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 Stretching out to mend

March 2 - 5, 2021
ACH Virtual Winter Gathering


The ACH Winter Course is an annual event reserved for ACH Faculty and those currently enrolled in the Faculty-in-Training (FIT) program to spend time in intensive communication skills training and personal awareness development in a retreat-like setting.

In the past year, we have been buffeted, collectively and individually, by pandemic illness and death, by longstanding racism, by physical brutality and verbal assault.  Some are relentless in their efforts to divide us-no one will separate us from our shared humanity. We heard you say that you need space and time to rest, recover, rejuvenate-and we hope to co-create that rejuvenation and discovery at Winter Gathering. What new teaching and advocacy skills will enable all to thrive? Over the past few months on ACH Connect, poems, music, and inspirational writing nourished our souls. COVID support groups met, members shared their profound wisdom, thoughts, and personal growth, and new skills were taught, practiced, and learned. The theme of the 2021 Winter Gathering is "Stretching Out to Mend." We quote a portion of Dr. Carol Pinkola Estes, a psychoanalyst, post-trauma specialist, and poet's work, "You Were Made for This":

"Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach."

We hope our time together in 2021 will feel like reaching a calm port after sailing in a severe storm. Here we tend to wounded spirits and the uncertainty of our journey, caring for ourselves and others. We are weary, we are worn, yet we will persevere in our efforts to improve the places where we live, work, teach, care, and play, for all of us. 

Upon completion of the Winter Gathering, participants will:

  • Collaboratively construct ground rules that will enable groups to navigate difficult conversations
  • Develop awareness about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on thoughts, feelings, and general well-being.
  • Identify rejuvenating interventions to cope with stress occurring as a result of COVID-19
  • Describe and use at least one of the following to guide challenging conversations about racism: a process of inquiry, principles of non-violent communication, impact vs. intent, and positions vs. interests
  • Apply concepts of white privilege, white fragility, and implicit bias when identifying institutional and structural bias at your home institution.

 Planning Committee

Brenda Lovegrove Lepisto, PsyD, McLaren Greater Lansing Health Hospital
Kathleen McGrail, MD, FACH, Rochester Regional Health System

Committee Members
Renee Bergstrom, Ed, Mayo Clinic-Rochester (retired)
Gregorie Constant-Peter, Orlando VA Medical Center
Sally Fortner, MD, University of New Mexico
Tina Foster, MD, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Lisa Miller, EdD, RN, CPHQ, Independent Consultant
Michael Nathan, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital-Revere Healthcare
Jayne Penne, MSPAS, PA-C, Eastern Virginia Medical School 
Jeff Stein, MD, University of Missouri
Melissa Times, MD, MS, FACS, FASCRS, MetroHealth Medical Center
Maysel Kemp-White, FACH, Healthcare Quality and Communication Improvement, LLC