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front-entry UCLA Luskin Conference Center Los Angeles, CA

Healthcare Burnout Symposium


Wednesday, November 1, 2023


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

Thursday, November 2, 2023


7:00 am Registration Opens

8:00 am — Welcoming Remarks

Joseph D. Zuckerman, MD, Walter A.L. Thompson Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and Chair, Department of Orthopedic Surgery; NYU School of Medicine; NYU Langone Health; NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital


Conference Co-Chairs:

Thea Gallagher, PsyD, Assistant Professor, Director, NYU Langone Health, Cobalt Wellness Platform

Bruce Cummings, MPH, LFACHE, Co-Founder and Principal, Organizational Wellbeing Solutions, LLC


8:30 am – 9:30 am Bite-sized Well-being During Times of Uncertainty: The Neuroscience of Hope
J. Bryan Sexton, Ph.D., Director, Duke Center for the Advancement of Well-being Science


This session demonstrates the evidence behind optimism as a muscle that can be strengthened and provides a surprisingly simple intervention for cultivating hope.

  • Demonstrate the role of positive emotions in well-being

  • Examine relationships between optimism and longevity

  • Define burnout in practical terms


9:30 am – 10:05 am The Role of Inequities in Burnout and Supporting NYC’s Health Workforce

Ashwin Vasan, Health Commissioner, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene


The pandemic put an intense strain on NYC's healthcare resources – businesses grappled with higher costs and lower revenues, while health workers, now facing burnout and staffing shortages, continued providing care at the frontlines while their own mental health suffered. While the stress felt by the healthcare system during the pandemic was exceptional, it largely exacerbated pre-existing inequities like the inequitable distribution of resources between healthcare roles themselves and between treatment and prevention more broadly. Public health and healthcare are inextricably linked and this session will how explore how we can work together to fill gaps, improve equity, and strengthen the workforce.

  • Understand and address the moral injury of working in a dysfunctional healthcare system

  • Explore inequities within the healthcare sector that contribute to burnout

  • Understand what the City is planning to do to better support the healthcare workforce

10:05 am - 10:40 am The Role and Value of a Chief Wellness Officer
Jonathan Ripp, Professor of Medicine, Chief Wellness Officer, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Thea Gallagher PsyD Assistant Professor, Director, Cobalt Wellness Platform

The Chief Wellness Officer (CWO) is a new position in healthcare organizations that is responsible for promoting the well-being of the workforce. This session will discuss the roles and responsibilities of the CWO, how they provide value to organizations, and how their success can be measured.

  • Identify the roles and responsibilities of a Chief Wellness Officer (CWO).

  • Explain how organizations benefit from having a CWO

  • Reflect on the best methods for measuring the success of a CWO

10:40 – 11:00 am Networking Break

Sponsorship Opportunity available - contact

11:00 am 11:35 am Battling Burnout and Enhancing Well-being in the Nursing and Healthcare Workforce - Evidence-based Strategies that Work and Yield ROI
Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk, Ph.D., APRN-CNP, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN, Vice President for Health Promotion, University Chief Wellness Officer, and Helene Fuld Health Trust Professor of Evidence-based Practice at The Ohio State University

This presentation will discuss the current state of burnout and well-being in nursing and the healthcare workforce.  Return on investment and value of investment for devoting resources to improving burnout will be described.  Evidence-based strategies to enhance health and well-being will be highlighted.


  • Hear about the state of burnout and well-being in nursing and the healthcare workforce

  • Discuss ROI and VOI for devoting resources to improving burnout

  • Learn about evidence-based strategies to enhance the health and well-being of nurses and the healthcare workforce.


11:35 am – 12: 20 pm Caring for Caregivers: Removing Barriers to Mental Health Access

Moderator: Corey Feist, JD, MBA, President & Co-founder, Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes' Foundation

Panelists:  Abraham Segres, MHA, FACHEVP of Quality and Patient Safety, Virginia Hospital, and Healthcare Association

Maureen Sintich, DNP, MBA, RN, WHNP-BC, NEA-BC, EVP and Chief Nursing Officer, Inova Health System

Melina Davis, CEO, and EVP, Medical Society of Virginia

Stefanie Simmons, MD, FACEP, Chief Medical Officer, Lorna Breen Foundation; VP of Patient and Clinician Engagement, Envision Physician Services

ALL IN: Caring for Caregivers is a professional wellbeing program for hospitals, health systems, medical groups and health plans which can be implemented by individual organizations or cohorts of organizations. Virginia is the first state to launch ALL IN: Caring for Caregivers with training and technical assistance provided by the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes' Foundation together with the combined leadership of the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association, Medical Society of Virginia, Virginia Nursing Association and Virginia Pharmacy Association. 

ALL IN: Caring for Caregivers contains three main components which focus on improving professional wellbeing at both the individual and organizational levels. The three components are: 1) Commitments by medical groups, hospitals, health systems, health plans; 2) Engagement with well-being programming; and 3) Achievement of operational goals and participation in learning communities.

  • Awareness of issues contributing to the burnout of the healthcare workforce

  • The role questions about mental health play in prolonging stigma around mental health access among physicians and healthcare providers

  • Specific actions that boards, credentialing organizations, and physician employers can take to remove barriers to mental health access

  • Solutions to address burnout and support the professional well-being of healthcare providers

12:20 pm – 1:50 pm Lunch in Sponsor Showcase

Sponsorship Opportunity available - contact

1:50 pm – 2:25 pm Break into interchangeable tracks


Track A

Advancing Well-Being in Veterans Health Administration: Implementation of the Role of Chief Well-Being Officer

Mary Gallagher-Seaman, MSN, RN-BC, NE-BC, VHA-CM & Jana Boehmer, MSM, RD/N, Co-Leads for the National Chief Well-being Officer Program, Office of Patient Centered Care & Cultural Transformation, Veterans Health Administration


This informative presentation will discuss the rollout of the Chief Well-being Officer program in the Veterans Health Administration.  Lessons learned and implementation strategies will be shared.


  • Define the Chief Well-Being Officer (CWO) role in Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

  • Summarize lessons learned regarding communication, role definition, and managing competing initiatives

  • Discuss the national dissemination and implementation strategy as well as the program office collaborations that support the tactics in the field 


Track B

Is Telemedicine the Answer to Healthcare Burnout?
Russell Libby, MD, FAAP,
 Board Member, Physicians Foundation


The covid pandemic precipitated a transition to virtual care, especially synchronous audio-visual visits with clinicians.  It has improved access to care, quality metrics, cost efficiency, and patient satisfaction.  It has also improved clinician satisfaction, work-life balance, and has expanded career options for clinicians with situational limitations or considering retirement.

  • Learn how physicians have continued to care for patients and improved access and outcomes, reduced costs, and enhanced patient and clinician satisfaction.

  • Discover how integrating virtual care into practice has enhanced clinician well-being and practice success and sustainability

  • Recap what we have learned and how we anticipate evolutions in virtual care and the clinician workforce


2:30 pm – 3:05 pm


Track A

System-Level Interventions to Reduce Clinician Burnout

Jill Jin, MD, MPH, Sr. Physician Advisor, American Medical Association


Physician burnout in the United States is at an all-time high. Interventions to reduce burnout enacted at the health systems level are imperative. These interventions can be grouped into 3 main categories, or goals: 1) Stop the unnecessary work, 2) Share the necessary work, 3) Support the Individual. This presentation will share concrete strategies to achieve each of these goals while underscoring the business case for these interventions (reducing costs from physician turnover, reduction in FTE, and exit from practice.)


  • Describe 3 categories of interventions for health systems to combat physician burnout and promote a culture of wellness

  • Discuss the business case for implementing these interventions

  • Provide specific examples and success stories of these interventions


Track B

Working for the Worker’s Well-being: Putting the Why in Wellness
Jeremy Segall, MA, RDT, LCAT
, System Chief Wellness Officer; Assistant Vice President, Quality & Safety, NYC Health + Hospitals

After multiple years of adversity, NYC Health + Hospitals, the nation’s largest municipal public healthcare delivery system, implemented a strategic culture change management approach to re-engage employees by prioritizing their well-being. By building upon strengths and identifying opportunities for improvement, the organization inspired meaningful employee engagement transformation during a time when 1 in 5 healthcare workers plans to leave the industry within the next 5 years. This session provides a  framework and culture-building approaches for workforce wellness and employee engagement to meet the mission of Healthier Staff = More Engaged Staff = Better Patient Satisfaction & Care.

  • Learn how to strategically and sustainably improve employee engagement outcomes via targeted well-being efforts

  • Effectively leverage improvement methodology to drive transformation

  • Identify opportunities to continuously evolve models for culture change that impact workforce wellness and employee engagement


3:10 pm – 3:50 pm Thriving Medical Families: New Challenges; New Solutions
Wayne M. Sotile, Ph.D.
, Founder Center for Physician Resilience; Co-author of Thriving in Healthcare and The Thriving Physician

Learn practical insights from Dr. Sotile’s 40+ years of work as a counselor to and student of thousands of medical families: characteristics of thriving medical families; how to promote workplace cultures that foster medical family wellness; and insights from a just-completed national survey of medical family life sponsored by the AMA-Alliance, conducted by Drs. Sotile and Tait Shanafelt.

  • Discuss the relationship between a thriving medical family and career satisfaction and effectiveness for medical professionals

  • Specify at least four distinguishing features of resilient medical families and as gleaned from recent research

  • Discuss insights from cutting-edge research with lifemates of medical professionals


3:50 pm - 4:30 pm Leadership is Worthless…But Leading is Priceless: Battling Burnout and Restoring Resiliency

Thom Mayer, MD, FACEP, FAAP, FACHE, Medical Director, NFL Players Association; Executive Vice President, Leadership, Logix Health; Professor of Emergency Medicine, George Washington University School of Medicine; Senior Lecturing Fellow, Duke University


Burnout is simpler than we have made it-it is simply a ratio of job stressors divided by adaptive capacity-resiliency. Increase the former, decrease the latter-or both-to battle burnout.  The tools of battling burnout are coupled with the fact that doing so requires leading, not leadership, which is why leadership is worthless…but leading is priceless!


  • Every team member is a leader-lead yourself, lead your team

  • Every team member is a performance athlete, involved in a cycle of performance, rest, and recover-invest in yourself, invest in your team

  • The work begins within…but turns towards teamwork


4:30 pm - 6:00 pm Opening Night Reception in Sponsor Showcase

Sponsored by SafeHaven™

Friday, November 3, 2023

8:15 am – 9:00 am Break into Interchangeable Tracks

Track A

Addressing Key Drivers of Healthcare Worker Suicide: Approaches from the Field
Rebecca B. Chickey, MPH, Senior Director, Behavioral Health Services American Hospital Association
Elisa Arespacochaga, MBA, Vice President, Clinical Affairs and Workforce, American Hospital Association

The team is health care’s most precious resource. Hospitals and health systems have been working to sustain a culture of psychological safety and improving access to behavioral health screenings, referrals, and treatment, but the last three years have greatly increased the need and urgency. Come learn about AHA’s guide,  Suicide Prevention: Evidence-Informed Interventions for the Health Care Workforce. We will take a deep dive into the three drivers of suicide -- stigma, limited access to behavioral health resources and treatment, and job-related stressors -- and the 12 evidence-informed interventions that leaders can implement to better support the mental well-being of their workforce.

Development of this product was supported by Cooperative Agreement CK20-2003, funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health. The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC or the Department of Health & Human Services.

  • Learn the three key drivers of suicide risk in the healthcare workforce

  • Discover evidence-informed initiatives that support the mental well-being of the healthcare workforce, and reduce suicide risks

  • Leave with a call to action to advance at least one of these best practices within your own organization


Track B

COBALT: A Digital Platform to Protect Healthcare Worker Wellbeing

Thea Gallagher, PsyD, Assistant Professor, Director, NYU Langone Health, Cobalt Wellness Platform

Caroline McEneaney, JD, MA, Doctoral Candidate, Clinical Psychology, The New School for Social Research

Mark Spence, Co-founder and CEO, Cobalt Innovations Inc.

Mark Allen, CTO, Cobalt Innovations Inc.

Healthcare workers are at an elevated risk of burnout, depression, and anxiety. Cobalt, a web-based platform, provides hospital employees with access to several levels of care–including self-assessments, content recommendations, group sessions, and pathways for clinical treatment. The platform creators will discuss challenges and considerations for creating a tool that employees can use to access support, information, and resources, and a platform that they will return to regularly.


  • Learn about the kinds of support that healthcare workers access the most

  • Understand the types of symptoms that are most frequently endorsed by healthcare workers

  • Describe the aspects of a supportive platform that works for employee wellness

9:10 am - 9:55 am Break into Interchangeable Tracks

Track A

Building Workforce Resilience: A Journey of High Reliability at the Individual and Organizational Levels

Stephanie Jones-Wood, MPHDirector, Provider Engagement and 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 and support individual employees in their work.  Four initiatives were part of an integrated plan to address resiliency: positive psychology, mindfulness, intensive rounding, and digital technology.  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

Healthcare Workforce's Resilience and Retention: The Durable Path Forward

Martin Wright, Partner, Strategic Consulting, Press Ganey Associates, LLC

Join Press Ganey's Partner, Martin Wright, as he examines the unique challenges faced by healthcare professionals and delves into strategies to promote well-being and job satisfaction. By focusing on fostering resilience and implementing effective retention practices, he'll provide insights and actionable solutions to empower the healthcare workforce, enhance patient care, create sustainable and supportive work environments - aiming to improve the overall human experience.

  • Understand the factors contributing to healthcare workforce resilience

  • Explore effective retention strategies and their impact on patient care

  • Identify leadership and organizational approaches to support workforce resilience and retention

10:05 am - 10:50 am Break into Interchangeable Tracks

Track A

Emerging Tech: How does it fit in the Wellbeing Equation?

Tina Shah MD MPH, Chief Clinical Officer, Abridge

Anne Bailey PharmD, Immersive Lead, Office of Innovation, Veterans Health Administration

Generative AI, virtual reality and other emerging technology hold promise to help clinicians and patients, yet are met by some in healthcare with a healthy skepticism.  Join us to hear from clinical leaders how they view the promise of these technologies and where they fit in the wellbeing equation.

  • Learn about real-world uses of emerging technology to ease clinician burnout

  • Debate the pros and cons of early vs. late adoption of emerging technology

  • Discuss lessons learned during implementation and post-go-live of these technologies that can reduce clinician burden

Track B  TBA

Bruce Cummings, MPH, LFACHE, Co-Founder and Principal, Organizational Wellbeing Solutions, LLC

10:50 am - 11:45 am Networking Break; Boxed Lunch provided


11:45 am - 12:20 pm  Boundary Setting - Preserving your own Cognitive Bandwidth

Kevin D. Hopkins, MD, Vice-Chief, Primary Care Institute, Cleveland Clinic ; Senior Physician Advisor, Professional Satisfaction and Practice Sustainability, The American Medical Association (AMA)


Circumstances most closely linked to caregiver burnout originate with healthcare organizations. As a result, system changes are usually the most effective means to prevent and mitigate burnout through institutional support for individual well-being. System solutions take time. While contributing to these solutions, we as individuals can and should equip ourselves and our teammates to survive and ultimately thrive. Setting personal boundaries can help us take some measure of control, allowing us to create margin and build resilience. Margin and resilience help decrease the likelihood of heading down the continuum of repeated stress injury leading to exhaustion and burnout.


  • Learn the value and necessity of limit-setting for personal well-being and professional thriving

  • Identify and practice using strategies for creating healthy margins by limiting decision fatigue, minimizing distractions, and setting boundaries in work and daily life.

  • Create a personalized list of potential boundaries, evaluate and prioritize them, and choose one to try, one to share with a colleague, and one to consider for the future


12:25 pm - 1:00 pm 

Addressing Equity and Burnout

Michellene Davis, Esq, President & CEO, National Medical Fellowships

The relentless demands of an "always on" culture, skyrocketing expectations, and diminishing boundaries have impacted the healthcare workforce in ways now producing an insidious cycle of mistrust and dissatisfaction, burnout, and moral injury. Even before COVID-19, professionals were calling attention to the need to confront the uncomfortable truth: burnout isn't just an unfortunate consequence; it's an indictment of a system that is designed to value output over well-being. According to the recent Physician Burnout & Depression Report 2023 produced by Medscape, more than half of physicians reported feeling burned out this year, and nearly 1 in 4 doctors reported feeling depressed — the highest percentages in 5 years. Given the compounding and interdependent impact facing racially diverse healthcare professionals, the exacerbated impact of systemic inequities on their well-being can create additional and sometimes unique barriers to addressing burnout. With a grounding in equity and justice, how can we build community, enhance belonging and solidarity, and sharpen the focus on systemic causes to tackle the burnout crisis?

  • Unpack how the perpetual cycle of unmet needs within our communities, coupled with a system that often falls short in addressing those needs, breeds widespread stress and dissatisfaction among care workers

  • Understand the impact of “weathering” — how lifelong racism, community disinvestment, socioeconomic and political marginalization, community disinvestment, and threats of violence harm well-being

  • Recognize how and why the push for individual-level attempts to ameliorate burnout by exercising, talking with family and friends, prioritizing sleep, etc., can be helpful in the short term, but a systemic problem cannot be solved by individual modifications

  • Discover why diversifying health care delivers better well-being for all

1:05 pm – 1:40 pm  The Burnout Challenge: Managing People’s Relationships with their Jobs

Michael Leiter, Ph.D., Organizational Consultant, Michael Leiter & Associates

Seeing burnout as a crisis in the relationships of people with their work broadens opportunities for action. This session describes ways in which workplaces and their people collaborate to develop initiatives to address mismatches that drain energy, involvement, and efficacy at work. Rather than helping people to withstand problematic workplaces, efforts are better devoted to addressing management issues that create overwhelm or frustrate people at their jobs.

  • Recognize burnout as a breakdown in people’s relationships with work rather than as a personal failing.

  • Distinguish burnout from neighboring states, such as being overextended.

  • Articulate strategies for leading a collaborative approach to improving the quality of work-life


1:45 pm – 2:20 pm  Kindness and the Good Life (at work)
Stephen Swensen, MD, MMM, Senior Fellow, IHI; Former CQO and Director of Leadership and Organization Development, Mayo Clinic; Professor, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science


Kindness and The Good Life (at work) is a strategy to optimize personal Fulfillment and Healthspan in one’s profession. It is the realistic aspiration for a career experience with physical, mental, and social well-being.  A thorough literature review performed by the speaker identified 54 evidence-based determinants of Fulfillment and Healthspan that are the shared responsibility of Individuals, Organizations, and Societies. Each has Kindness at its root. The determinants for which Organizations have the primary responsibility are the focus of this session. They are categorized into four domains:


  • AGENCY (Control over Work Life)

  • COLLECTIVE EFFERVESCENCE (Social Connectedness)

  • IKIGAI (Japanese Concept for One’s Reason for Being)

  • POSITIVITY (Optimism and Caring)


Nurturing these innate human needs to flourish creates a foundation for professional satisfaction and organizational effectiveness. Eight validated and evidence-based Acts of Kindness that engender The Good Life (at work) will be presented. 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 Kindness and The Good Life (at work) in their lives and organizations.


  • Describe four innate human needs to flourish: AGENCY, COLLECTIVE EFFERVESENCE, IKIGAI, and POSITIVITY

  • Implement Eight Acts of Kindness that engender optimized Fulfillment and Healthspan

  • Identify Five Leadership Behaviors that cultivate enhanced Fulfillment and Healthspan

  • Summarize the human, organizational, and community dividends of engagement and satisfaction


2:20 pm Chair’s Closing Remarks

Thea Gallagher, PsyD, Assistant Professor, Director, NYU Langone Health, Cobalt Wellness Platform

Bruce Cummings, MPH, LFACHE, Co-Founder and Principal, Organizational Wellbeing Solutions, LLC

2:30 pm End of Symposium

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