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Michigan Medicine

A Minute with Marschall

Challenging Times Require Compassion

March 16th, 2020

Whether you are on the front line caring for patients or in a back room adjusting schedules and procedures based on the latest data on COVID-19, the accelerated time-lines and sheer volume of decision-making and work can be exhausting and stressful. Personally I have found it hard over these past weeks to remain focused when each day’s news about the virus becomes more troubling and distracting. 

In addition, our and the University’s decisions to cancel in-person classes and large scale events is disappointing to say the least. In particular, I will miss the opportunity to meet many of you during our annual recognition events. They were cancelled for all the right reasons, but please know we appreciate all you do, and will look for other opportunities to thank our valued faculty and staff in the future.

How do we manage through it all?

Well, just as our own medical historian Dr. Howard Markel stated in our recent “Flattening the Curve” health blog: “We all need to pitch in to try to prevent cases both within ourselves and in our communities.” Great advice for our patients and the general public, but “pitching in” is also advice we must heed here at Michigan Medicine.

Tensions rise and it’s easy to let the pressure get to us, but when we support and work together we can ease everyone’s burden in the long run.

We are resilient. I have no doubt in my mind that we will get through this, but we can’t provide the high standard of health care we are known for, without supporting each other with our knowledge, our resources, and most importantly, our compassion.

Let’s be patient, assume good intent, appreciate what everyone brings to the table and, under no conditions, should we point fingers. Remember, we are better together.

 “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

― Aesop

Do you have an example of how your team or others came together to support each other during these trying times? Share it in the comment section below.


  • Just by chance the other day you rode the elevator with me in the parking garage. I appreciated you chatting with me the entire way and sharing your feelings about dealing with this pandemic as well as how your family was dealing with it. I walked away feeling like I was not alone in dealing with my fear and anxiety and we are ALL in this together.

    • Marschall Runge

      I appreciated the chat as well. I often wish I had more time in my day for simple, one-on-one conversations like this with the great people of Michigan Medicine. This frustration has become even more heightened since the social distancing requirements. All the more reason we have to remind ourselves every day that we are not alone. We are all in this together and together we unite in delivering on the same goal during this pandemic – to keep our patients, our families and ourselves safe and healthy. Dawn, thank you for all you do on the front line.

  • We have a new manager here in the MEND clinic Stephanie Renwick even though she hasn’t been with our clinic long… and this clinic has had some trying times but we are coming through. I just want to say she is a very caring person when you talk to she listens always giving us the heads up about what’s going on here at the clinic with her touching the base emails are appreciated … Our clinic associate manager Diondra Cheatham jumps in to help… even down to wiping everything down and helping keep the clinic clean she always has smile on her face and encouraging words to give.I just want to say a special thank you to these ladies. My coworkers are the best we keep the spirits high and still have laughter here in the clinic through our hard challenging times we know we can face them together as a team Just a big thank you to everyone and all that they do.

    • Marschall Runge

      Thank you, Machelle, for letting us know about how well Stephanie and Diondra are leading your MEND clinic team. What great role models for showing compassion during challenging times. I also appreciate how the whole clinic is staying focused and using smiles and laughter to help each other through this unprecedented, stressful situation. Stay strong!

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