Augusta Health has been recognized as a WellBeing First Champion for Healthcare, a designation given to health care systems whose credentialing applications are free from intrusive language around mental health care and treatment.
Practitioners at Augusta Health may now seek the mental health care without fear of losing their license or job.
Augusta Health is one of nine healthcare systems in Virginia to receive the designation. Augusta Health recognized providers Mahfux Hoq, MD, MPH; Brian Stisser, MD; and Susie Jones, MD, for their involvement in the initiative.
Augusta Health learned of the opportunity through its partnership with the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association.
Due to heightened impacts and traumatic exhaustion from the pandemic, providers fear that seeking care or services will create stigma, loss of licensure, discrimination or privacy violations.
“Across the country, health workers are at an increased risk for burnout and mental health challenges,” said Corey Feist, co-founder of ALL IN: WellBeing First for Healthcare and president of the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation. “Many health workers feel they cannot speak up about their mental health being criticized by colleagues or losing their jobs.
“Today, physicians and nurses die by suicide at two times the rate of the general population,” Feist said. “We as a nation must better protect these lives, and I applaud our WellBeing First Champions for their leadership to support the well-being of health workers.”
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