens are ever-present. As the pandemic continues, the challenges of family needs have added even more stress to an already demanding life for those in the caring professions.

During a recent series of University of Rhode Island-based COVID-19 virtual panel discussions hosted by the Academic Health Collaborative and Interprofessional Education and Practice Initiative, several panelists spoke about the critical need for self-care and mutual support within the professional community. Viewers also heard uplifting stories about creative approaches to sharing the emotional and physical responsibilities that come with providing care.

For the fourth COVID panel discussion — on Dec. 9 at 6 p.m., delivered via Zoom — those topics are given a closer look as attention will turn to the caregivers. Healthcare professionals will discuss the monumental challenges they face in battling a pandemic, including compassion fatigue — what it looks like during the time of COVID, how to prevent it and ways to support those facing burnout. The virtual discussion is free and open to the public. For more information and to register, visit https://cutt.ly/COVIDdiscussion.

To be moderated by URI College of Health Sciences Dean Gary Liguori, the panel is made up of a cross-section of healthcare professionals from multiple disciplines:

  • Gina MacLure M.S., Coordinator, URI Couple and Family Therapy Clinic
  • Virginia Lemay Pharm.D., Clinical Associate Professor, URI College of Pharmacy
  • Ailis Clyne M.D., Medical Director, Rhode Island Department of Health
  • Nickolas Fitzgerald, Community Health Worker, RI Parent Information Network
  • Laura Guillen, Registered Nurse, Rhode Island Hospital

Previous presentations in the series are available at https://cutt.ly/COVIDpanel. They include discussions on how COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted older adults; how the pandemic has exposed disparities in health care; and how healthcare workers are battling the virus, from their perspective.

The panel discussion series is funded in part by the R.I. Executive Office of Health and Human Services’ Workforce Transformation Program through a grant to URI’s Interprofessional Education and Practice Initiative.