Virginia has a strategy to help healthcare workers feel more encouraged and valued

Virginia has a strategy to help healthcare workers feel more encouraged and valued

January 23, 2023 : Virginia is the primary state in the nation to implement a statewide program to support healthcare workers’ emotive and mental well-being.

The initiative learned as “All In: Caring for Virginia’s Caregivers,” was established by the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes Foundation and First Responders First.

A Charlottesville resident and VCU Medical School graduate, Dr. Breen died by suicide in April 2020 from the physical and mental pressure of being an ER doctors in New York City at the pandemic’s peak.

The endeavor will help hospitals and healthcare systems in redesigning their workplace conditions to help healthcare workers feel more supported and loved, especially after three years of pandemic duty and now witnessing intense influenza, RSV, and covid increase in hospitals and doctors’ clinics.

It’s centered around four objectives:

  • Eradicating barriers to mental health access for workers by modifying licensing and credential applications.
  • Handling burnout from operational efficiencies.
  • Lessening electronic health record clicks for common workflows.

The endeavor also designates a person with operation authority to align all clinician well-being measures. It creates more employee assistance programs to assure adequate mental health care by delivering mental health counseling, a peer-to-peer support plan, and psychological first aid internship.

Corey Feist, the co-founder of the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes Foundation, told his family is grateful to have 100 percent of Virginia hospitals agreeing to partake in the initiative.

“Lorna overlooked just as deeply about her colleagues as she cared about her patients,” Feist told. “She was commited to taking care of them and her associates. I think she would be happy to see that we are taking this job to the next level, her home state, and really creating it the nation’s crown jewel.”

Foundation board associate Leigh Cantrell, M.D., said healthcare workers merit a healthy work-life balance to adequately care for their patients and the families.

“I assume the loss of Lorna Breen was a the biggest wakeup call to all of us,” Cantrell spoke. “Here is someone that was so tough and who we all examined to as a provider who never broke, and she broke so that suggests it could transpire to any of us.”

The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, the Medical Society of Virginia, and the Virginia Nurses Association, all jointly support the endeavor.

For hospitals and health methods interested in being recognized as a WellBeing First Champion, see ALL IN’s online portal to verify your organization’s credentialing applications are unrestricted from unnecessary mental health queries.