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An Invite to Session II of Redesigning Moral Spaces,OcT 28 @5PM: Should Patients Always Come First?

Updated: Oct 28, 2020

Join Us

October 28th @ 5 PM EST

over Zoom

In collaboration with the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Center for Complexity, Brown Emergency Medicine would like to invite you to the next in a series of one-hour interactive discussions over Zoom to look at pressure points in the care of emergency department patients and new challenges specific to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The session will be run by our design friends from the RISD Center for Complexity, who have curated dialogues on nuclear security, future food systems and city planning.

These discussions are open to frontline health care workers, both inside and outside of emergency care, as well as anyone else interested in joining the discussion.


COVID-19 challenged healthcare providers' clinical skills and stressed institutional and individual capacities in previously inconceivable ways. We had to allocate physical and emotional resources and incur personal risk. The pandemic also revealed existing challenges that we all face and rarely talked about openly, either because we're all so busy or these challenges are considered a "normal" part of our work. With COVID-19 as a lurking presence, now is the time to examine these experiences through a different lens. 

In our first session, we probed compassion and challenges to compassion in our work as frontline providers. The dialogue kept coming around to the many ways we compartmentalize our feelings to continue to function.

Session II

COVID-19, Provider Safety,

& Family Health

In this discussion, we will explore personal protection and barriers to our safety and that of our families.

Personal risk isn’t new to emergency department staff. Physical and verbal abuse, needle sticks, and exposure to infectious diseases are accepted as part of our job, but the risk due to COVID-19 is different. The disease poses a challenge to the function, adequacy, and availability of personal protective equipment. Typically, patients have been the primary subject when assessing risks and benefits. However, to what degree should healthcare worker safety enter into the calculus of "do no harm?" Healthcare workers are used to assuming a measure of personal risk, but where do they draw the line when risk is imposed on themselves or their families?

In what ways have shouldering these burdens challenged our well-being? What steps can we take to support and look out for one another?

How can you Participate?

Whether you can join the zoom discussion or not, please fill out the one question survey at the link below so that your insight and experience can be a part of the discussion. The link also contains instructions to RSVP for joining the discussion.


We care to create a safe space. The discussion will not be recorded. Zoom cameras will be optional too! Our notes will be a synthesis of the discussion with no names attached. We will encourage participants to pose the important questions that help us look beyond what is obvious in order to surface new insights and understanding.

The conversation will be facilitated by Justin W. Cook, Director of the Center for Complexity. After responding to the survey, please direct any questions you may have to Julie Woods at the Center for Complexity: To secure our meeting, Zoom details will be provided after submitting the survey. People can participate through their computers or cell phones. Feel free to share this invitation with your colleagues.

Future Session Topics, dates TBD:

  • When is Enough Enough? The Many Rooms of End-of-Life Conversations

  • Crisis Standards of Care: Can a Document Be Excellent and Useless?

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