Care for the Caregiver During COVID-19 Outbreak
OSMAP Video Program on Physician Wellness
The Organization of State Medical Association Presidents partnered with
the Physicians Foundation to present a program on physician wellness,
which features J. Corey Feist, JD, MBA, the co-founder of the Dr. Lorna
Breen Heroes' Foundation. Corey also serves as the CEO of the University
of Virginia Physicians Group, the medical group practice of UVA Health.
Hear their story about Lorna and how they are using the Foundation to help
physicians and other health care workers recognize and manage the symptoms
and impact of burnout, depression, anxiety, and other stressors that can
lead to suicide. Also featured are two state medical society programs that
are facing these issues head on. The program is moderated by Madelyn E.
Butler, MD, OSMAP President, and a past president of the Florida Medical
Sustaining Physicians and PAs During the COVID-19 Outbreak
Responding to the COVID-19 crisis is already taking toll on physicians and
the health care team. Remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint. We
know how critical it is that you can access the support you need and
practice self-care while you strive to meet your calling to provide
medical care to patients. You’ll find a collection of resources from
organizations that have reached out to support you. The WSMA shares these
resource links as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they
do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by the WSMA. However, if
you choose to utilize resources from these organizations, we would
appreciate you sharing your experiences with us.
WSMA calls on EAPs and PAPs to address physician concerns
The WSMA has called on employee assistance programs and physician
assistance programs to address the barriers that create skepticism and
reluctance to use these services available through physician employers.
WSMA's goal is to ensure our state's physicians and advanced practitioners
receive the psychological support they need, ideally using existing
resources. The WSMA has asked EAPs and PAPs in Washington state to:
Change the pre-recorded greeting message on the 1-800 number to clearly
communicate that all calls are confidential and HIPAA compliant.
Establish a triage system at entry that allows people to identify
themselves as clinicians at the front line of the COVID-19 response.
Deploy your most highly trained and skilled staff to support this
population, including the provision of cognitive behavioral therapy.
Develop custom communication materials targeted to clinicians at the
front line of the COVID-19 response that clearly explain that your
mental health care professionals are equipped to help them navigate the
COVID-19 crisis and that the services are completely confidential.
Work with each of your clients to provide just-in-time group and 1:1
sessions to frontline clinicians while protecting the health of your
staff. For example, use telehealth technology to plant multiple virtual
mental health professionals inside the most impacted hospitals and/or at
health care provider quarantine facilities for easy on-demand access.
Ensure your organizations' emergency response plan includes strategies
to adequately handle a surge in requests for services.
To learn more, read the
open letter to EAPs/PAPs with health care clients in Washington
state, issued March 17, 2020.
The Washington Office of Superintendent Public Instruction is working in
partnership with other state agencies and organizations representing first
responders and health care workers to use
Child Care Aware of Washington
as a resource for linking prioritized families to available care. You can
online or at
Ten Percent Happier is building
resources designed to help people cope with the rising stress and anxiety.
They are offering free six-month subscriptions to the Ten Percent Happier
app, no strings attached, to all health care workers and volunteers.
Health care workers can
instructions on how to get access.
Washington Physicians Health Program
Today, the Washington Physicians Health Program's support for health care
professionals extends beyond just substance use, behavioral health,
physical and cognitive disorders to include programs that enhance
clinicians' health by reducing stress and increasing physician
satisfaction. Visit the WPHP website to
find resources for those needing support, learn more about
stress-reduction and burnout-prevention training programs
jointly provided by the WSMA and Mindfulness Northwest, and search
upcoming course offerings. The WSMA established WPHP (known then as the Washington Monitored
Treatment Program) in 1986. Today, WPHP is a nonprofit 501(c)(3)
organization under contract with the Department of Health.
AMA: Practical Strategies for Health Care Leadership During COVID-19
Health care leaders can act now to provide infrastructure and planning to
support their physicians and clinical care teams. The AMA provides
practical guidance for health care administrators and leadership to
support our clinical care teams on topics such as workload distribution,
institutional policies, meals, and child care.
CDC: For Emergency Responders, Tips for Taking Care of Yourself
Responding to COVID-19 can take an emotional toll on you. The Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention suggests taking the following steps to
reduce secondary traumatic stress (STS) reactions:
Acknowledge that STS can impact anyone helping families after a
Learn the symptoms including physical (fatigue, illness) and mental
(fear, withdrawal, guilt).
Allow time for you and your family to recover from responding to the
Create a menu of personal self-care activities that you enjoy, such as
spending time with friends and family, exercising, or reading a book.
- Take a break from media coverage of COVID-19.
Ask for help if you feel overwhelmed or concerned that COVID-19 is
affecting your ability to care for your family and patients as you did
before the outbreak.
More from the CDC on how emergency responders can take care of
themselves during emergency response.