Image a healthcare setting where patients receive expert, empathic care

and healthcare providers are rarely stressed or overwhelmed, and you’ll see the vision that’s guided the Compassionate Care Initiative (CCI), established by Dean Dorrie Fontaine in 2009. Today, with lead gifts from Shelley and Dan Boyce, and Becky and Pete Ruegger, that vision and an associated fund to guide it is already on track toward its $1 million endowment goal.

Ultimately, this newly established Fontaine Fund for Compassionate Care will offer healthcare providers—particularly nurses—the tools they need to lead fulfilling, productive work lives free from the debilitating stress that often leads to burnout and attrition. With the goal of helping staff to take better care of themselves so they may provide exceptional patient care, the School’s faculty, administrators, and students are learning concrete ways to insert compassion into every human-to-human interaction they have.


Goal for the Fontaine Fund for Compassionate Care, to support and sustain CCI initiatives at UVA into perpetuity

CCI has evolved into a highly integrated program that touches students, faculty, and staff throughout UVA, the broader community, and beyond. CCI promotes clinician (and student-clinician) wellness and high-quality, compassionate clinical care through a variety of courses, retreats, and workshops, and by supporting Compassionate Care Ambassadors as role models in the workplace.

Going forward, CCI also will pilot new research to scientifically measure the impact of activities that promote resilience and reduce burnout and attrition in the healthcare setting. Offering free classes in yoga, T’ai Chi, meditation and resilience, the group will continue to expand programs and offerings across UVA.

As she prepares to step down as dean in 2019, the fund also honors Fontaine’s decade of leadership and vision by sustaining CCI, the most comprehensive mindfulness program of its kind in the nation. The Fontaine Fund, held by UVA Health Foundation, will support CCI operations and ensure its continued development.


Interested in supporting the Fontaine Fund? Contact Kelly McCaskill, executive director of development.