DiversityNursing Blog

Chief Wellness Officer - More Healthcare Organizations Are Adding CWO’s To Their C-Suite

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Oct 08, 2021 @ 03:06 PM

wellnessEven before the pandemic, healthcare providers experienced burnout and other negative mental health issues. Now more than ever, it is critical health systems take steps to support their staff's well-being.

Recently, more healthcare organizations have started to hire Chief Wellness Officers (CWO), as a strategy to address burnout, mental health, and compassion fatigue.

Jonathan Ripp MD, MPH, Chief Wellness Officer at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, said there were only a handful of Chief Wellness Officer positions when he was appointed to the role in May 2018. “There has been at least a dozen more who have been named in the past year, and several more places that are looking to create the position,” said Dr. Ripp. “I would not be surprised if, 10 years from now, it's commonplace for most large organizations to have a Chief Wellness Officer or equivalent, taking this challenge on, and doing so in a way that is effective.”

The ultimate goal of this role is to aid system-wide changes that enable staff to practice in a culture that prioritizes and promotes mental health and well-being.

The CWO is responsible for measuring well-being across their organization. Then, they create and implement wellness programs that address the current environment causing burnout and stress.

The hiring of a CWO is not a remedy all on its own. The CWO works in collaboration with other leaders and staff to prioritize well-being and would ultimately lower costs and improve patient care.

According to Beckers Hospital Review, burnout and depression result in major costs to health systems due to an increase in medical errors, reduced quality of care, and turnover. Research has found that for every dollar invested in wellness, hospitals can see a $3 to $6 return on investment.

Medical Schools are also following the hiring trend.

According to Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School, medical students are more likely to experience burnout and depression than peers on different career paths. To confront the challenge head-on, they appointed their first Chief Wellness Officer, Dr. Kelly Holder.

Holder said, "Mental and emotional wellness is essential to complete health. We simply cannot ignore this fact. I view my role as another way to serve the students, faculty and physicians in Brown’s medical school, and aid them in not just meeting their immediate self-care needs but also creating and developing plans that can help them learn more about how to take care of themselves in a way that's sustainable for a profession that demands a lot."

“Wellness and self-care is more important than ever before. These next few years will be critical for health care workers as we address the mental and physical burdens from COVID-19,” said George Washington University's Chief Wellness Officer, Lorenzo Norris, MD.

Hopefully this position sticks around, even after the pandemic passes, because burnout and mental health have been issues in the healthcare field all along.

Topics: mental health, compassion fatigue, burnout, hospitals, Nurse burnout, healthcare organizations, frontline workers, front line workers mental health, compassion fatigue in nursing, C-Suite, Chief Wellness Officers, CWO

Healthcare Organizations Commitment To Improving Diversity

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Tue, May 25, 2021 @ 01:50 PM

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The tragic events of the past year has brought an increased awareness to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). As a result, healthcare organizations are hiring Chief Diversity Officers (CDO’s), implementing initiatives, providing educational programs, and using new recruitment strategies to increase diversity in medicine.

Increasing diversity in healthcare organizations benefits both the healthcare provider and the patient populations they serve.

To increase diversity and lower racial healthcare disparities, many hospitals and health systems are looking to their CDO for guidance moving forward.

Last year, CDO hires grew by 84%, making it the fastest growing C-suite title, according to LinkedIn.

Some health systems are going beyond hiring a CDO and are creating entire teams or councils to implement and foster best practices. 

Northwell Health formed the Emerging Leaders Diversity & Inclusion Council which is responsible for analyzing current conditions within the health system while seeking to implement best practices in 3 key areas:

• Onboarding
• Mentoring
• Succession Planning

Englewood Health assembled a Diversity and Inclusion Education Council consisting of 12 team members across all departments and leadership levels.  

Warren Geller, President and CEO of Englewood Health said, “Our country’s history of racism and current inequalities have impacted every aspect of life and, most importantly, our health and well-being. With the establishment of a Diversity and Inclusion Education Council we are committing to doing more and doing better for the communities we serve.”

More hospitals are providing educational resources and training programs for their staff members.

At Ochsner Health in Louisiana, they’ve rolled out training to address implicit bias across the organization. Melissa Love, VP of Professional Staff Services and The Office of Professional Well-Being said, “People are really curious. I’m seeing people be very surprised by their lack of knowledge, even those that think they’re very knowledgeable.” 

Hospitals are also participating in evaluation programs to help improve their DEI efforts. 

The HRC Foundation's Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) evaluates healthcare facilities nationwide based on non-discrimination & staff training, LGBTQ patient services & support, employee benefits & policies, and LGBTQ patient & community engagement. 

Last year, a record 765 healthcare facilities participated in the HEI survey. These organizations recognize the importance of implementing LGBTQ-inclusive practices alongside their foundational non-discrimination policies.

When it comes to diversifying the hiring process, Daniel Benavides, Manager of Talent Acquisition at CHG Healthcare, suggests hospitals increase the number of people who select candidates. 

Benavides noticed only one or two people were filtering candidates for interviews. He determined that having a larger mix of individuals looking at applications would result in a greater diversity — and higher quality — of selected candidates.

It’s critical healthcare organizations improve diversity within their staff to reduce healthcare disparities. They must ensure ALL people are equally represented. 

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Topics: Diversity and Inclusion, chief diversity officer, hospital diversity, diversity recruitment, healthcare organizations, workplace diversity, hiring diverse workforce, diversity and inclusion in the workplace, DEI

Healthcare Organizations Are Adding New Executive Roles

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, May 14, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

healthcareexecsThe healthcare industry is constantly evolving, and with new services come new roles. Policies and regulations are always changing, new technologies are being used, and patient care is becoming more convenient for them with telehealth, transportation to medical appointments and increased access to health data.  Below you can learn more about some of the roles. 

Chief diversity and inclusion officer

The importance for healthcare organizations to have a Chief Diversity Officer on board has grown in the past 10 years as health systems have expanded and their patient populations have become more diverse.

Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officers main focus is to promote diversity and inclusion at the organization. Other responsibilities include vendor diversity and eliminating health disparities. Someone in this position should understand the health system's culture and its patient population. According to Modern Healthcare, providers argue that as they care for a larger and more diverse patient population—both inside and outside the hospital setting—a diverse workforce will help them better care for patients.

Population health executives

Population health management is becoming a central focus for more healthcare providers and many are considering adding a Chief Population Health Officer to the executive ranks.

Chief Population Health Officers are responsible for overall strategic direction and coordination of population health and care management. It is expected that a Physician would fill the role but, this Physician will have to have public health experience at a state or national level, have an advanced degree in business or health administration and have experience with team-based care.

Chief clinical officer

The demand for value-based care is growing and hospital executives are better aligning their services by hiring Chief Clinical Officers. This role is becoming clearly distinct from a traditional Chief Medical Officer.

The Chief Clinical Officer (CCO)  role takes on more of the patient engagement and clinical quality outcome work. They must understand lean performance requirements, a management style designed to reduce excess waste and care quality, be familiar with electronic health records as well as experience with the integration of quality data and, broadly, the ability to improve processes.

Physician leadership roles

As the hospital field tackles clinical integration, population health and performance improvement to drive transformational change, Physician leadership is crucial. Physician leaders should have exceptional people skills, be capable of communicating effectively and building trust across multidisciplinary groups. Management training and knowledge of leadership principles are also important.

Chief of staff

The Chief of Staff position has long been a fixture in the political arena as well as in the corporate world. It is fairly new but gaining favor in health care. Not to be confused with a Medical Chief of Staff, the organization’s Chief of Staff serves as the right hand of the CEO.

The health care Chief of Staff's duties depend on the CEO’s needs and what the organization demands of the Chief Executive. Responsibilities can encompass supporting internal operations and day-to-day management, as well as representing and even speaking for the organization in public and with external constituents. The Chief of Staff should fulfill high-level responsibilities befitting an executive.

According to Beckers Hospital Review, other executives, like Analytics Executives, Digital Executives, Technology Transfer Executives and Shared Services Executives are also on the rise.

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Topics: healthcare organizations, executive roles

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