Teaching and Training: Support for Education Across the Hospital
Support for Education Across the Hospital
NewsletterOct | 1 | 2022
Finding the time and energy to focus on personal well-being has never been easy for most health care workers.
In hopes of addressing emotional fatigue among staff at Mass General, Suzanne Algeri, RN, associate chief nurse, developed the Be Well challenge – a six-week program focused on improving employees’ mental and physical well-being through friendly competition. Participants earn points for their team by engaging in activities such as yoga, walking, meditation and journaling.
“When people do things like this in a group, they’re more likely to achieve goals they might not have otherwise,” Algeri says. “Being part of a team really motivates you.”
Inspiration for this challenge came from the Be Fit wellness program, which launched in 2005 to help employees improve their physical fitness and well-being through a similar team- and point-based approach. While Be Well also incorporates physical fitness, its primary focus is on mental health and overall wellness. Participants have the option to use the Maslach Burnout Inventory Toolkit – a questionnaire that measures burnout in health care workers – to assess their wellness before and after completing the challenge.
The first MGHers to participate in Be Well were two teams of White 6 staff. Among them was Kelly Brown, RN, who has worked at Mass General for 16 years and has seen a significant improvement in her overall well-being since starting the challenge.
“Nurses are always so focused on others and providing the best quality care for our patients, so we lose track of taking care of ourselves,” Brown says. “With this challenge, I was able to reflect and ask what I could do for myself each week.”
Brown says the support and sense of community she felt from her Be Well team pushed her to achieve her goals during the challenge.
“I’m grateful to work alongside incredible people who care so much about others and are so passionate about what they do,” she says. “I see it every day. The Boston and Mass General communities have huge wellness support systems, and there are many organizations and individuals who want to lift each other up and spread wellness.”
Brown recently joined a yoga studio as a result of the program and plans to maintain a mindful, healthy routine going forward. She also hopes to make wellness a larger part of the MGH culture by creating more opportunities for staff, including a small group kickboxing class for White 6 staff on the Bulfinch Lawn.
“Kelly’s enthusiasm for this program was contagious,” Algeri says. “She was so passionate about bringing this forward and took the initiative to contact potential health vendors to support a group event. I think this kickboxing class will open people’s eyes to an activity they might not have been aware of before.”
Brown worked with Title Boxing to plan the upcoming event. She hopes to continue hosting events in the future to introduce staff to other local fitness centers and healthy restaurants.
“After the last two and a half years, we hope people are in a place to move forward,” Algeri says. “Not to move on, but to move forward. People are tired – but by bringing resources and people together, we can lift each other up.”
Support for Education Across the Hospital
Mass General’s educational mission encompasses not only trainees and faculty, but also patients, scholars and the community.
The MGH Institute of Health Professions (IHP), founded by Mass General in 1977 and located in Charlestown Navy Yard, makes achieving these goals possible for students through its degree and certificate programs focused on quality, equal access and inclusivity in health care.
Debbie Krivitsky, RD, LDN, is a clinical dietitian in the MGH Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Center.
As part of the icare in Action Program – formerly the Excellence in Action program – the MGH Office of Patient Experience seeks to recognize and reward staff members and/or teams who have been featured in patient letters, emails and notes of commendation.
Alister Martin, MD, MPP, is an MGH Emergency Medicine physician who, for the past year, served as a White House Fellow in the Office of the Vice President and the West Wing Office of Public Engagement.