Author Archives: Lindsay Goodro

EAP webinars to help you cope with COVID-19

With each passing day, we all look for that little glimpse of hope and peace during this extremely difficult time.   As your EAP (Employee Assistance Program), we continually promote our promise to be here for you through every season, hardship and success life brings.That’s why we’ve put together a page on our website full of resources as well as specific webinars related to this crisis   Take some time, check them out, and let us know what you think. If you need additional support to process what’s going on, call the Support Line at 800-624-5544 or login at any time.
Leading in Time of Crisis – Resilience (24 mins)
Leading in Time of Crisis – Grief, Loss, and Illness (23 mins)
Managing Remotely (30 mins)
First Front Line Workers
Relaxation Exercises for First Responders (10 mins)
Compassion Fatigue for Caregivers – Covid (19 mins)
Self-care for First Responders (18 mins)
Stress Relief for Emergency Personnel in Critical Times (17 mins)
Additional Topics
Resilience During Difficult Times (17 mins)
Setting up for Success – Working from Home (25 mins)
Financial Uncertainty as the Coronavirus Spreads (35 mins)
Strategies to Manage Anxiety (18 mins)
The Intersection of Uncertainty and Parenting: Covid-19 (40 mins)
Surviving During a Pandemic (40 mins)
We’ve dedicated part of our website to all things related to this pandemic. You’ll find tip sheets, the webinars listed above (+ more) and a news alert section to keep you up-to-date on this ever-changing crisis. To access, login and click the purple alert banner at the top of the page. Check back regularly for new material and updates.
Visit for COVID-19 resources

‌Extra EAP Mental Wellness Resources for You

During this time of heightened stress and uncertainty, we have been working to ensure you and your employees are taken care of and have what you need to help you through this challenging time.     

In addition to the EAP COVID-19 site, we’re excited to offer you pandemic resources (through June 2020) from our partner myStrength, at no cost to you.
It’s easy to get started: 1. Visit
2. Create a free account 3. Choose from over a dozen activities     And as always, you can reach out to the EAP any time. Call 800-624-5544 to talk with a licensed professional, any time of day.   For the latest news and resources on the COVID-19 pandemic, log in to the EAP page of using your company passcode. Then visit the: COVID-19 resource libraryHealth resource library        

What’s on tap for well-being week of 4/27/20

Our four week GMHEC/DIEMlife “Quest to Connect” will be wrapping up on Sunday.  Over the past four weeks participants have connected with their bodies, minds and communities.  We have shared and provided support to one another and along the way have enhanced our relationships and resilience and took home some cool prizes.  The winners for this week’s drawings will be announced on Monday.  Check out this awesome news about our partner, DIEMlife….As of today, DIEMlife has raised just under $100,000 to support restaurants and health care workers in New York City and with that money has provided over 3300 meals to these front line workers.  This is incredible but not surprising.  DIEMlife is an organization that lives its values and puts those values into action and is one of the main reasons we wanted to partner with them.  Our next DIEMlife Quest, a physical activity challenge, will be coming this summer and will be a great way for us to meet the needs of our competitive spirits and challenge one another to get moving. 

Here’s what we’ve got for you this week….

Financial well-being:

  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a wealth of information on everything from how to negotiate with your lender if you cannot make your mortgage payment to how to help protect older adults from financial exploitation.
  • On Thursday, April 23rd I had a conversation with Frankie Corrado, Certified Financial Planner and Managing Director at Robertson Stephens where we talked about some of the current economic challenges we are facing and we can better position our financial future.  Some great insights here.  You can view the recording here

Mental/emotional well-being:

  • Chaplain’s Moment:  Join the chaplains from the Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life at Middlebury every noon time on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the foreseeable future for a 15 minute reflection on what is happening around us and within our spirits.  Rabbi Danielle, Chaplain Saifa, and Dean Mark will take turns leading a brief meditation on some piece of literature, poetry or world wisdom. There will be room for silence and reflection, and a bit of interaction to conclude.  
  • Guided mindfulness with Kendra:  Join Kendra Smith, yoga and meditation teacher for an hour of relaxation and time to reconnect with yourself.  Kendra will provide guidance and time for quiet reflection.  Ongoing Tuesdays 5:00-6:00 pm EST.  Password 8026542000
  • Get clear with what you want and who you want to BE: Powerful Intention setting Series with Beth Umba.  If not now, when?   The world is in a huge transitional time.  Life will not be what it used to be and that’s quite alright.  Join Beth, navigational coach who leans in with her keen sense of curiosity, intuition + humor while powerfully listening as she helps create inspirational futures for her clients.  Four, one hour sessions Wednesdays from 5:00-6:00 pm EST beginning Wednesday, April 29th.  Learn how to become the creator of your life experiences through the powerful practice of defining and setting daily intentions.
  • Sleep better for a longer, healthier and happier life:  We know that a good night’s sleep is critical for good health, yet one in three adults do not get enough shut-eye. The cumulative long-term effects of sleep loss and sleep disorders have been associated with a wide range of deleterious health consequences including sleep disorders, 80% of which go undiagnosed. In a time when the entire world is experiencing increased levels of stress, it has never been more important to get good quality sleep, as sleep has many health benefits such as boosting your immunity. Join Dr. David Batman for a live webinar to learn how to improve the quality of your sleep and why sleep is the foundation of good health.  Thursday, April 30th 2:00-3:00 pm EST.  Preregistration required.    Click here to register and be sure to input your own email address in the email field.   

For the kids:

  • It’s playtime!…Grab your kids (grades K-5) and join CrossFit coaches Grant and Chanelle Shymske of Upper Arlington CrossFit for some fun and play.  This class involves movement, fun and games and is a great way for parents to have some fun with the kids and be active as well.  Suitable for children who enjoy some focus, building of skills, and some light hearted competition.  No equipment necessary but a backpack with books and some toys/furniture to climb on would be great.  Tuesdays and Thursdays through April 30th.  10:00-10:30am EST.
  • Yoga for kids: Led by instructor Deonne Myrick of True Center Yoga in Randolph this yoga class will enhance your kids’ flexibility, strength, coordination, and body awareness as well as their sense of calm and relaxation.  Ongoing Tuesdays, 3:15-4:00 pm EST.  Zoom info available here

Physical well-being:

  • Yoga!  Ongoing with our partner True Center Yoga.  15 classes per week.  Check out their schedule here
  • Move with Yoo-Sun: Yoo-Sun is Julliard trained violinist, teacher, trainer and co-founder of DIEMlife.  Yoo-Sun will lead us through a short but energizing cardio based workout that will leave us feeling energized and ready to tackle the rest of the day.  This workout is geared for people of all fitness levels and modifications to all exercises can be made by the instructor.  Monday, Wednesday and Friday through April 30th.  12:00-12:30 pm EST.
  • Get the kinks out with Beth:  Join Beth Umba, massage therapist and yoga teacher for a stretch session to release the kinks in your neck, back and hips.  Sitting for long periods of time promotes muscle fatigue and muscle strain, and over time, pain.  Everyone is welcome and encouraged to join Beth as she guides us through some stretches that we can do right from our desk or home office to get our bodies feeling their best.  Tuesdays 10:00-10:30 am EST and Thursdays 3:00-3:30 pm EST through April 30th
  • Pump up your muscles with Jeff:  Join Jeff Morton, founder of Morton Training Systems for a 30 minute, total body strength training workout. Strength training is one of the best types of activities we can do to stay strong, have better body mechanics and prevent the aches and pains of sitting all day. This workout is appropriate for all levels and modifications of all exercises can be made by the instructor. Grab a set of dumbbells or two or a couple of soup cans and let’s get moving. Tuesday and Thursdays through April 30th.  12:00-12:30 pm EST.
  •      Let’s get cooking! Join chef and Registered Dietitian Gina Rancourt from Whole Health Nutrition as we prepare a delicious dinner of Crispy Asian tofu tacos, served with slaw and quick pickled vegetables.  Grab your ingredients ahead of time and cook along with us.  Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone. 
  • or dial in by phone. 
  • United States: +1 (646) 749-3112  Access Code: 624-982-101 
  • New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts: 
  • From The Edge…. The Edge is offering many free online classes for members and non-members and through a partnership with Les Mills they are offering free access to 85 Les Mills classes including classes for kids.  Check out their offerings here

I would also like to take this opportunity again to remind everyone about the resources that your college and Cigna have to support your well-being.  These resources include telemedicine and virtual visits with mental health providers, health and financial coaching, legal referral and more.  You can learn more about those resources here

And one more resource…from Virgin Pulse, a leader in the employee well-being arena.  Here you will find tip sheets on everything from creating a self-care routine while working from home to strategies to quiet your mind so you can sleep better.

Now for my ask….I’d love to get your feedback about what we’ve been offering, when activities are being offered and how we might be better able to meet your needs and interests.  Please take five minutes to complete this google form.  I very much appreciate your input and thank you in advance for your time.  It’s been so wonderful to see so many of you over these last five weeks and I look forward to seeing you in the coming weeks.  Take care and stay well.

To stay up to date with all of our events, check out the calendar on the GMHEC Well-being (password is GMHECWell-Being), join our Facebook group or subscribe to the All Things Well-being listserv by sending a request to

GMHEC Well-being page

To support the well-being of our faculty and staff the GMHEC is offering a variety of events each day including yoga, strength training, cardio classes, cooking classes, professional development, fitness for kids and more.  All of these events are available on zoom.  Check out the calendar of events at  We hope to see you.  If you have specific questions about these events or have suggestions for events you’d like to see offered, please contact

Annual Performance Summary (APS) Process for Staff – EXTENSION

Dear Colleagues,

Given the extraordinary circumstances, we recognize the increased demands that have been placed on our organization to rapidly respond to the evolving COVID-19 situation.  As a result, the deadline for the completion of the staff Annual Performance Summaries (APS) has been extended to April 30, 2020.  We encourage supervisors and staff to continue to engage in the meaningful dialogue the APS affords as time allows.  Completed APS forms can be sent to

Please feel free to contact us with any questions.  Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

The New Middlebury Workplace

For current updates regarding COVID-19 from Middlebury College click here.
See below for a recent communication:

Dear Staff,

Karen, David, and I are following up on the news from this morning that an individual in Addison County has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. We had a lot of information in there from a public health perspective and will, of course, continue to communicate that vital content as we follow developments around COVID-19.

We also know that you have questions and concerns about what working at Middlebury will look like in the months ahead, and how your jobs and lives—and those of your families and loved ones—will be affected. We know this firsthand from the many individual conversations we have had with you, and from our discussions with Staff Council. We would like to address those incredibly important issues here.

First, it bears repeating what was said in this morning’s email: This is a new moment for us, not just for us at Middlebury, but literally for everyone on the planet. We are in a changed environment and are all working tirelessly to navigate it.

Our new educational reality of needing to deliver a curriculum online is taking up much of faculty and staff time, and you are doing so in unusually stressful circumstances. We are also working with new financial realities, such as the extreme stock market volatility and our obligation to refund a percentage of room and board costs to a great majority of students, to name just two.

At the institutional level, we are guided by two overarching values that we hold side by side: the health and well-being of our people, and of Middlebury as a whole. As we have developed the workplace plan below, our goal has been to ensure that your pay continues—for as long as possible—and that your work continues—wherever possible.

Let us tell you what we mean by that:


  1. For benefits-eligible staff, we are committed to paying at their current level for the foreseeable future and will continue to evaluate on a month-to-month basis.
  • For the next three months, we will provide all benefits-eligible employees what we are calling a COVID-19 Pay Bank of up to 21 days that you can use for circumstances in connection with the COVID-19 crisis. These are paid days that you can use in case of COVID-19 illness, or for caring for someone with a COVID-19 illness, or in the event that you are not able to work, or need to self-isolate, etc. These are not vacation or CTO days. We need to create a new pay code for this, which will take us a few days to configure.
  • In addition to the Pay Bank, you will be able to use your CTO and SLR under our ordinary policies.
  • Given the current nature of the pandemic, and how it is essential to practice social distancing, we will now require those who are able to work remotely to do so. You can find resources here.
  • The College still has students living with us, and we are responsible for their care and well-being. In normal times, our employees in dining, facilities, health, and safety are understood as “essential personnel,” which means, when the college is full, they are required to come to campus. However, because we have a smaller number of students now, we must deploy a smaller percentage of staff whose work must be performed on campus.
  • For those employees whose work is usually performed on campus—but whose work is now no longer necessary—we will make best efforts to assign alternative work with appropriate social distancing. Staff who are reassigned and perform other work will maintain their current rate of pay.
  • For  those employees for whom we cannot find alternative work on campus, we may be able to temporarily assign some people to alternative work off campus, in coordination with the hospital and the town, with appropriate social distancing. Details of how such assignments would work have not been determined yet, but we would make best efforts to maintain current rates of pay.
  • If none of the above alternatives is successful, we will ask staff to use their COVID-19 Pay Bank, Medical Leave Assistance Program, and their own CTO or SLR. These employees will be given “on reserve” status and may be called back if work becomes available. If on-reserve staff are called back, they will be required to return to work. If they do not return to work when called back, they risk losing their pay and access to their COVID-19 Pay Bank.
  • We will create special forms of recognition to honor those employees who cannot work remotely, and whose positions take them into the community—either in Middlebury College or the Town.


We know this is a lot to take in, and that it will take adjusting to, as well.

Given the twin values we held in balance during the making of this plan—the health and well-being of our people, and of Middlebury as a whole—we feel we have created a way forward that is compassionate, creative, and based in the realities of the day. We still have details to work out and will have more to tell you within the week.

In the meantime, while some of you are already working remotely, those of you with responsibilities that can only be performed on campus should continue to report to work on campus as long as you are not sick. Thank you for all that you do for Middlebury, for our students and faculty, and for each other.

With great respect and admiration,

Laurie Patton


Karen Miller

VP for Human Resources

David Provost

EVP for Finance and Administration

Social distance, but same support from your EFAP

Dear EAP clients,

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to escalate, we want to update you on a few things:

We’re following CDC guidance by implementing “social distancing” practices, but are prepared to provide you with the great service you’re used to and deserve.
E4 and New Directions have been closely monitoring the state of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic through the CDC and WHO, and we are actively taking steps to protect our employees and our business operations across the nation. Following guidance as recommended by the CDC, we have implemented the following “social distancing” practices internally, starting Monday, March 16:

  1. Employees in all non-critical roles are encouraged to work from home.
  2. All business travel is suspended at this time.
  3. Meetings are restricted to teleconference/web conference services, within client contract requirements.

These practices will be in effect until at least Friday, April 3, 2020, at which point we will evaluate the need for an extension based on the current COVID-19 situation.

Resources are available and will continue to grow.
In addition to the regular resources you’re used to – counseling, work/life referrals, legal/financial consultations, etc. – there are COVID-19 specific information available and is updated regularly. Here’s some examples:

• Tip sheets: handouts are available on a wide variety of topics. Most relevant to these times may be:
• Coronavirus and Mental Health Tips
• Tips for what to do when feeling overwhelmed about an outbreak
• How to talk to your kids about Coronavirus
• Tips for transitioning to work from home
• Guidance for Leadership on how to talk with staff about Coronavirus

Please use this information to keep your teams informed, mentally healthy and moving forward.

New Directions/E4 maintains a Business Continuity Plan for epidemic/pandemic illness.
New Directions/E4 maintains a Business Continuity Plan that includes procedures for epidemic/pandemic illness for all New Directions/E4 service center areas. New Directions/E4 Business Continuity Planning Team, which includes leadership from key departments in the organization, including IT, Clinical Operations, Customer Service and Human Resources, have been brought together as an internal task force to monitor and manage resource allocation and ensure critical business functions are appropriately staffed. New Directions/E4 network access capabilities currently allows for an increase of remote usage by staff and has been tested in recent adverse weather conditions. New Directions/E4 has the capability to re-distribute contact center calls within minutes using established protocols which designate backups for clinical care management activities. Current education and regular communication is available to members and partners through account management, social and web distribution channels. As we navigate these unprecedented challenges, know that we will keep you informed as much as possible. We are putting these measures in place to take care of our employees so that they can continue to best serve you.

We’re thinking of you during this intense time and always.
Stay well, partners.