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NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi improves staff wellness through multi-modal approach

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, front line healthcare workers have borne the brunt of the mental health crisis, facing risk exposure, uncertainty about the disease, care and emotional overburden, lack of resources, unclear ever-changing protocols and more. In 2020, NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi initiated its Summer of Hope Program to promote mental health and wellness among its staff.

The Summer of Hope program was created to recognize and address the tragic effects that the pandemic was having on the psyche of the facility’s healthcare workers. A multidisciplinary peer-support program was already in existence throughout NYC Health + Hospitals, Helping Healers Heal (H3). This program was augmented to provide emotional support to frontline healthcare heroes. A multi-modal approach, including wellness events, emotional support rounds, fast-tracked connections with therapeutic support and coalition building was used to reach 80% of staff from May through August 2020. Standing debriefs, art and music therapy, creative writing, gardening and crafts were some of the unique ways staff was impacted. Healing was also brought to staff in their own space with H3 rounds conducted in each and every workspace throughout the entire facility. A survey of program participants showed 94% of respondents “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that their participation helped alleviate stress.

Summer of Hope has been selected as the Beryl Institute’s 2021 Organizational Innovation Award recipient. This prestigious recognition is awarded to a healthcare organization dedicated to innovations that improve the human experience in healthcare and provides a platform for sharing and celebrating some of the great work being done across the globe.

For more information, contact Natasha Burke, MPA, associate executive director, public, community and intergovernmental affairs, at burken@nychhc.org or 718.975.6214.