ChristianaCare recognized for promoting health care worker well-being
ChristianaCare earned Gold Level recognition, the highest level of recognition in the Joy in Medicine™ Health System Recognition Program. It was one of only 10 health systems nationwide to achieve Gold Level. The recognition underscores ChristianaCare’s demonstrated commitment to the well-being of clinical care team members.
“Receiving the Joy in Medicine Award the first time was certainly an honor, but achieving gold level status a second time is an even greater achievement, as the requirements are more exacting,” said ChristianaCareChief Wellness Officer Heather Farley, M.D., MHCDS, FACEP. “It is a testament to the fact that at ChristianaCare and our Center for WorkLife Wellbeing, we are not comfortable resting on our laurels. We continue to raise the bar in our efforts to support the well-being of our caregivers, effectively respond to the changing health care landscape and foster an environment where each of our caregivers can thrive.”
In 2022, ChristianaCare’s Center for WorkLife Wellbeing launched Psychological First Aid training to help organization leaders build skills to identify and support colleagues impacted by stress. More than half of ChristianaCare leaders completed the training in 2022. The training is now available to all caregivers.
In addition, ChristianaCare’s peer support program, known as Care for the Caregiver, offers confidential individual peer support and group support following a range of stressful events at work. The program completed nearly 2,500 encounters from 2015 to 2022.
ChristianaCare also has established the Workplace Civility Steer Team, which provides strategic direction in establishing an environment that is safe and free of violence for caregivers, patients and visitors. The team performs this through program and process development for the identification, prevention and response to workplace violence, a challenge increasingly faced by health care workers nationwide.
“Health organizations that have earned recognition from the AMA’s Joy in Medicine Health System Recognition Program are leading a national movement that has declared the well-being of health professionals to be an essential element for providing high-quality care to patients, families and communities,” said AMA President Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, M.D., M.P.H. “Each Joy in Medicine recognized organization is distinguished as among the nation’s best at creating a culture of wellness that makes a difference in the lives of clinical care teams.”
Burnout rates among the nation’s physicians and other health care professionals spiked dramatically as the COVID-19 pandemic placed acute stress on care teams and exacerbated long-standing systemic issues. While the worst days of the pandemic have passed, the lingering impact of work-related burnout remains an obstacle to achieving national health goals.
Since its inception in 2019, the Joy in Medicine™ Health System Recognition Program has recognized more than 100 organizations across the country. In 2023, a total of 72 health systems nationwide earned recognition with documented efforts to reduce system-level drivers of work-related burnout and demonstrated competencies in commitment, assessment, leadership, efficiency of practice environment, teamwork and support.