County considers sending health staff to wellness workshop

NEW ULM — The Brown County Board will consider a request Tuesday for three public health care workers to attend the Minnesota Cares Wellness Workshop Oct. 6-7 in Minneapolis.

The conference is provided as a way to thank health care workers and to promote healing and wellness among the health care community including public health after the COVID-19 response.

“Our health care community has given selflessly to care for Minnesotans during the pandemic for more than two years, at great cost to their physical and mental health,” said Brown County Public Health Director Karen Moritz.

“Workers report being exhausted, overwhelmed, depressed and anxious. We are seeing shortages across nearly all job classes,” Moritz added.

She said all department staff that participated in the COVID-19 response were offered the opportunity with the intention of choosing up to three staff to participate. Moritz said three staff — disease control and emergency preparedness coordinator Michelle Steinbeisser and maternal child health nurses Michelle Miller and Lisa Compton — indicated interest. It was not necessary to exclude anyone who wanted to attend.

Lodging, mileage and meal costs will be covered by Brown County’s federal COVID-19 grant.

The event is open to anyone in the health care community in hospitals, clinics, long-term care, pharmacies, emergency medical, public health, and others who provided care or support services during the pandemic.

A number of current and former health care leaders donated their time and expertise to plan the free, two-day event to honor the health care community and provide them with evidence-based tools to improve their well-being and build resilience.

Workshop topics include burnout and self-care: the road to wellness, from the frontline to the future, finding your beat — the rhythm of life.

Session themes include small group sessions with active participation, activities that aid recovery from stressful events, activities that provide tools and techniques people can use on the job to reset their autonomic nervous system so they can continue working while caring for themselves, and activities that strengthen the capacity to deal with stressors over time.

The board will consider a request for Brown County Public Health Educator/Planner Erin Krohn-Schwab to attend the annual Minnesota Prevention Program Sharing Conference Oct. 20-21 in Duluth. Provided by the Minnesota Prevention Resource Center, the conference supports people engaged in substance abuse prevention.

Krohn-Schwab is responsible for the planning, collaboration and coordination of the Chemical Health Action Team. The conference will expand her chemical health knowledge and provide prevention ideas and connect with other prevention workers around the state.

Lodging, mileage and meal costs will be covered by 2022 budget funds that were not used for a conference staff was unable to attend. Opioid settlement dollars is another possible funding source, if they become available.

The board meeting begins at 9 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 6 in the courthouse commissioner’s room.

(Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.)


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