“Very quickly we made a commitment, we recognized that caring for the mental and emotional well-being of our caregivers is no longer just a priority; it’s a precondition for delivering excellence,” said Dr. Arpan Waghray, chairman of the behavioral medicine clinical performance group at Providence. Supporting
The Renton, Wash.-based health system, which saw the first COVID-19-positive patient in the U.S., took two critical steps to ensure its staff’s resiliency: making sure all caregivers and their families had access to mental health care and leaders regularly checked in with their teams on mental health and wellness.
Resiliency doesn’t mean bouncing back; it means adapting to a new normal, Waghray said.
“In some way or form, we’re all going to be broken,” but we can be stronger in the broken places, he said, referencing Ernest Hemingway.
And part of that flexibility comes from being able to trust those in charge, according to Dr. David Lubarsky, vice chancellor of human health sciences and CEO at UC Davis Health in California.
“We believe that you help build resilience when you build faith and trust in leadership,” Lubarsky said.
That’s why UC Davis Health published its personal protective equipment numbers twice a day; revealed the number of people who were being treated in the hospitals and intensive-care units; disclosed how many employees had tested positive for COVID-19; and shared every clinical study the system started.
“A communications strategy, we felt, was the best way to build resiliency and prevent things from spinning off the rails,” Lubarsky said.