The Evolving Role of the Chief Wellness Officer in the Management of Crises by Health Care Systems: Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic
AuthorsBrower, Kirk J.
Brazeau, Chantal M.L.R.
Kiely, Sharon C.
Lawrence, Elizabeth C.
Berliner, Jennifer I.
Bird, Steven B.
UMass Chan AffiliationsDepartment of Emergency Medicine
health care organizations
Chief Wellness Officer
Health and Medical Administration
Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene
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AbstractEven before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, clinician burnout was a recognized occupational syndrome and a driver of suboptimal patient care. National calls for system-level interventions to improve clinician well-being led some health care organizations (HCOs) to appoint a Chief Wellness Officer (CWO). By incorporating CWOs into the emergency command structure, these HCOs were equipped to identify and address health care worker needs throughout the pandemic. CWOs learned important lessons regarding how HCOs can best address workforce well-being in the midst of a crisis. Key CWO contributions include identifying evolving sources of worker anxiety, deploying support resources, participating in operational decision-making, and assessing the impact of fluid pandemic protocols on clinician well-being. As HCOs seek to promote posttraumatic growth, attention to the well-being of the workforce should be incorporated into emergency management protocols with the goal of sustaining a resilient health care workforce.
Brower KJ, Brazeau CM, Kiely SC, Lawrence EC, Farley H, Berliner JI, Bird SB, Ripp J, Shanafelt T. The Evolving Role of the Chief Wellness Officer in the Management of Crises by Health Care Systems: Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic. NEJM Catalyst Innovations in Care Delivery. 2021 Apr 21;2(5). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1056/CAT.20.0612.