COVID-19 Coping Skills: Increasing Resilience

The ASPCA Shelter Outreach team’s Brian DiGangi, DVM, MS, DABVP, and Karen Walsh, CAWA, LVMT, CFE, have a short homework assignment for you to do before their April 29 webinar, The Road to Resilience. (P.S. It’s so helpful that you may want to ask your team and coworkers to do it, too.)

Resilience – our ability to overcome adversity and turn challenges into opportunities – is as important now as it has ever been. COVID-19 has created both personal and professional challenges for all of us, and is likely to change the face of animal welfare. Our resilience as individuals and as a field will help determine the direction and outcome of this change. 

Compassion Satisfaction, Burnout, Secondary Traumatic Stress–what’s your score for March 2020?

One of the first steps to increasing your resiliency is knowing where you’re starting from. The Professional Quality of Life Measure is a well-known and scientifically studied tool for doing just that. After completing a short 30-question survey, the tool will allow you to calculate your scores in the areas of Compassion Satisfaction, Burnout, and Secondary Traumatic Stress for the last month.

Knowing your scores can help you tailor your own self-care plan targeting your area(s) of greatest need and can help you track your progress as you implement your plan and repeat the survey. The accompanying ProQOL Manual can even help you interpret your unique combination of scores. 

Want to take it a step further? Have your staff anonymously complete the self-assessment and discuss your overall scores as an organization at an upcoming staff meeting.

Join us on the Road to Resilience, 4/29

We invite you to take the self-assessment now and join our webinar, The Road to Resilience, at 3PM ET on Wednesday, April 29. Together, we will talk about the ProQOL and a variety of other tools than can help us build resilience both on the individual and organization level. We would love to hear how well you fared. Did you score higher or lower in one particular area than you would have guessed? Leave a comment–and we can talk more on the 29th.

Helpful Links

Register for the Webinar: The Road to Resilience, 4/29
Professional Quality of Life Assessment


Brian DiGangi, DVM, MS, DABVP

Dr. Brian DiGangi is Senior Director of Shelter Medicine at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. He has published research on canine heartworm disease, veterinary field clinics, feline adoption, pregnancy detection and immunology. He is board certified in both Canine and Feline Practice and Shelter Medicine Practice by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Heartworm Society, and served two terms as President of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians from 2015-2016.

Karen Walsh, CAWA, LVMT, CFE

Karen S Walsh, CAWA, LVMT, CFE, is the Senior Director of Animal Relocation for the ASPCA and the former executive director of the McKamey Animal Center in Chattanooga, TN. Karen has held leadership positions in both veterinary and animal welfare organizations and was appointed to serve on the Tennessee state Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.


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