From Kevin’s Desk: Flexing Our Compassion Muscles (2/12/2021)

Dear Colleagues:

Happy Friday!

As you may have seen in yesterday’s Record, new state guidelines regarding the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as overall shortages in available vaccine, has slowed Michigan Medicine’s rollout of the vaccine to eligible employees. While I remain optimistic that there is an end in sight for the pandemic, it is clear that it is going to take time. Our number one priority is to keep everyone safe, so all B&F staff should plan to continue their current work arrangement through the end of the summer. Please talk with your supervisor to determine what that means for you, and please continue to take care of yourself by following all COVID-19 safety guidelines.

The pandemic has created a trying situation for all of us. Now more than ever, we need to treat each other with compassion and kindness. I am pleased that this is the focus for the next six-weeks for our positive energizers in what they call the Compassion and Kindness Challenge. Learning strategies to create more compassion and kindness is not only essential to building stronger relationships, but also a key component of creating a work environment where people feel valued and safe. I hope you will talk with your positive energizers and learn more about how you can build your own compassion and kindness muscles.

One easy way you can get involved with the Compassion and Kindness Challenge is by participating in B&F’s Maize & Blue Cupboard Spice Drive. According to officials, the Cupboard receives very few donations of spices.  As a result, the students who rely on their services are unable to cook the familial or ethnic dishes that make them feel at home. Donating spices is a great opportunity for us to provide support and comfort to the 30% of students who experience food insecurity, as well as other U-M community members in need. The drive runs now through March 19. To learn more, please see this flyer on our website and talk to your local positive energizers!

Last but not least, don’t forget — Sunday is Valentine’s Day! I hope you and your loved ones have a safe and wonderful weekend.

With much appreciation and gratitude,

Kevin