Thursday, February 23, 2023


Choose up to three Optional, Two-Hour, Hands-on, Interactive Pre-Conference Workshops

(9:00 am - 11:00 am Choose Workshop A or B)

Friday, February 24, 2023


7:00 am Registration Opens

8:00 am — Welcoming Remarks

Conference Co-Chairs:
Paul DeChant, MD, MBA

Hector Flores, MD

Jeffery Lee, MD

8:15 am Opening Keynote: Supporting Physicians and Frontline Healthcare Workers in a Post-Pandemic World
Xavier Becerra
, 25th United States Secretary of Health and Human Services and the first Latino to hold the office in the history of the United States


9:00 am “The Good Life” at Work [Happiness + Healthspan]
Stephen J. Swensen, MD, MMM, Senior Fellow, Institute for Healthcare Improvement; Former CQO and Director Leadership and Organization Development, Mayo Clinic; Professor, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science

“The Good Life” at Work is the combination of Chronic Happiness and optimized Healthspan in work life. It is the realistic aspiration for a career with physical, mental, and social well-being.  A thorough literature review performed by the speaker identified 34 evidence-based determinants of Chronic Happiness and Healthspan that are the shared responsibility of Individuals, Organizations, Leaders, and Societies.

The determinants for which organizations and leaders have primary responsibility are the focus of this presentation. They are categorized into four domains: AGENCY, CAMARADERIE, IKIGAI, and POSITIVITY.
Five validated and evidence-based Actions that engender “The Good Life” at Work will be presented.  Nurturing the human needs of AGENCY, CAMARADERIE, IKIGAI, and POSITIVITY creates a foundation for professional fulfillment and organizational effectiveness. “The Good Life” at Work is the single most impactful leading indicator of superb patient experience, outcomes, costs, and safety. It is the antipode of professional burnout.


Dr. Swensen has three decades of successful leadership and organization development experience engaging professionals in the co-creation of ideal work. He will present an evidence-based strategy that has been validated in multiple healthcare settings. His leadership team delivered a 21-point reduction of clinician burnout in 217 work units over 18 months. Dr. Swensen will offer participants the inspiration, motivation, and blueprint to co-create “The Good Life” at Work in their own organizations.

  • Co-create “The Good Life” at Work

  • Summarize Key System Changes that engender AGENCY, CAMARADERIE, IKIGAI, and POSITIVITY

  • Define Five Leadership Behaviors that raise fulfillment and reduce burnout

  • Explain the human and organizational costs of disengagement and burnout


9:45 am Networking Break - Sponsored by Evidently

10:00 am Creating a Manageable Cockpit for Clinicians: Fixing the Workplace, not the Worker
Christine A. Sinsky, MD, VP for Professional Satisfaction, American Medical Association

For many clinicians, the work of health care has become undoable. The “cockpit” where physicians and other health professionals work now consists of a cacophony of warning alerts, pop-up messages, mandatory tick boxes, a Sisyphean inbox, and maddening documentation. Paradoxically, many interventions intended to improve quality, safety, or value, when taken in totality, may in fact contribute to health system dysfunction by virtue of the cumulative impact on workload and consequent burnout.  

In this session, we will discuss the science supporting quality, safety, and business cases for focusing on creating a manageable cockpit for clinicians. We will also describe practical leadership, workflow, and teamwork interventions that can improve professional satisfaction and reduce burnout. We will demonstrate the AMA practice transformation modules (Steps Forward) that can help physicians and staff re-engineer their practice.

  • Articulate the business case for addressing physician well-being.  

  • Bring home at least one change to improve efficiency in your own setting.  

  • Identify at least one leadership strategy to support well-being 

  • Become inspired by the possibilities of reclaiming the joy in medicine


10:40 am The Code for the Next Wave - An Intervention to change mindset
Shaun Tomson, World Surfing Champion


Shaun Tomson is a leadership and positive engagement expert and has worked with some of the world’s best known organizations – GM, Cisco, PWC, Google, Disney, Gilead Sciences, and Gap – to activate purpose and re-energize their teams. Shaun offers an authentic perspective on life and business to inspire and uplift, and illustrates the Code Method, a unique intervention to change mindset to improve organizational performance and help team members deepen relationships and transform individually and collectively.


Four Key Learnings that will change your mindset: 

  • Define one's core purpose - simply and effectively

  • A method to unite team members at a deeply emotional level

  • Publicly committing to positive transformational change

  • Inspiring and activating hope in a turbulent world

12:00 pm Lunch in Sponsor Showcase

1:10 pm - 1:50 pm Choose between three interchangeable tracks during this time slot:

Track A

Building Workforce Resiliency: A Journey of High Reliability at the Individual and Organizational Levels
Stephanie C. Jones Wood, MPH, CPHQ, Director, System Provider Engagement & Resilience, Houston Methodist 

Houston Methodist has endeavored to improve the resilience of its workforce by using an innovative two-pronged approach to fix systemic barriers to well-being, as well as to support individual employees in their work.  Three initiatives were part of an integrated plan to address resiliency: positive psychology, mindfulness, and intensive rounding.  Each was designed to address resiliency at the individual or organizational level.

  • Identify the five characteristics of high-reliability organizations

  • Describe a two-prong approach to fix systemic barriers and assist clinicians in their individual work 

  • Discuss best practice initiatives that can be used to support organizational HRO and Resiliency strategies

Track B

Workforce Wellbeing and Professional Fulfillment: Ochsner Health’s Five-Year Organizational Journey
Nigel Girgrah, MD, PhD,
Chief Wellness Officer, Ochsner Health

In this presentation you will hear about one health system’s five-year organizational journey addressing physician well-being and promoting professional fulfillment. The session will cover the importance of measuring in an iterative fashion physician burnout and its drivers as well as how to develop a strategic framework to tackle the problem.


  • Appreciate the scope of the burnout crisis that exists in healthcare today

  • Understand the drivers of burnout that exist at a systems level

  • Begin to think about a strategic framework to address the problem of workforce burnout

Track C 

Burnout is a Spiritual Crisis
Diana Londoño, MD, Founder,

This session will explore a deeper look at burnout, and Dr Londoño will share her story and experience as burnout became a spiritual crisis. We will discuss the root causes of what occurs when we are not aligning our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health and discuss tools to be able to rise out of burnout by starting a spiritual journey. 

  • Begin with an awareness of how burnout may manifest
    (It can be the cilantro in our teeth and has to be pointed out to us)

  • Discuss essential spiritual questions of our true identity (not ego-based or temporary roles)

  • Learn techniques or tips on how to start on a path of wellness or higher spiritual consciousness

2:00 pm - 2:40 pm Choose between three interchangeable tracks during this time slot:

Track A

Transforming the Dialectic of Working in Healthcare: Infusing Employee Well-Being into High-Reliability Organizations

Jeffrey M. Bates, PhD, Deputy Director, Clinical Operations, Veterans Crisis Line; Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Veterans Administration

This presentation will provide an intentional practical and evidenced-based fusing of two major themes in current healthcare – High-Reliability Organization principles and Employee Well-Being.  Moving from empirical and theoretical to practical, this presentation will end with an example of such infusion through the Department of Veterans Affairs Reducing Employee Burnout and Optimizing Organizational Thinking (REBOOT) initiative.

  • Describe three High-Reliability Organization principles and connect these principles to employee well-being

  • Understand the business benefits of directly addressing employee well-being in healthcare settings

  • List and describe six initiatives being implemented from the VA’s REBOOT Taskforce

Track B

Improving Clinician Well-being Requires Clinician Leadership and Organizational Accountability
Jessica Dudley, MD
, Chief Clinical Officer, Press Ganey

Physician and employee engagement are at an all-time low in 2022, with the greatest decline in performance occurring between 2021 and 2022.  Three domains encompass those items with the greatest differences between higher-performing organizations and those that are lower-performing. These domains include individual well-being, a culture of trust & belonging, and adequate staffing and resources. Succeeding in these 3 domains will require clinician leadership, board-level engagement, and organizational accountability.

  • Review key drivers of engagement, resilience, and intent to leave for different segments of the healthcare workforce.

  • Review comprehensive solutions that have led to improved engagement and resilience

  • Share incentives and frameworks that ensure prioritization of this work and increase accountability across multiple levels of the organization

Track C

Info Epidemic: Combatting Misinformation and Preventing Burnout
Moderator:  Nancy Blake, PhD, RN, CCRN-K, NHDP-BC, NEA-BC, FACHE, FAONL, FAAN, Chief Nursing Officer, LAC+USC Medical Center

We have just witnessed several years of misinformation during the pandemic related to COVID-19 and the COVID Vaccine. You will hear from a panel of experts on how to address this misinformation and avoid burnout.  One of the panelists will share the results of their research study on vaccine declination and acceptance and how or if it related to social determinants of health and the statistics around where people got their medical information regarding the COVID vaccine.

  • Learn how to address medical misinformation to avoid burnout

  • Describe the impact of misinformation on burnout

  • List ways in which you can participate to address information in the media to ensure it is accurate

2:40 pm - 2:50 pm Networking Break

2:50 pm - 3:30 pm Choose between three interchangeable tracks during this time slot

Track A

Grief Connects Us: Ways to stave off Burnout

Joseph D. Stern, MD, Neurosurgeon and Author

This is based on my book “Grief Connects Us: A Neurosurgeon’s Lessons on Love, Loss, and Compassion.”  This talk focuses on the importance of connecting with patients, putting aside our emotional armor in favor of emotional agility.  I believe being compassionate, present and open to patients and our own experiences is a powerful preventive force against burning out.  Experiencing, rather than suppressing our grief helps prevent burnout.  I use my experiences with my younger  sister’s death, followed closely by that of her husband, orphaning their two boys, to set the tone of what started as a personal crisis and ultimately became a growth experience.  Much of this story took place in LA (St. Johns, City of Hope and UCLA) so there’s definitely some local relevance to this topic.

My goal is to help providers appreciate the importance of emotional agility as a skill they can develop and to allow them to better care for themselves and their patients and to explore the damaging features that come from relying on distance and emotional armor for self-protection.  This is important for all practitioners, but particularly for surgeons, who are often heavily defended against their grief and emotions.  With emotional agility comes an expectation of systems that they will be supportive of practitioners and patients and that they be based in compassion.  These expectations are important for patients as well (ultimately, we will all become patients ourselves).

Track B

Session TBA

Track C

Frontline Nursing Under COVID: A War with Many Fronts

C. W. Burton, PhD, RN, AFN-BC, AGN-BC, FNAP, Associate Professor, University of California, Irvine
Alyson Zalta, PhD, Associate Professor, University of California, Irvine
Danisha Jenkins PhD, RN, University of California, Irvine

The nursing profession has faced stunning challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pre-pandemic, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected a deficit of 1 million nurses by 2026. Burnout is an oft-cited factor in nurses’ exit from practice. This implies that nurses’ individual characteristics are the impetus for turnover and ignore the impact of workplace moral dilemmas. Research has shown that moral distress among nurses is associated with increased intention to leave the profession. Although moral distress among nurses is not a new phenomenon, the pandemic has created fertile ground for moral dilemmas by forcing nurses to cope with scant resources, hazardous conditions for themselves and patients, and a lack of critical support while trying to maintain high standards of care. Understanding the factors that contribute to moral distress among nurses, particularly during healthcare crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, is a critical first step to exploring potential interventions for mitigating the impact of moral distress among nurses.

  • Contrast moral injury versus clinical burnout

  • Explore the impact of moral distress on mental health and workforce turnover

  • Explore the contributors to moral injury as identified in our study

3:30 pm - 4:20 pm Choose between three interchangeable tracks during this time slot

Track A

Courts, Legislatures, and Boards-How Politics and Policies Impact Health Practitioners’ Ability to do Their Jobs

Moderator:  Andrew J. McLean, MD, MPH, Clinical Professor and Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Jackie Fortiér, Senior Health Reporter, KPCC, LAist

Waguih William IsHak, MD, FAPA, Professor, Clinical Chief of Psychiatry, Cedars-Sanai Health System

Steven Siegel, MD, Chair, Department of Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences, Keck School of Medicine, USC

This conversation will engage panel and conference delegates alike in the discussion of past, present, and future relationships between healthcare providers and the regulations which can support or intrude upon care.

  • Understand the varying “political determinants” impacting the provision of care

  • Articulate ways in which providers can advocate for themselves and their patients

  • Clarify one’s agency (example: private citizen vs. a member of a healthcare organization)

Track B

Workforce Well-Being and Staffing Challenges at UCLA Health
Karen Grimley, PhD, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE, Chief Nursing Executive, UCLA Health
Tammy Wallace, CPA, Chief Financial Officer, UCLA Health


Providing safe, high-quality care is a tenet of healthcare organizations everywhere.  The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated disruptions in the nursing workforce.  The purpose of this presentation is to present one health system’s approach to re-thinking workforce planning by adopting strategies that ensure both workforce safety and well-being. Both the CFO and CNO will share their perspective on how they worked collaboratively to develop a true partnership from the C-suite to the front lines to establish joint accountability and shared goals. 

  • Share industry challenges inherent in the current state of workforce planning

  • Recognize the impact of CFO/CNO collaboration to drive mutually agreeable criteria to establish a plan for nurse staffing

  • Identify strategies to consider for your organization’s workforce planning

Track C

Session TBA

4:30 pm Keynote: Finding the Chocolate Chip Cookies To Help You Heal
Diana Ramos, MD, California’s first Latina Surgeon General

In the midst of compounding public health crises—such as climate change, pandemics, mental health challenges, and more, leaders from federal and state governments have a critical role to play to protect our healthcare workers as they continue to serve and protect the health of all Americans. This session will focus on the importance of clinician self-care so they can better care for others.

  • Understand the impact ACEs have on our patients and ourselves

  • Review California’s initiatives to support clinicians and build networks of care

  • Review California resources available to support your practice

5:00 pm Opening Night Reception in Sponsor Showcase

Saturday, February 25, 2023


8:00 am Opening Remarks


8:10 am - 8:50 am From Burnout Back to Brilliance – What My Cancer Taught Me About Joy

“Patient Lee” Tomlinson

As a survivor of “burn-out” himself, “Patient Lee” knows what it’s like to hit bottom and lose it all. With “burn-out” among healthcare professionals reaching an epidemic proportion while adversely impacting patients, professionals, and even profit margins. “Patient Lee” shares his own intimate journey from burnout back to brilliance and in doing so shares what it takes to avoid and/or recover from this scourge.

8:50 am - 9:35am Managing the Challenge of Burnout
Christina Maslach, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Emerita, University of California, Berkeley, and the co-creator of the Maslach Burnout Inventory

Burnout is an occupational phenomenon that results from chronic workplace stressors that have not been successfully managed.  Research on burnout has identified the value of fixing the job, and not just the person, within six areas of job-person mismatch.  Improving the match between people and their jobs is the key to managing the chronic stressors, and can be done on a routine basis as part of regular organizational checkups.  Better matches enable people to work smarter, rather than just harder, and to thrive rather than to get beaten down.

  • Define burnout in terms of the World Health Organization statement

  • Identify the six areas of mismatch in the job-person relationship

  • Discuss the core elements of successful redesign and implementation strategies to improve job-person mismatches

9:35 am - 10:15 am Designing Healthy Workplaces for Healthcare Workers
Paul DeChant, MD, MBA

Burnout is the manifestation, in an individual, of dysfunction in the clinical workplace. Healthcare leaders have the unique opportunity to reduce burnout while creating a competitive advantage for their organization. It all depends on how you lead, whatever position you may hold. 

In this keynote presentation, Dr. Paul DeChant will explain how by taking a new approach, one that addresses the drivers of burnout, you can empower and align your clinicians to achieve levels of engagement and performance that you may not think are possible. 

  • Explain the relationship between the drivers and manifestations of burnout

  • Discuss the personal changes that you can make as a leader to drive meaningful change across your organization

  • Provide a roadmap to transform clinician–leader relationships, positioning your clinicians, and your organization, for success


10:15 am 10:45 am Networking Break

10:45 am - 11:45am Second Injury and Its Impact on Physicians and First Responders 
Panel Supported by Cooperative of American Physicians

Moderator: Omer Dean, MD, President, Los Angeles County Medical Association 

Roy Guerrero, MD, CEO, Encina Pediatrics, Uvalde, Texas
Joseph V. Sakran, MD, MPH, MPA, FACS, Director, Emergency General Surgery; Associate Professor of Surgery and Nursing; Associate Chief, Division of Acute Care Surgery; Vice Chair of Clinical Operations, Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins Medicine

Babak Sarani, MD, Professor of Surgery and Chief of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, George Washington University School of Medicine

This panel will consist of national experts in gun violence and mass shootings and their respective impacts on physicians and first responders.  This will be a non-partisan discussion on what clinicians' experience as a result of daily violence involving guns.  The experts will delve into “second injury” such as PTSD associated with treating cases. 


Dr. Joe Sakran was the victim of a shooting as a young adult and is Vice Chair, Clinical Operations, Johns Hopkins Medical Center; Dr. Babak Sarani, heads trauma at George Washington University Medical Center and is on the board of the Brady United Foundation (focus on safe gun storage and education); Dr. Walid Arnaout, a Los Robles Medical Center trauma surgeon, was the attending trauma surgeon during the Borderline Nightclub mass shooting in 2018.

11:45 am - 12:10 am Creating an Organizational Culture Preoccupied with Safety Excellence: How Lessons Learned from the Nuclear Power Industry are Potentially Applicable to Healthcare

David F. Garchow, VP of International Operations, Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (Retired)

The nuclear industry created shared accountability for excellence after the accident at TMI.  Industry-developed excellence and risk management principles, standards, and associated behaviors are integrated and reinforced within each plant’s organization processes, procedures, and training.  Some nuclear industry-defined principles and behaviors are potentially applicable to managing healthcare employee burnout to mitigate potential patient harm or staff injury.

  • Learn five key factors contributing to substantial improvement in safety culture and reliability of the US commercial nuclear power industry in the decades following the 1979 accident at Three Mile Island

  • Understand nuclear industry-defined proficiency and fitness for duty behaviors proficiency that potentially are applicable to managing healthcare worker burnout

  • Be provided three challenge questions related to their personal behaviors for reflection/potential action in their workplace


12:10 pm - 12:45 pm Embracing Disruption: Restoring Humanity to Healthcare
Heather Farley, MD, MHCDS, FACEP, Chief Wellness Officer, ChristianaCare

While there have been extraordinary advances in medicine over the decades, the patient and caregiver experience (the human experience) has arguably suffered and continues to decline.  It is time we embrace disruption in order to restore humanity to healthcare.  How can we redesign our healthcare delivery systems so that human relationships are once again at the center?  This session will explore innovative approaches to bringing humanity back to healthcare through the lens of the clinician.  


  • Understand the forces driving disruption in healthcare

  • Gain familiarity with emerging technology, resources, and innovative practices which support relationships within teams and organizations

  • Share insights from attendees’ own organizations to enhance collective knowledge and inspire future advances


12:45 pm - Closing Comments by Conference Chairs

1:00 pm End of Symposium