Healthcare workers need rescuing. It's time for a Dunkirk moment.
The U.S. healthcare system is facing its own Dunkirk moment. COVID-19 has left the workforce exhausted, traumatized, and increasingly disengaged. Like the British military at Dunkirk, American healthcare faces an existential threat. Without a swift and bold rescue operation, the ranks of America's healthcare workers will quickly dwindle, diminishing the ability to provide care in both outpatient and hospital settings.
It’s time for a relational rescue of America's clinicians. Our decade of experience developing strategies to decrease burnout and increase clinician job satisfaction by fostering deeper connectedness in clinical health settings offers some direction for what a healthcare rescue mission might look like.
In STAT: Intend Health’s leaders say that it’s time for a relational rescue of our healthcare workforce, and offer a blueprint for such a rescue operation.
“Relational Leadership is what keeps me going. When I feel overwhelmed, stressed, down, I turn to members of the Relational Leadership community for support and resilience. We genuinely care about each other. We put ‘people first,’ truly, in our work together.”
Sarah Smithson, MD, MPH
Assistant Dean for Clinical Education University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine
"I think the collaborative work that Intend Health does to recruit bright, energized, resilient, diverse, and compassionate primary care physicians all over the country will be even more impactful. Intend Health's efforts will be a big part of the solution to mend our ailing primary care infrastructure in the coming years."
Peter Meyers, MD, MPH
Family Physician, Minnesota Community Care
"This year, there's been so much change with COVID, with work, with everything. But I feel like the PCP Student Action Network has been that constant that I could always just count on. And my favorite part is that no matter how stressful work was, no matter how stressful the year was, whenever it came time for a PCP call or any PCP anything, it's always something that I look forward to."
Student Action Network Coach
“I participated in RLI [the Relational Leadership Institute]... and my world has not been the same since. The community that I’ve gained at RLI has been extraordinary. Being part of RLI means being connected to a diverse, interdisciplinary community that breaks down the walls that are typical in academic medicine.”
Katie Gradick, MD, MHS
University of Utah
“Relational skills are particularly important right now because they’re rooted in people, with the fundamental assumption that we are good and have common values. If I can approach with unconditional positive regard and build in psychological safety, who knows what we can accomplish, despite the chaos around us.”
Lexy Kliewer, LCSW
Oregon Health and Science University
“So far, my experience in this Relational Leadership course has been THE highlight of my leadership journey. This program exceeded my expectations. I have been sharing the content with my colleagues who are also inspired by it. Thank you for making the world a better place one Relational Leadership course at a time.”
Relational Leadership for Clinician Leadership Program Participant
"The leadership skills, relationships, and perspective I have gained through my involvement in Intend Health have shaped the clinician, educator, and leader I am today."
Kyle Turner, PharmD
University of Utah
“A big impact that Intend Health has on me is it makes me more humble, kinder, more intuitive, a better listener, and I’ve been able to teach the skills I’ve learned to others. All of this makes me a better team member, and I think that that's integral to what Intend Health teaches — we need high functioning teams to provide the best care.”
Student Action Network Participant
“Over 100 members of the UNC community have participated in our Relational Leadership Institutes… one word stands out for me in our evaluations — regardless of whether cohorts met in person or via Zoom — and that word is transformative."
Josh Hinson, MSW, LCSW
Assistant Professor University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work
"I have employed and used so much of my Relational Leadership experience and training from Intend Health to work."
Krisda Chaiyachati, MD, MPH, MSHP
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
"In a healthcare system fraught with silos and computer screens, we need the human voice — a personal connection — now more than ever. That's the work of Intend Health."
Matt Lewis, PhD
"Thank you for inspiring a generation of future docs to become primary care physicians. I definitely felt like I had a community during medical school."
Family Medicine Resident, UC Davis San Joaquin General Hospital
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