Volume 1 Winter 2021
Chapter One
Staff Wellness during COVID-19
Valuing and counting on each other
Welcome to our newsletter, Turning Pages, which highlights resources for rural communities facing the opioid crisis.

My name is Ben Lee, and I’m chair of the University of Rochester Medical Center Department of Psychiatry, the home base of the Recovery Center of Excellence.

I’d like to connect with you about staff wellness—a topic that COVID has put in a new light for our team. As I share our experiences, I hope you’ll share ideas and concerns from your community.

We’ve all seen the fatigue and burnout brought on by COVID. Left unchecked, this kind of strain can cause fractures in an organization.

To prevent those cracks from forming, we can remind each other about our shared sense of purpose in our daily work. Our backgrounds and personal beliefs might vary, but we are brought together as a team because we all care deeply about our mission to help our fellow community members. Our collective mission unites and invigorates us at work.

By valuing and counting on each other, we’re pushing back on stress. We’re showing support and camaraderie, and we’re encouraging some down time—making space to recharge. Often, now, that space is online. We’re brightening up our screens with virtual backgrounds, music, and praise for each other’s hard work.

By tending to our wellness, we’re able to provide better care to our community. 

We hope the resources in this newsletter lead to conversation, and we’d be grateful if you’d share your thoughts with us!
Focused on resources
UR Medicine Recovery Center of Excellence is committed to promoting evidence-based and emerging best practices that can benefit rural communities in the fight against opioids. Take a moment to look at what's working in rural communities along with some potential new approaches.
Addressing burnout among rural providers
Burnout stemming from chronic work-related stress takes a toll on healthcare providers and can result in less effective care, turnover, and other negative consequences. The RHIhub examines burnout among rural providers, ways to measure it, and strategies to support providers’ well-being in the following articles:
Burnout: Measurement Tools, Causes and Impacts: Article

Series on rural providers' behavioral health: Part 1|Part 2
Staff wellness tips
Wellness programs to reduce stress and burnout are all the more important during COVID-19. See our new tool for tips on promoting wellness. It includes resources for support and initiatives to help staff recharge.
Supporting staff in the move online
Check out our new series about video-based group therapy, which describes how leadership can support staff as they become confident with telemedicine.
Coming up in 2021
We're working with rural Appalachian communities to create helpful resources that are rooted in best practices. Here is a sampling of the topics we'll be focusing on in 2021:

  • Reducing Stigma, Self-Stigma & Shame
  • Primary Care Transitions Clinic for Justice-Involved Individuals
  • Behavioral Health Assessment Officer
  • Rural Opioid & Direct Support Services (ROADSS) for Methadone Maintenance Treatment

We've covered several topics already, and they're available on our website. For more information about the practices we support through our center, reach out to us for technical assistance.
Looking for more updates? Follow us on social media.
This HRSA RCORP RCOE program is supported by the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) of the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $9.1M with 0% financed with non-governmental sources.
The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by HRSA, HHS or the US Government.