COVID-19: Reflections One Year In
It was just about a year ago today—March 13, 2020—that our ECHO-Chicago team spent our last day in our offices before we transitioned to remote work in light of the growing COVID-19 pandemic. Ten days later, we hosted our first COVID-19 ECHO series and launched ourselves into this growing space. We did our best to share the rapidly changing care recommendations with our provider network (to learn more about those initiatives, see past posts here, here, and here). As we pass the anniversary of COVID’s introduction into our work and personal lives here in Chicago, it feels like a good time to reflect on the year and share that with you all.
As the year has both flown and crept by, we’ve continued to provide ECHO series related to the pandemic; currently, we are wrapping up Phase 1 of our AHRQ COVID-19 for Long-term Care series in partnership with Project Hope and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (more on that here and here) and getting ready to start Phase 2 of that project in early April. We are also getting ready to launch additional Phase 1 cohorts of the series, with a focus on Texas-based facilities. We look forward to sharing more about what joining these series was like from the participant perspective in our podcast next month! We have also continued our weekly drop-in COVID-19 ECHO sessions, alternating between pediatric and adult population focuses and are currently planning the continuation of that series in response to feedback from participants. Suffice it to say, our team has had a busy year and has felt so fulfilled in this work of educating providers about such a difficult and ever-shifting topic!
Internally, we have also made some changes in light of the pandemic. In addition to working from home, the team has also worked together to address the stress of this year by starting operations meetings with mindfulness activities, as a way to take a moment to breathe and recenter ourselves before diving into the work at hand. We have also kept up team morale with bi-weekly happy hours and a (virtual) team-building game day. And thanks to e-mail, Slack, and Zoom, we’ve never felt too far from one another!
The team is also very grateful that we’ve all been able to receive the COVID vaccine and have a 100% vaccination rate! Learning about the safety and efficacy of the available vaccines week after week from our experts has made each team member feel comfortable opting in to receive their doses and keep ourselves and our communities safe! We were so excited that many of us took “vaxies” (vaccine selfies) when we got our shots! Check out a few below:
Overall, it’s been a tough, whirlwind of a year and we are so buoyed by the continued connections we’ve been able to forge with you all and the immense uptake of our COVID-19 series. We look forward to continuing our role in disseminating new information and hope that by next year at this time we’re all able to be back in the same room together again!Back to Updates