From Jan Bergen, President & CEO

Burnout is so prevalent in health care that some researchers call it an “occupational hazard.”

It’s easy to understand why. While our work as health care professionals is important and incredibly fulfilling, it also can lead to significant physical and emotional stress.

Anecdotal feedback – along with the results of our most recent Employee Engagement Survey – suggest that LG Health is not immune to the stress and burnout that are so common in health care. We must do our part both as individuals and a health system to address this growing problem.

A positive sense of professional well-being contributes significantly to a happy, healthy life. Stress and burnout, on the other hand, can negatively impact everything from the way we care for patients to the time we spend with our families.

As individuals, we must commit to taking care of ourselves. Eating well, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep help us provide better care to our patients. We know, for example, that physicians who take these simple steps not only tend to be happier, but they also have higher patient satisfaction scores and fewer medical errors.

At LG Health, our efforts to address stress and burnout center on the highly regarded Stanford model, which recognizes three major components that contribute to well-being and fulfillment in physicians and other health care professionals.

A newly formed Wellness Committee is focusing its work on these three components: culture of wellness, personal resilience and practice efficiency. The committee, chaired by Dr. Chris Hermansen, is made up of nearly 50 clinicians and non-clinicians from throughout the health system.

Many of us aren’t aware of the wealth of wellness resources available to LG Health employees. (Did you know, for example, that our new holistic therapy department offers half-price massages?) One of the committee’s first projects is to create an online list of resources, from gym discounts to free counseling services, to deepen our employees’ awareness of these offerings. Our leadership team will continue to invest in additional resources to grow this list.

I encourage you to share your own ideas on how we can bring joy into our work lives with your manager or at your team’s huddles.  By working together, we can take the best care of ourselves, each other and our patients.

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