Cooper University Health Care recognized by American Medical Association for promoting well-being of health care workers

Cooper University Health Care is one of only 28 health systems nationwide to earn the 2022 American Medical Association Joy in Medicine™ Health System Recognition. The AMA distinction is granted only to those organizations that demonstrate a commitment to preserving the well-being of clinical care team members by engaging in proven efforts to combat work-related stress and burnout.

“This recognition highlights Cooper’s belief that supporting our medical providers and other team members is essential to our mission to serve, to heal, to educate,” said Eric Kupersmith, MD, SFHM, senior vice president and chief physician executive at Cooper. “Our efforts have centered on teamwork, innovation, transparency, and resilience. This has translated into exceptional patient care and performance especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Health systems that have earned recognition from the AMA’s Joy in Medicine Health System Recognition Program have demonstrated that the well-being of health professionals is essential to caring for the health and wellness of patients, families, and communities,” said AMA President Jack Resneck Jr., MD “United by a commitment to build a culture of wellness that energizes care teams, the recipients of the Joy in Medicine Recognition are at the forefront and among the best at creating a workplace that makes a difference in the lives of clinical caregivers.”

A 2021 report based on research led by the AMA shows that “feeling valued by one’s organization was strongly associated with lower stress” and serves as a protective factor against work-related physician burnout. This important finding has paved the way for many organizations to re-examine how leadership, culture, peer support, and removing obstacles to patient care act together to create the conditions where joy, purpose, and meaning in medicine are possible. This year’s Joy in Medicine recipients have all taken important steps to support physician well-being for the long term.

As a leading academic health system, Cooper treated some of the most critically ill patients throughout the pandemic. Health care workers faced increased stress, anxiety, and traumatic grief caring for large numbers of COVID-19 patients and witnessing high loss of life. Cooper team members team developed a Compassion and Resiliency Experience (C.A.R.E.) Program to provide direct support to its more than 8,900 team members throughout the pandemic and beyond.

The C.A.R.E. team provides support, education, and skill-building through resiliency workshops, peer support groups, and digital content. The peer support groups connect physicians, nurses, and advanced practice providers to their colleagues. The team developed an extensive digital library and wellness intranet site addressing wide-ranging topics, including coping skills at work, maintaining a work-life balance, and sustaining a healthy lifestyle while under stress. The Daily Dose, an inspirational message, was created during the pandemic and was shared in daily co-CEO emails to all team members.

The AMA began the Joy in Medicine Recognition Program in 2019 to create momentum for wide-spanning change in the culture of medicine that emphasizes professional well-being in health care. This year, 28 health systems nationwide earned recognition, representing more than 80,000 physicians, 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. This year’s recipients join more than 50 organizations representing more than 120,000 physicians recognized by the program since its inception in 2019.

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