Well-being Word

August 5, 2022

The Well-being Word

August 5, 2022

Erin Herrera, CRNA
Erin Herrera, CRNA
Associate Vice-Chair of Well-Being

Hello Friends,

One of my favorite things about summertime in WUDA is all the new faces. Our long-awaited residency class has arrived and many new folks have joined us in all divisions! The constant inflow of new people, ideas, knowledge, and experiences are some of the best parts of the academic medicine experience. There is so much value in our teams! Working in the Department of Anesthesiology is so much more than just learning about anesthesiology—it’s research, business, and finance (and the many, many other things we do!)

Just by working in this diverse, dynamic department, you are learning so much from the incredible people you are surrounded by every day. You are learning about new cultures, viewpoints, experiences, and expertise. Working in a diverse environment allows us to all have a more comprehensive understanding and perspective of the world and people.

I encourage you this month to meet someone new in the department. When you see a new face: introduce yourself, learn their name, and try to find out something about that person that makes them a unique a valuable part of our team! 

Don’t forget to join me this Sunday, Aug 7th at 2:30 p.m. at Bar K to meet some new colleagues! Bring your dog, or just yourself, and come meet up. Learn more about the event >>

I can’t wait to meet more of you and learn what amazing things you bring to our department!

Yours in wellness, 


Champion’s Corner

WashU CRNA Wellness Champion: Elizabeth Schappe

Meet Elizabeth Schappe, one of our Wellness Champions and CRNA pod leaders in PVT. Elizabeth serves the PVT ORs and the OB anesthesia team. She recently won a grant from the Washington University Wellness Program for exercise equipment for the department and hopes to have an exercise room in PVT by the end of 2022.

Aside from work, Elizabeth spends most of her free time exploring the outdoors with her husband and three children.

WUSM Health Screening

It’s time to get your annual health screening! Benefit-eligible faculty, staff, postdoctoral appointees, and clinical fellows have three options to get screened:

  1. Schedule an on-campus screening
  2. Visit your primary care doctor
  3. Book an appointment at a LabCorp near you

Participation is optional, but participants receive a $50 Visa gift card (one per calendar year) upon screening completion. 

Note: you will be asked to enter your WUSTL key and email through Health Advocate, WUSM’s screening vendor. 

A Day in the Life of David & Rachel Moquin

David Moquin was teaching high school in Mississippi when he met his wife, Rachel. He decided he wanted to pursue medicine and earned his MD from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Meanwhile, Rachel also earned her doctorate — she received her EdD from Vanderbilt University. They moved to St. Louis and David completed his residency at WashU. Today, both of them work in the Department of Anesthesiology — David is an anesthesiologist in the general and perioperative medicine divisions, and Rachel serves as the Director of Learning and Development. Learn more about what their days look like in the “Day in the Life” below!

Day in the Life: David & Rachel Moquin
Rachel’s Perspective

6:15 a.m. — My “alarm” goes off: Thomas (our 10-month-old) is awake! As I’m getting Thomas his breakfast I hear the rustling of footsteps down the hallway. Noah (our four-year-old) is awake and coming down the hall, looking for his bowl of Fruit Loops and Bluey on TV, which Dave has gotten ready for him before he left for work.

The boys and I have breakfast and play, and then I load them up and take them to daycare.

After drop off, I make a cup of coffee (with lots of vanilla creamer) and sit down to look at my upcoming meetings and projects for the day.

A typical day involves meetings with members of the residency leadership team (I get to collaborate with Allison on so many awesome things!), SEA or AAMC faculty development committee meetings, and work time on educational scholarship projects with other members of our department. Because of clinical schedules, most of my meetings fall in the morning and mid- to late-afternoons/evenings, so the middle of my day is spent working on presentations, manuscripts, catching up on emails, or keeping up with the latest med ed research.

Sometimes when I’m working in my office in the Northwest Tower, and the stars align, Dave and I can sneak a quick cup of coffee together in the anesthesia lounge or at Kaldi’s on campus. We’re in touch throughout the afternoon to decide who will pick up the kids based on our schedules.

Playtime before bed

Once everyone is home, we make dinner and spend time playing as a family, sometimes going for a walk to a nearby park.

Thomas goes to bed at 6:30 p.m. Noah follows around 8:00 p.m.

After that, Dave and I take a few minutes to review the calendar for the next day (Who is going to take Noah to swim lessons? What time will we both be home? What’s the plan for dinner?) and then Dave studies for his upcoming applied exam while I pack the kids’ bags for school the next day, tidy up the toys, and then settle in for a glorious hour or two of reality TV (currently catching up on the Amazing Race!)

David’s Perspective

My alarm goes off around 5:30 and I resist the temptation to hit the snooze button. I slip out of the house as quietly as I can to avoid waking everyone up and drive to work sipping on a room-temperature cup of coffee that was made the night before. Once parked in the garage, I put in my headphones and walk down the Link to my office.

As I’m sitting in my office, I look up my patients one last time, enter PACU orders, and head to the morning huddle. I take the trauma phone from the overnight attending, and head to preop to see my patients for the morning before heading to the control room to set up my “office” for the day.

My phone rings almost exactly at 7:27 a.m. It’s Clayton saying the patient in 209 is ready for induction. We successfully get this room started. About halfway through, Pete tried calling me to get me to come to 204 for induction there. From this moment on, my morning is a blur of evaluating traumas, arranging breaks and lunches, starting cases, finishing cases, a stray meeting about the anesthesiology elective for the medical school, and working on my next resident education presentation. If I’m lucky, I get to have coffee with Rachel, but today it has to be in the lounge because I’ve got the trauma phone.

At 2:00 p.m. I check in to the staffing meeting and watch Jen Mahan blast through the schedule ensuring that we have staffing and that people are getting out on time.

Before I know it, it’s 5:00 p.m. and we’ve got a plan for everything. The last few hours of my shift are spent handling traumas or emergent cases, trying to pare down the OR board to relieve the 10-hr CRNAs and residents, starting to put plans in place for the 12-hour CRNAs, and ensuring that the 13’s and Wit get dinner.

At 6:55 p.m. the PM trauma attending is here and I hand everything off. I walk back to the car and speed home to play with Noah before bedtime (Thomas is already snoozing away by the time I get there on trauma days).

Rachel and I talk about our days, check the calendars for the next day, and watch some TV before heading to bed and doing it all over again!

How are you strengthening your mental fitness?

Professional athletes understand how important it is to train not just their physical fitness, but their mental fitness too — because mental fitness is fitness.

Mental fitness is the exercise of developing concentration, focus, self-awareness and resilience to be able to perform at one’s best through the highs and lows of life. Just like physical exercises strengthen the body, we can also benefit from practices to strengthen our minds.

Our partner in mental fitness, Calm, has resources for you to explore what mental fitness could look like for you:

  • Join Calm’s 5-Day Mental Fitness Challenge to receive daily mental mini-”workouts” to become even more resilient and ready to face what life brings your way.
  • Use the Mental Fitness Training Guide to learn about the neuroscience behind building mental fitness, and easy starting points for putting it into practice

Your mind is a muscle, so let’s flex it together.

Are you new to WUDA? Be sure to
activate your free Calm subscription!

In an effort to help you better care for yourself and those you love, the department has purchased a subscription to Calm for each of our members. This program allows you unlimited access to guided meditations, specialized music playlists to help with stress and focus, mindful movement video and audio, relaxing sleep stories, tailored content for children, wisdom-filled masterclasses led by experts, and much more. 

Follow this link to create an account and verify your WUSTL email address, then download the app and log in to enjoy unlimited access to your favorite resources.