Well-being Word

June 16, 2023

The Well-being Word

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

This week I was fortunate enough to attend the AAMC Group on Diversity and Inclusion and Faculty Affairs Conference. I was surrounded all week by impressive folks from across the country invested and passionate about creating better, safer, and more inclusive spaces in academic medicine. In one of the sessions, I heard a quote from Angela Duckworth that really struck me. 

“Nobody wants to show you the hours and hours of becoming, They’d rather show you the highlight of what they’ve become.”

June is Pride Month, a month of celebration that is hard to miss because of all of the beautiful rainbows we use to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community.

It’s easy to hang a rainbow flag. It’s easy to post photos online and make statements proclaiming to be diverse. It’s easy to show “highlights.”

However, when we think about creating a truly safe, inclusive, and diverse space here in WUDA, the true importance, and what we should really celebrate, is the BECOMING. It’s doing the WORK each and every day. 

We need to continue to WORK to make sure our teams are knowledgeable about diversity, equity, and inclusion. To TEACH our folks to mitigate bias, identify microaggressions, and be upstanders. To LEARN more about colleagues and how we can amplify marginalized voices. 

It is DEFINING who we are and how we engage and show up with each other and the community we serve.

It’s putting in the hours and hours of hard work so that we are able to authentically post our highlights. 

My ask of you this month is to consider, how are you contributing to the becoming?

  • Have you completed your Diversity Training Modules 1-4? 
  • Have you attended an Understanding Systemic Racism seminar?
  • Have you signed up for PIA SAFE to learn how to be an upstander and better support colleagues?
  • Are you learning ways to be a better ally to marginalized voices and more accountable in your actions?
  • Have you attended any of the lectures offered by WashU to learn more about DEI topics?
  • Are you showing up to the Pride Parade and events to show support to the community and coworkers?
  • Are you putting in the work to help make our culture truly excellent? 

As we think about diversity, equity and inclusion, and culture, there is no final destination. It takes hard work from us all. It’s a constant and ever-changing learning path to become better. There are certainly highlights along the way, but the work and learning is never done.  

Here at WUDA, let’s celebrate and promote our BECOMING more than our highlights.

Yours in wellness,


We need your help!

We are so grateful we are able to offer the Calm App as a benefit department members, and want to know more about your utilization of the app! Please take this BRIEF survey (<3 minutes) which will help us tailer this benefit even more to the needs of our members.

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Where in the World is WUDA?

We’re flipping the script on our usual “Day in the Life” feature and introducing a “Where in the World is WUDA?” for our August newsletter. Whether you’ve explored the snowy peaks of the Swiss Alps or soaked up the sun at your apartment pool in St. Louis, we want to see where in the world you’ve been!

Upload your photos & captions, below:

Health & Wellness Resources

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Champions Corner


Dr. Nieva joined the division of pediatric anesthesiology as a fellow in 2007 and stayed on as faculty. “Max” is the proud father of 10.5-year-old twins, Abigail and Andrew. Working with leadership as well as front line team members, his goal is to promote the eight components of a wellness program that engages all members of the pediatric division including admin, CRNAs, NPs, faculty, and fellows.


St. Louis Pride Festival & Parade

The “Diversity Creates Community” St. Louis Pride Festival & Parade will take place on Sunday, June 25 from 10:00am-2:00pm. Sponsored by WashU OUTmed, this event provides a fantastic opportunity for us to come together as a department to celebrate and support our LGBTQIA+ community. Learn more about the event, volunteer opportunities, and RSVP today!

Juneteenth Campus Celebration 2023

In recognition of Juneteenth, the WUSM Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is hosting a campus celebration on Tuesday, June 20th from 11a – 2pm in FLTC 303 and 304.

Our Juneteenth Campus Celebration is an opportunity to connect with members of the WashU School of Medicine community, and learn more about Juneteenth. The event will feature food from Black-owned businesses, board games, informational material about Juneteenth and local organizations, and raffles for prizes from Black-owned businesses.

Summer Wellness Challenge: Sustain

Join us in partnership with the WashU Office of Sustainability for the 2023 Summer Wellness Challenge, Sustain!

Sustain is a 4 week challenge that fosters everyday activities to reduce your ecological footprint, help conserve natural resources, and lessen the impact of climate change while enhancing your personal well-being.

Sustain lets you personalize your experience by practicing activities most important to you, choosing habits to shift toward more sustainable eating, reduce, reuse, and recycle, as well as deepening your connection with the natural world and advocating for the environment.

Grab four of your colleagues & create a team today!

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Climate and Culture Survey

The Task Force on Climate and Culture requests ALL faculty, students, trainees and staff to complete this survey so that we hear everyone’s perspectives on working at WashU School of Medicine. This survey is a critical part of the Task Force’s efforts to identify what aspects of the WashU Medicine culture are strong and where we need to focus our efforts for improvement.

Supporting your mental health through our DEIB initiatives

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) initiatives are important to us as we understand that employees with diverse backgrounds can often face microaggressions, unconscious biases, lack of psychological safety, and more. All of which can impact their mental health and work performance. At the end of the day, we want to ensure we’re collectively creating a safe and welcoming environment for all where unique perspectives are valued and respected. 

Calm, our mental health partner, has curated the following resources to help us further our DEIB priorities at our organization: 

Mindfulness at Work Series

  • Kindness at Work: A kindness practice to help you extend warmth towards every colleague you interact with. 

Mindful Leadership Meditations

  • Cultivating a Learning Mindset: A guided meditation practice that incorporates a comprehensive awareness exercise to help you develop your sense of curiosity. 
  • Preparing to Listen : A quick awareness exercise to strengthen your listening skills and help you create a space that’s safe for others to speak up. 

Meaningful Practices for Meaningful Friendships: In this guided meditation series, you’ll find practical lessons to better support your relationships—through jealousy, joy, and conflict—by starting with yourself.