We are happy to offer practices and readings related to the work of the Compassionate Care Initiative.

Leading Mindfully

November 2021
"Leadership Kindness" in Darden Ideas to Action by Lili Powell

April 2021

Powell, E. (2021). Showing Up With Grit and Grace: How to Lead Under Pressure as a Nurse Clinician and Leader. In D. Fontaine, T. Cunningham, & N. B. May. (Eds.), Self-care handbook for new and student nurses ( ed., pp. 472-500). Sigma Nursing.

Read Chapter 23: Showing Up with Grit and Grace in full. 

Purchase the entire book on Sigma Marketplace, here

June 2020
"How to Recapture Leadership's Lost Moment" in Leader to Leader by Lili Powell and Jeremy Hunter

March-May 2020
“Leading Mindfully: COVID-19 and the Big Human Pivot” in Darden Ideas to Action by Lili Powell

Webinars, Podcasts & Recordings

Jonathan Bartels
, RN joined the AACN Leadership Podcast to share his journey of identifying opportunities for improvement and pioneering “The Pause” and “Compassionate Care Retreats” to help improve experiences for patients and nurses.

On the UVA Speaks Podcast, Julie Haizlip, M.D. and Natalie May, Ph.D. explain their research on the concept of mattering and how mattering impacts healthcare providers. Listen here  - the episode is titled "Mattering and Why it Matters".

"Breaking the Silence" Webinar is available for on-demand learning and continuing education credit. In this webinar, Dr. Christine Moutier discusses clinician suicide prevention and strategies for helping those in distress. All who provide patient care can benefit from the discussion.

UVA Medical Center Hour's "From Self to System: A 'Both/And' Conversation About Improving Clinician Wellbeing" - a panel discussion with CCI Founder and Dean Emerita Dorrie Fontaine, Clinical Professor of Nursing and Pediatric Attending Physician Julie Haizlip, Assistant Professor Ashley Hurst, and Kluge-Schakat Professor and CCI Director Lili Powell.

The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare's Compassion in Action Webinar Series. "Fostering Compassion - One Breath, One Pause, One Community" with former CCI Director Tim Cunningham and CCI Ambassador Jonathan Bartels.

CCI sponsored Resilient Nurses, a public radio documentary series heard on more than 78 NPR stations, nationwide on SiriusXM satellite radio, and downloaded more than 11,000 times. Throughout the series, award-winning producer David Freudberg, takes a no-holds-barred look at the challenges faced by those in the nursing profession, RN burnout, and the many ways some nurses are harnessing the power of mindfulness and resilience to fight it. Episodes 1 through 4 are available here.

In two additional productions, Freudberg examines nursing’s future, and how nursing schools like UVA’s are preparing new nurses for the difficult, if exhilarating journey ahead.

School of Nursing Dean and CCI Founder Dorrie Fontaine gave a lecture - "Compassion is the Key to Quality Health Care" - in the Hall of Philosophy at The Chautauqua Institution (NY).

Former CCI Director Susan Bauer-Wu and School of Nursing Dean and CCI Founder Dorrie Fontaine did a series of videos with SONIMA:

Book announcement (Fontaine, Cunningham, May)With more than 32 interprofessional contributors, Self-Care for New and Student Nurses represents the Compassionate Care Initiative's 10+ years of work. It presents techniques to prepare you for stressors present now and those to come. No matter where you are in your healthcare career, this book offers you multiple ways to prioritize your own mental, physical, and emotional health, while preparing you to lead important and positive change. Click here to purchase. 

Guided Practices

Facilitators for the Compassionate Care Initiative have created a few short videos of guided, gentle movement and stretching. View the playlist on the School of Nursing's YouTube Channel. 

ABC: Arrive - Breathe - Connect with CCI Director Lili Powell

Although the benefits are well-known, there are not many (if any) in healthcare that have time to participate in a day-long retreat or even a regular 30-60 minute contemplative practice. So, CCI Ambassador and FEAP Consultant Anna DeLong has worked on producing some short, guided practices to be shared within the UVA Medical Center and our community at-large.

When you have a few minutes, take some time to explore what guided practices she has offered.

The following recordings come from the companion CD to former CCI Director Susan Bauer-Wu's book, "Leaves Falling Gently: Living Fully with Serious and Life-Limiting Illness through Mindfulness, Compassion, and Connectedness".

Awareness of Breathing
The first step in developing mindfulness is learning to stabilize the mind. Our minds have a tendency to keep busy during our waking hours (and for some of us, even when we are sleeping!). The mind naturally bounces from one idea to another. Paying attention to a neutral point of focus is the easiest way to stabilize the mind. The breath is a common neutral point of focus because it is always with us.

This guided meditation helps bring awareness to the breath.

Body Scan
The body scan meditation is an excellent way to learn to tune in to and befriend your body. It involves bringing awareness through slowly, gently, and systematically scanning the different regions of your body. It helps to cultivate attention skills, flexibility to be with whatever you are feeling, and self-acceptance.

Loving Kindness
This meditation incorporates wishing compassionate thoughts toward oneself and others.

Making Room for Forgiveness
This compassion meditation is centered on forgiving ourselves and others in our lives who may have hurt us in any way. In this practice we notice any thoughts or bodily sensations that may arise in sending forgiveness messages toward ourselves and others.

Adapted with permission: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.
Copyright © 2011 Susan Bauer-Wu.


Mindful Eating
This exercise garners a deep focus on the taste, feel and smell of food in order to become more present with how the body responds to food.

Massage and Muscle Relaxation
Recharge, renew and become more resilient with these massage practices.

Self-care Wheel
Reflect on the different ways you are nourished - physically, emotionally, spiritually, creatively and socially - and create your own care plan.

CCI has "business cards" with the following acronyms on them. If you would like some to have in your office or to give to colleagues, contact us.


Feeling overwhelmed, unsettled, irritated, distracted, judgmental, or critical (of self or others)? S.T.O.P. and gain control of your own thoughts, emotions, and reactions.

  • Stop, pause.
  • Take a few slow, deep breaths and Tune in.
  • Open and Observe, notice what's on your mind and what's happening.
  • Proceed with awareness, kindness (toward self and others), and wise action (or wise inaction).


Mindful clinical encounters allow one to tune in to the present moment, engage the senses of the body, and remind clinicians of the worth of their own self, the patient, and family by encouraging connectedness. Mindful clinical encounters: W.O.R.T.H. a lot and pay dividends!

Wash your hands with awareness, feel the warm water and watch the soap lather and rinse away.

Open the door, notice the experience of walking into the room, and observe the patient and family as you enter.

Remember you are caring for a person who has a full life, who is much more than a disease or a procedure.

Take a couple of slow, full breaths and tune in before saying or doing anything.

Handle the patient’s (and family’s) concerns with calm, clarity and heartful presence.

--Developed by Susan Bauer-Wu, PhD, RN, FAAN


The Pause: CCI Ambassador Jonathan Bartels created this website as a portal to help facilitate education, research, and offer links to The Medical Pause. The revolution was started several years ago in response to the stressors that accompany death as healthcare providers - it is simple and not difficult. It is not meant to cure the uneasiness that accompanies death; it is just one tool of many to help support resiliency.