WVU Medicine- Coping with COVID-19

Resources and Support for WVU Medicine Employees and Providers

You, WVU Medicine employees and healthcare providers are our most valuable resource. Stress, fear, anxiety, trauma, grief and other complex emotions are all occupational hazards of the work we do. These emotions are amplified as we work in the midst of an unknown, ambiguous and evolving landscape. It is paramount that we are tending to our physical, emotional and spiritual needs. We are committed to providing support for you.

We expect this crisis to extend over the next several months and we are here for you every step of the way. Below are initiatives and resources to provide support and help you support one other. We are all in this together and you are not alone.
You can find all the information related to COVID-19 through the Employee News Portal. WVU Medicine will also continue to update the internal COVID-19 CONNECT site.

Join our Employee/ Healthcare Provider Facebook Group

Let’s stay connected! This is a private Facebook group to support one another and share information. This group is for any provider, employee, faculty, or staff at all WVU Medicine locations. Click here and request to join the group.

24-7 Triage/ Crisis Line

Call us right now: 1-844-985-4371. The line is manned 24/7 by our Case Manager and a Behavioral Health Tech who can get you connected to the supports you need, including appointments with our Brief Emotional Support Team (BEST) in the next 24 hours.

Brief Emotional Support Team (BEST)

The Faculty Staff Assistance Program and the Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry have teamed up to provide WVU Medicine faculty and staff with free, informal, telephone or video-based conversations. The team is available Monday through Friday 7:30a.m. to 7:30p.m. We offer generally immediate/ same day availability. To book a time, schedule an appointment online or by calling 304-293-5590. The phones will be covered between 8:30a.m. to 4:30p.m.

Virtual Wellbeing and Mindfulness Programs

The full list of virtual exercise classes, wellbeing and mindfulness programs available to WVU and WVU Medicine employees can be found here.  

Chat with A Chaplain

The WVU Medicine Department of Spiritual Care is offering “Chat with a Chaplain.” An interfaith chaplain is available to employees about work stress and how your work is affecting you physically, emotionally, and spiritually. You can also send a prayer request via text or schedule a time for the chalplain to visit your unit. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 304-282-5736. 24/7 voice, video or text from work or home. As always, employees can contact a chaplain by paging 0590 or calling 74185 for patient care needs or staff support.

Share a Story, Practice Gratitude, or Give Feedback

Help us chart the path towards well-being.  Tell us what would make a difference in your work from the small things to the big ones.  We also want to hear your stories of gratitude.  Who have you noticed going above and beyond?  Working behind the scenes with no one watching? Help us lift up the stories that make us great and share your feedback or story here. *Note: this is private and will not be shared without your permission.

Employee Assistance:

The EAP staff is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for counseling, consultation, appointment scheduling, and referrals. The EAP access number is 1-800-865-3200.

For a complete list of EAP services, visit the EAP website.

  • Login: wvu medicine
  • Password: eap

WVU Medicine Children’s Support

SupportingYOU is a multi-disciplinary, peer support network intended to provide a listening ear after experiencing an unexpected or difficult patient situation. Our team is comprised of attending physicians, nurse practitioners, midwives, both pediatric and obgyn residents, nurses, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, and social workers. We are available 24/7, 365 days a year to anyone in Children’s Hospital who needs support after any critical event such as a code blue, medical error, unexpected patient death, etc. We are also available for those that may be struggling in the transition into their new position or dealing with an ethical dilemma. Page if you need a HAND (4263).

Support Resources

We have provided additional resources for you, your loved ones, and your colleagues below.

Steps You Can Take Right Now

Here are concrete strategies to help manage stress during this challenging time.

Feeling worried or anxious? Increased anxiety is common as we navigate Covid-19 and its broad consequences. Patient care and uncertainty about health outcomes, finances, childcare, travel and scheduled events are highly stressful. Action is one of the best treatments for anxiety. Share your concerns and problem solve with colleagues, family and friends to plan coping steps.

Pace Yourself. Our work is a marathon not a race. Monitor yourself for excessive fatigue irritability, poor focus or marked anxiety. If we run on empty, we can’t care for our patients, families or communities.

Breathe. Try mindful breathing several times a day. Take a moment for low and slow breaths before getting out of the car, when you enter your work area, prior to entering a patient room or a procedure. Breathing is calming and helps concentration.

Maintain Good Health Habits. As stress and demands increase, our health habits often take a hit. Bring your meals to work to maximize healthy eating, limit alcohol and THC use, prioritize exercise and get some sunlight!

Keep Moving. Aerobic exercise is vital for stress reduction. Consider walking, biking, running and hiking, throwing a frisbee or ball as well as exercise and yoga videos if gyms and other exercise facilities close. For home exercise and Yoga videos see: fitnessblender.com and yogawithadriene.com. A short aerobic walk or workout is better than nothing!

Stay Connected. Reach out to family, friends, colleagues and your favorite community groups for social contact. Call, Facetime, Zoom, Skype, or try Google Hangouts to reduce your isolation. Meaningful and fun connection, emotional support and healthy problem solving are vital to your health and well-being. Consider joining another family or friend for a meal by social media to reduce isolation for everyone.

Take Breaks at Home and Work. Work with your team to take mini breaks. Even a 10-minute walk during your shift is calming and improves vital energy and focus. Plan down time at home. Exercise, distraction with a good book, movie, podcast, games with your family, and mindfulness techniques help us refuel physically and emotionally.

Promote Team-Work. If you have children or relatives who need care, let your team, friends and neighbors know asap. They may be in the same situation and relieved to develop a shared plan to help with family responsibilities.

Maintain Structure at Home. If you or your children are working from home, establish a consistent workspace to help with focus and productivity. Plan breaks as well.

Flexibility is Key. Increased demand for care, social distancing and other unique stressors will test our flexibility and adaptability. We will all have to practice outside of the box – especially when things go wrong and are chaotic. It’s ok – ask for support, evaluate, modify and move forward.

Wellbeing and Mindfulness

Headspace meditation app is now available for free to all healthcare professionals. Register with your NPI number.

The Faculty Factory podcast has a brief guided meditation for a few minutes of calm. Neda Gould, PhD also provides tips for dealing with uncertainty in uncertain times.

The following two articles provide tips for taking care of yourself and your family members during the coronavirus outbreak.

Several webinars are listed below. These 5-10 minute self care sessions can be beneficial as a friendly pick-me-up, or to provide ways of reframing our thinking.

Connecting Mind & Body for Healthy Living
Physical things you do with your body can affect the way you feel mentally. Thoughts going through your mind can affect the way you feel physically. In this module, you will learn ways to harness this mind-body connection to improve many aspects of your life.

Laughter, Humor & Play To Reduce Stress & Solve Problems
You don’t have to be a professional comedian to use humor to lower stress levels. This training offers practical ways to incorporate humor and play into everyday situations.

Learning To Relax
The training will allow you to learn and experience several simple relaxation tools such as progressive muscle relaxation, abdominal relaxation, breathing and visualization.

Tips for Emergency Responders: https://emergency.cdc.gov/coping/responders.asp

COVID-19 Information

The following resources also offer reliable, up-to-date information:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The WV Department of Health and Human Resources

The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center

The World Health Organization

WV DHHR Memos

A message for the staff of WVU Medicine from Albert Wright, Jr. president & CEO of WVU Medicine

Watch Video Here