Circle Up for COVID-19

Safety | Strength | Support

A supportive system of work-based briefing, peer check-ins, and debriefing to boost clarity, coordination, and resilience in your healthcare workforce.

Program Details

Our team supports you to smoothly and quickly integrate Circle Up into your existing workflow. The COVID-19 crisis is placing unprecedented pressure on individuals, teams and organizational systems. Every day brings fresh challenges – spikes in volume and severity, equipment shortages, and stress on overtaxed clinicians. Circle Up equips your organization to turn challenges into efficient responses while supporting your irreplaceable workforce.

“Supporting the psychological health of frontline clinicians managing COVID-19
is a practical and ethical responsibility.”

Circle Up for COVID-19 infographic

What is Circle Up for COVID-19?

Circle Up is a system of communications and adaptive learning featuring three activities:

  • 1) Briefings (huddles) at the beginning of shifts, days, and activities
  • 2) Dynamic supportive conversations among colleagues
  • 3) Debriefings (huddles) near the end of shifts, days, and complex care episodes

CMS helps your organization to structure and integrate Circle Up activities. We first model (co-lead) activities and then train and empower you and your team to independently lead activities.

Circle Up Activities


Circle Up briefings promote clarity of purpose and action to support both operational excellence and the well-being of the workforce.

  • Skillfully introduce and encourage questions and concerns
  • Update on process and protocol
    • Mental rehearsals of new routines
    • Reflective Q&A
  • Update on well-being features and adaptations
  • Remind team to use Talk2Support
  • Invite to debriefing at end of day, shift or care episode


Check-in with colleagues while @work.

  • Notice colleagues in need
  • Check-in with all team members
  • Affirm and appreciate contributions
  • Listen and offer support

Talk2Support Pocket Card Front Side


Circle Up debriefings promote positive-minded sharing and adaptation around challenges and successes related to the work of the day, shift or care episode.

  • Skillfully introduce the activity
    • Encourage sharing of experiences, questions, and concerns
    • Affirm contributions to wellness of patients or co-workers
  • Facilitate collection of successes and challenges
  • Organize and supportive exploration of root causes to challenges
  • Facilitate development (or initiation) of solutions and adaptations
  • Offer uplifting summaries and action plans

To find out more about how you can implement this program in your organization, please contact:
Chris Roussin, PhD
Mary Fey, PhD, RN

Contact Us

Circle Up for COVID-19 Webinar

Circle Up for COVID-19 Online Webinar

This webinar will introduce a system for communication that supports both staff resilience and sustainable excellence in care delivery.


Learn More



* Talk2Support is a joint project between CMS and The Debriefing Academy.

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