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Michigan Medicine

A Minute with Marschall

One Year Later, We’re Better Together

March 8th, 2021

At some point, we’ve probably all experienced losing our sense of time. For many of us, and certainly for me, this was particularly true not only during the initial weeks and months of the pandemic, but even now as we continue to struggle with new challenges and even trauma. Although I did not know it, scientific studies show that traumatic events, and the added stress they bring, can warp our perception of time. Days, weeks and months blend together because they are no longer marked by our usual activities, traditions or meaningful events.  

A year ago, March 2020 would have been marked by events like our annual employee appreciation meals and other recognition activities. But instead, on March 10 we admitted our first COVID-19 patient to University Hospital, and just days later, we found ourselves and our communities in lock down. 

While it can be hard to look back on a difficult year with such painful challenges, it is important to pause, and regain our sense of time and perspective. During our March observation of National Recognition Month, it seems particularly timely and fitting to take a moment to reflect on what this team, all of you, have done together to endure the highs and lows of this tumultuous pandemic.

As we battled COVID-19, we saw an embodiment of our vision coming to life. Our discoveries and innovations changed how we care for patients – and the compassion so many of you showed for patients, colleagues, friends and family – changed lives. Together, we made a difference.

Throughout the year we demonstrated every one of our core values – caring, innovation, inclusion, integrity – but above all, we displayed our core value of teamwork. The pandemic forced us to work quickly and effectively, often in new teams that hadn’t worked together before. We learned greater flexibility and fluidity as various disciplines came together in new ways, and people stepped into unfamiliar territory to offer assistance and support wherever necessary. We learned that we couldn’t get through this without each other, and without a doubt, that we’re better together. 

This month, as part of the one-year anniversary of our COVID-19 journey, you will hear and read stories about how our team members have pulled together through the struggle. I hope many of you will also share how you have personally changed or what you have learned over the course of the year.

For me, I have learned that I was in the right place. I’ve worked at several academic medical centers, and I know there is no place I would rather have been than at Michigan Medicine during this pandemic, with this amazing team. I am grateful for this community, our amazing teamwork and the incredible contributions you make every day. Thank you for all that you do.

What did you or your team learn over this past year? How did you personally change as a result of this pandemic? Share with us in the discussion box below. 


  • I’m in fundraising events and was sent home in March. I had/have the utmost respect for our frontline workers as they quickly planned field hospitals, deployed staff to many different departments and put our patients before themselves. For me personally (whos job at this point was to keep donor engagement and stay home to keep our community safe)… what do you do at home when you’re in the event industry? I learned to pivot my work 360 degrees, become collaborative over video chat with multiple departments, and become an expert in the virtual world, quickly. I pushed my resume into a realm I didn’t even know I was capable of and I’m thankful for this new skills set. Michigan Medicine Development remained calm and flexible allowing room for creativity and a chance for us to learn to allow us to figure out a new way of engaging and I’m so proud of all our accomplishments thus far and what we’ll carry into the future. Go Blue!

    • Marschall Runge

      Lauren, Thank you so much for sharing what you learned. I applaud you for growing both professionally and personally during this difficult time, and doing your part, in a creative and flexible way, to help Michigan Medicine to carry on. I know we have a future because there are so many team members like you who are making a difference.

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