ChristianaCare Again Honored With Joy in Medicine Award

For the second consecutive time, ChristianaCare has earned the Joy in Medicine™ recognition from the American Medical Association (AMA).

Visits with furry friends from PAWS for People help caregivers de-stress.

ChristianaCare earned the Gold Level, the highest level in the Joy in Medicine™ Health System Recognition Program. One of only 10 health systems nationwide to achieve the Gold Level, the honor underscores ChristianaCare’s demonstrated commitment to preserving the well-being of clinical care team members through proven efforts to combat work-related stress and burnout.

The Center for WorkLife Wellbeing team serves together to “foster an environment where each of our caregivers can thrive,” said ChristianaCare’s Chief Wellness Officer Heather Farley, M.D. (front, second from left).

“Receiving the Joy in Medicine Award the first time was certainly an honor, but achieving gold level status a second time is an even greater achievement, as the requirements are more exacting,” said ChristianaCare Chief Wellness Officer Heather Farley, M.D., MHCDS, FACEP.

“It is a testament to the fact that at ChristianaCare and our Center for WorkLife Wellbeing, we are not comfortable resting on our laurels. We continue to raise the bar in our efforts to support the well-being of our caregivers, effectively respond to the changing health care landscape and foster an environment where each of our caregivers can thrive.”

Pick-me-ups like coffee and chocolate — and laughing together — at rejuvenation stations fuel mental and emotional well-being.

In 2022, ChristianaCare’s Center for WorkLife Wellbeing launched Psychological First Aid training to help ChristianaCare’s leaders and caregivers build skills to identify and support colleagues impacted by stress. The training was completed by 53% of ChristianaCare’s leaders in 2022, and this year it has been expanded to be available to all caregivers.

In addition, ChristianaCare’s peer support program known as Care for the Caregiver offers confidential individual peer support and group support following a range of stressful events at work. The program completed nearly 2,500 encounters from 2015 to 2022.

The Center for WorkLife Wellbeing offers caregivers opportunities to reflect.

ChristianaCare also has established the Workplace Civility Steer team, which provides strategic direction in establishing an environment that is safe and free of violence for caregivers, patients and visitors through program and process development for the identification, prevention and response to workplace violence, which is increasingly a challenge faced by health care workers nationwide.

Coloring mandalas at rejuvenation stations is a popular meditative activity with caregivers.

“Health organizations that have earned recognition from the AMA’s Joy in Medicine Health System Recognition Program are leading a national movement that has declared the well-being of health professionals to be an essential element for providing high-quality care to patients, families, and communities,” said AMA President Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, M.D., M.P.H.

“Each Joy in Medicine-recognized organization is distinguished as among the nation’s best at creating a culture of wellness that makes a difference in the lives of clinical care teams.”

ChristianaCare’s O.A.S.I.S. rooms offer caregivers a respite with Zen sand gardens and massage chairs in a peaceful environment.

Burnout rates among the nation’s physicians and other health care professionals spiked dramatically as the COVID-19 pandemic placed acute stress on care teams and exacerbated long-standing system issues. While the worst days of the pandemic have past, the lingering impact of work-related burnout remains an obstacle to achieving national health goals.

Since its inception in 2019, the Joy in Medicine™ Health System Recognition Program has recognized more than 100 organizations across the country. In 2023, a total of 72 health systems nationwide earned recognition with documented efforts to reduce system-level drivers of work-related burnout and demonstrated competencies in commitment, assessment, leadership, efficiency of practice environment, teamwork and support.