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front-entry UCLA Luskin Conference Center Los Angeles, CA

Healthcare Burnout Symposium

February 2023 Agenda

Thursday, February 23, 2023


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

Friday, February 24, 2023


7:00 am Registration Opens

8:00 am — Centennial Ballrooms A&B
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 Kindness and The Good Life: [Chronic Eudaimonia + Optimal 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 - Centennial Foyer

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 - Sponsored by Nuance - Centennial Ballrooms C&D

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

Track A - OPTIMIST Room

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 - LAUREATE Room

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 - CENTENNIAL A, B Rooms

Burnout as 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 - OPTIMIST Room

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.

  • Define employee well-being and employee burnout

  • Discuss the impact of work-related distress on employees

  • Discuss High-Reliability Organization principles in relation to employee well-being

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

Track B -LAUREATE Room

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 - CENTENNIAL A, B Rooms

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

Alice BenjaminMSN, APRN, ACNS-BC, FNP-BC, CCRN, CEN, CV-BCChief Nursing Officer at, Clinical Nurse Specialist & Family Nurse Practitioner

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 - OPTIMIST Room

Navigating from Vulnerability, Grief and Burnout to Empathy and Resilience

Moderator: Katie Cole, DO, FAPA, Physician Executive, Well-Being Advocate and Founder and Host: Hope for Healthcare Podcast

Helen Riess, MD, Founder, Chief Scientific Officer, Empathetics, Inc.; Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; Author, The Empathy Effect

Joseph D. Stern, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Author “Grief Connects Us: A Neurosurgeon’s Lessons on Love, Loss, and Compassion”, Inventor

Personal loss propelled Dr. Stern, a practicing neurosurgeon, away from defensive detachment to greater empathy and compassion. He recognized the power of grief to connect us—with ourselves and each other. Accepting vulnerability requires emotional range and flexibility. But, he asks if increased sensitivity and vulnerability can’t become a liability, exposing practitioners to the grief of excessive work demands, moral injuries, and system failures. 


Dr. Stern will be joined by Dr. Riess, professor of psychiatry, expert on empathy, and CEO of Empathetics, to discuss these concerns and help us navigate from vulnerability to greater empathy for self and others, expanding the range of emotions, without feeling exposed and ill-equipped to manage these other daunting challenges. It’s one thing to promote empathy and resiliency, but how do we actually get there? And is it possible for practitioners to have greater empathy and compassion in systems that themselves often lack them, or worse, exploit the good will and dedication of these practitioners?  How do practitioners stay engaged, empathetic and compassionate in the face of repeated moral injuries, rather than burning out or backing away?


Together, we strive to ask some of the most pressing questions practitioners are facing and provide practical resources and options to move forward.  We invite you to consider these challenges within your own contexts.

  • Discuss the need for practitioners to expand empathy and compassion by accepting and experiencing grief inherent in the practice of medicine. 

  • Explore the importance of emotional agility and how to achieve it. 

  • Affirm greater empathy and compassion can coexist with resiliency as well as providing a path to get there. 

  • Provide tools for maintaining empathy and engagement in the face of moral injury.

  • Present evidence that these tools can be taught, so practitioners can avoid crises, rather than become overwhelmed by them.

Track B - LAUREATE Room

Frontline Nursing Under COVID: A War with Many Fronts
Alyson Zalta, PhD, Associate Professor, University of California, Irvine
Danisha Jenkins PhD, RN, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

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

Track C - CENTENNIAL A, B Rooms
AB 35: Truth and Impact
Daniel Cavanaugh, VP of Membership Development, Cooperative of American Physicians

A likely surge in medical malpractice claims frequency and severity are expected to occur when Assembly Bill (AB 35) goes into effect on January 1, 2023. Attend this presentation to learn more about what the legislation means for your medical professional liability risk and what you can do to protect your practice.

  • Identify the most impactful changes to MICRA contained in Assembly Bill 35, that increase physicians’ liabilities for claims of medical negligence

  • Understand the increases in noneconomic damage caps and attorney’s fees

  • Formulate specific steps to ensure patient safety

  • Prepare for the medical professional liability landscape in 2023 and beyond

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

Track A - OPTIMIST Room

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, PhD, 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 - LAUREATE Room

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 - CENTENNIAL A, B Rooms

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

4:30 pm Opening Night Reception in Sponsor Showcase Sponsored by L.A. Care - Centennial Ballrooms C&D

Saturday, February 25, 2023


7:00 am Breakfast in Centennial Foyer

8:00 am Centennial Ballroom
Opening Remarks

Conference Co-Chairs:
Paul DeChant, MD, MBA

Hector Flores, MD

Jeffery Lee, MD


8:10 am - 8:50 am From Burn-out Back to Brilliance – Recovering the Joy of Work

“Patient Lee” Tomlinson

“Patient Lee” has personally suffered the miseries of both burnout and cancer – at the same time.  During that battle he experienced devastating, compassion-less care delivered by burned-out HCPs which caused him to seriously consider taking his own life.  Now, fully recovered from both, he’s a man on a mission.  A mission to scare healthy HCPs into doing whatever is necessary to avoid the devastation of burnout and stay healthy enough to be the equally competent and compassionate healers they were when they first got into medicine.  And, for those sadly within the grasp of burn-out, “Patient Lee” aims to inspire them to courageously admit it, and take the proven effective steps he took to successfully recover and thrive once again.

  • Learn the devastating impact of burnout on your lives and health – and the lives and health of your patients -- from “Patient Lee” who personally experienced both

  • Discover the immense, scientifically proven healing benefits of compassion given and gotten on your health and well-being and the same for your patients

  • Understand the negative impact of physician burnout on the profitability of the institutions in which the lives of patients and physicians intersect

  • Acquire the 7 proven steps “Patient Lee” took to successfully recover from burnout to once again thrive and prosper

  • Be inspired to begin the process of healing your burnout by taking “Patient Lee’s” Compassion Heals Challenge

8:50 am - 9:35 am 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's 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 - 11:45 am Second Injury and Its Impact on Physicians and First Responders 
Panel Supported by Cooperative of American Physicians

Moderator: Emily Alpert Reyes, Reporter, The Los Angeles Times


Omer Dean, MD, President, Los Angeles County Medical Association
Joseph V. Sakran, MD, MPH, MPA, FACS, Vice Chair of Clinical Operations for 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, John 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)

11:45 am - 12:20 pm Closing 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 practic

12:20 pm - Closing Comments by Conference Chairs

12:30 pm End of Symposium

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