COVID: Lessons from URI and beyond

Health care professionals share personal experiences in their fight against the pandemic


Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, health care workers of all disciplines have been the front-line heroes battling the novel coronavirus that has affected virtually all aspects of society. These health care professionals have stories to tell and experiences to share as the ever-evolving coronavirus response continues.

The URI Academic Health Collaborative and Interprofessional Education and Practice Initiative has hosted a series of Zoom webinars addressing the challenges health care workers face and the lessons being learned during the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. The recordings of these fascinating and evocative panel discussions — featuring experts from URI, area medical centers, the RI Department of Health and more — are below.

Recorded on November 3, 2021

It Takes a Village: Managing COVID as a Team

The latest installment examines the complexity of long-haul COVID and the role of the interprofessional team in meeting those complex needs. How were preexisting chronic conditions exacerbated by COVID, and how will people manage new chronic illnesses in addition to the ones they already had? Effective interprofessional community-based primary care in the management of complex chronic diseases will be presented as a blueprint for supporting patients.

Recorded on October 20, 2021

The COVID Kids

How will this generation of children will be defined by its COVID experience — online school (for those with adequate wifi), masks, limited social and recreational activities, COVID illness, and death in the immediate family? What has this experience meant to the health and well-being of our children? What will be the long-term impact on health of fewer childhood vaccines, growing rates of obesity, and social isolation?

Recorded on October 6, 2021

The Pandemic’s Epidemic: The Crisis in Mental and Behavioral Health

Overdoses and overdose deaths have increased as many people have turned to substance use to manage the challenges of an abruptly limited lifestyle. Rates of depression and anxiety have risen dramatically, while resources to meet their needs have been limited. Why did this happen, and how do health professionals bring clinical and community-based services to the growing number of people coping with these challenges?

Recorded on January 20, 2021

COVID Vaccine History, Ethics, Epidemiology

While the vaccine is in sight, the pandemic isn’t over yet. Learn what comes next in a fascinating discussion

With the arrival of the COVID vaccine in December, people across the country and around the world could finally begin to see a light at the end of the tunnel. But the end is not here yet. Between the approval of various vaccines and the possible eradication of the disease itself, there is much to do. What does history tell us about previous mass vaccination efforts? Who gets the vaccine and when? Once vaccinated, do those vaccinated have different rights and freedoms from other people? Why is close to half the population hesitant to get vaccinated? When will herd immunity be achieved? . Panelists include:

  • Kerry LaPlante, Pharm.D., FCCP, FIDSA, Pharmacy Practice Department Chair and Professor, URI College of Pharmacy (Moderator)
  • Philip Chan, MD, MS, Medical Director, Rhode Island Department of Health
  • Cheryl Foster, Ph.D., Carnegie Professor of Philosophy, URI Philosophy Department
  • Andrea Rusnock, Ph.D., Professor, URI History Department
  • Marc Hutchison, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, URI Political Science Department

Recorded on December 9

Caring for the Caregivers

For the fourth COVID panel discussion healthcare professionals discussed the monumental challenges they face in battling a pandemic, including compassion fatigue — what it looks like during the time of COVID, how to prevent it and ways to support those facing burnout. Panelists include:

  • Gina MacLure ’09 MS, LMFT, Clinical Supervisor, Coordinator, URI Couple and Family Therapy Clinic
  • Virginia Lemay ’00 PharmD, Clinical Associate Professor, URI College of Pharmacy
  • Ailis Clyne MD, Medical Director, Rhode Island Department of Health
  • Nickolas Fitzgerald, Community Health Worker, RI Parent Information Network
  • Laura Guillen, Registered Nurse, Rhode Island Hospital

Recorded on October 7

Generational Divide: How COVID has Affected Older Adults

Faculty, alumni and older Rhode Islanders discuss what COVID has meant to older people in the community and in long-term care facilities. Panelists include:

Recorded on October 14

And (in)Justice for All: How COVID Exposes Disparities in Health Care

Faculty members, alumni, health care workers and civic leaders discuss the health disparities in society, which have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Panelists include:

Recorded on October 7

Generational Divide: How COVID has Affected Older Adults

Faculty, alumni and older Rhode Islanders discuss what COVID has meant to older people in the community and in long-term care facilities. Panelists include:

Recorded on September 30

From the Front Lines: The Experience of Treating Those with COVID

URI alumni working in various health care fields share their experiences battling the novel coronavirus. Panelists include: