Webinar Series: Psychological First Aid, Grief and Loss, and Moral Distress in response to COVID-19

Health care professionals in donation and transplantation are invited to attend a series of webinars focusing on psychological first aid, grief and loss, and moral distress, within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A severe mass event like this pandemic can cause the general public and those affected by COVID-19, including health care workers, to be mentally impacted. Psychological First Aid is an intervention method that can help people in distress during these challenging times.

The webinars will be recorded, in case you cannot attend the live events or you experience technical issues.  For questions, please contact otdt@blood.ca


Part 1: Psychological First Aid during COVID-19

May 12, 2020 | 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. (ET) Handout

Part 2: Grief and Loss during COVID-19  

May 19, 2020 | 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. (ET)  Handout

Part 3: Moral Distress during COVID-19 

June 2, 2020 | 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. (ET) Handout 1 Handout 2 Handout 3


Dr. David Kuhl

Dr. David Kuhl is a Professor in the Departments of Family Practice and Urologic Sciences, Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Kuhl graduated with a Masters in Health Sciences (Community Health and Epidemiology) from the University of Toronto in 1981, and received his medical degree from McMaster University in 1985.  After completing his training in Family Practice (1987) he worked as a family practitioner and a palliative care physician.  In that context he conducted a qualitative study, Exploring Spiritual and Psychological Issues at the End of Life.  The study served as the basis for his doctoral dissertation (Interdisciplinary PhD, UBC 1999) for a book, entitled What Dying People Want: Practical Wisdom for the End-of-Life and for the founding of the Centre for Practitioner Renewal at Providence Health Care.

Throughout his career David has worked to integrate medicine, psychology and the social sciences as a clinician and a researcher. This is evident in the programs he has founded, namely the Palliative Care Program at St. Paul’s Hospital, the Veterans Transition Program, the Centre for Practitioner Renewal (CPR), and most recently, The Men’s Initiative.  His work at the CPR focused on sustaining health care providers in the work place, understanding the effect of being in the presence of suffering and working with health care providers in addressing resilience, communication and healthy relationships in the workplace. While no longer working at the CPR, David continues this work as a consultant to health care teams and services, locally, provincially and nationally. Since the onset of the pandemic, David, along with his colleagues, has been involved in developing a program of support for physicians who are working with those who have experienced the coronavirus.  His primary focus is that of a co-founder of The Men’s Initiative, an endeavour that seeks to enhance the integrity and well-being of men for the benefit of families, communities and the globe.

Linda MacNutt 

Linda MacNutt MSW RSW integrates her professional background in nursing and social work working as member of an interdisciplinary consulting team with a focus on collegial, meaningful relationships, resilience and the delivery of compassionate care.

Her social work career has seen 34 years work experience in Child Welfare, Mental Health and Health Care in both urban and rural settings. Health Care has been her predominate field of practice involving work with patients and families primarily in the adult specialty areas of Nephrology: Dialysis and Transplant and Cardiology: Transplant and Healthy Heart. Since 2001 the focus of Linda’s work has addressed the care and well being of health care staff in acute and residential care settings. From 2001-2008 she collaboratively developed and coordinated the Cumulative and Critical Incident Stress Management program (CCISM) at Providence Health Care. Linda is a Certified trainer for 1 on 1 Provider Training and for the group Resilience Advantage program developed by the HeartMath Institute in Boulder Creek, USA.  She is a member of ICISF and TIR.

One of the founding members of the Provincial Disaster Psychosocial Services Program (DPS) Linda is also a council member representing the BC Association of Social Workers. Associated with DPS she co-facilitates DPS Psychological First Aid (PFA) training and may be called upon to respond during disaster events.

Dr. Hilary Pearson

Dr. Pearson has an MA in Counselling Psychology and interdisciplinary PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from UBC. Hilary worked as a psychotherapist in the Centre for Practitioner Renewal (CPR) at Providence Health Care for 11 years and served as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Practice Medicine at UBC for 7 years.

Hilary has broad experience in trauma repair and in alleviating or preventing vicarious traumatic stress, compassion fatigue and moral distress. This includes work with First Nations survivors of residential schools, practitioners involved in residential school healing, physicians, and multi-disciplinary health care teams.

As part of a team of interdisciplinary consultants, her current focus is working with health care providers and organizations to enhance vitality, sustainability, and the delivery of relationship centred compassionate care.

Dr. Paul Whitehead 

Paul Whitehead completed his MA and PhD in counselling psychology at the University of BC, and has been a registered psychologist since 2008.

He has worked for over 20 years in the field of psychological trauma, vicarious trauma and work-related stress, which has included over 12 years working with individuals, teams and groups of health care providers with the Centre for Practitioner Renewal at Providence Health Care in Vancouver.

He is currently an associate clinical professor with the Department of Family Practice at the University of BC, clinical supervisor and case consultant with the BC Society for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse (BCSMSSA) and national clinical director for the Veterans Transition Network.

His current focus is on the use of team and group-oriented approaches to develop resilience and address the impact of work-related stress, vicarious trauma and post-traumatic stress amongst health care providers, first responders and veterans.