Winter Course Banner Feb 18-23 2024 Richmond VA

Caring with Heart: From Self to Society

We have experienced profound changes in our public, private and professional lives in recent years. The Covid pandemic and increasing social polarization have damaged work climate, relationships and perceived safety for healthcare providers, patients, and others, leading to dramatic increases in retirement, addiction, mental illness, and suicide. The losses we have faced have often led to moral injury that has been minimized by admonitions to be “resilient”, without acknowledging untenable working conditions or the need to grieve what has been lost. Ignoring our own emotions and those of others has become a survival strategy.

In addition to the perennial work of developing our personal awareness and facilitation skills, and building our ACH community, this Winter Course will help us acknowledge and grieve our losses, recognize and honor our emotions and those of others, and develop skills for self-care and self-compassion. This looking inward will help us look outward to provide compassion to others in all of our rich diversity.

Winter Course Mission:

The Winter Course is a gathering of diverse healthcare professionals and partners with interest in collaboratively building a community of shared learning and belonging to grow in areas of personal awareness, relationship-centered practices and skills, and personal renewal. 

Winter Course Vision:

To help our faculty and FITs develop best practices in relationship-centered care to promote the mission and vision of ACH.

Winter Course Objectives

  • Learn and model presence by demonstrating the core communication and relationship building skills as a participant throughout the course
  • Share meaningful celebrations that highlight the rich diversity that our ACH community brings.
  • Deepen the practice of self-compassion
    • Appreciate how the 3 elements of compassion (Self-kindness vs. Self-judgment, Common humanity vs. isolation, and Mindfulness vs. Over-identification) can be applied to society
    • Practice employing self-compassion techniques including during moments of shame
  • Learn and practice at least one new centering activity/practice
  • Participate in an activity to identify, acknowledge, and grieve losses
  • Address issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging
    • Continue to practice naming one's location of self in conversations across difference
    • Practice techniques to create psychological safety
    • Continue to expand efforts to enhance new members' experience of belonging in our community
    • Learn and practice at least one new way to leverage one's privilege as an ally
  • By the end of this course, offer one act of kindness or love to one’s self and society

2024 Winter Course Planning Committee

Course Directors
Auguste H. Fortin VI, MD, MPH, MACP, FACH, Yale School of Medicine
Swana de Gijsel, MD, Weill Cornell Medical College
Committee Members
A. Renee Bergstrom, EdD, Retired from Mayo Clinic
Annie Harvey, BS, BSN, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital
Anna Meyer, MD, University of California, San Francisco
Caitlin Siropaides, DO, University of Texas Southwestern
Gita Mehta, MD, University of California San Diego Healthcare
Kathleen McGrail, MD, HealthCare for the Homeless
Lynn O’Neill, MD, Emory University; Atlanta VA Medical Center
MaryBeth Salama, MD, MS, BS, Retired
Michael Nathan, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital-Revere Healthcare
About the committee:

The purpose of the Winter Course Planning Committee is to ensure that all educational components of the course align with and meet the stated objectives. This is done through course theme selection, facilitator selection, workshop selection and development, and PA group development.