From: Michael Jablonover, MD, Chief Medical Officer


Dear colleagues,

As we seek to mitigate burnout, foster wellness and optimize resilience among our residents, fellows, and advanced practice providers, we want to keep you updated about initiatives developed by the UMMC Wellness Committee over the past several years. Promoting the physical, mental and emotional health of our trainees is critical of course to your own well-being, but also to the care delivered to our patients, especially after such a challenging year and continuing pandemic. We know that drivers related to burnout and engagement include heavy workload, workplace efficiency, control, flexibility, culture, values, work-life integration/balance, community at work and ultimately joy and meaning at work. While it can take years to impact some of these core factors, we have started to address several of these. We also have the opportunity now to start working to improve meaning and satisfaction within residency and fellowship. While the COVID pandemic and associated social distancing have limited some of our activities over the last year, we hope that the initiatives listed below will complement what may already be occurring in your own department. We are so appreciative of the time, energy, and dedication you put into your work here, and want to support you as much as possible in your personal and professional journey. Please be sure to take advantage of as many of these as you wish:

  • Development of a cadre of Wellness Champions. We now have 14 individuals, including 12 faculty physicians and 2 APPs from multiple departments, who are available to confidentially meet with and provide guidance to trainees and work with them to help navigate basic wellness concerns. You may reach out to a champion in any department- not just your own. You can simply go to the Wellness Champions page to "meet" our Champions, who can interact with you virtually at this time.
  • Enhanced EAP services. Currently, multiple programs register their interns or new fellows for an individual EAP (Employee Assistance Program, which provides all sorts of counseling) appointment so that they can meet a member of our EAP team, share any concerns they may have at that time, learn about EAP services and create a connection for any future counseling needs available here on campus. This also de-stigmatizes EAP and promotes it as the valuable resource that it is. If you are in one of our programs where this pre-registering is already occurring, we hope that you will take advantage of it. You can always contact EAP directly no matter what at: amjohnso@som.umaryland.edu or 667-214-1555 for in-person, phone or telehealth option. Please remember that we have excellent mental health services right on campus- confidential and easily accessible!
  • 400 licenses (first come-first serve) for the Headspace app that focuses on meditation and mindfulness were made available by the hospital last year for trainees. If you are interested in this and cannot obtain one of the licenses, please call 410-328-3118  and ask for Terry Roberts.
  • Major efforts are underway in the Medical Center and the School of Medicine to foster a culture of professionalism and accountability. Optimizing this is meant to create a work environment that truly values professionalism, mutual respect, collaboration and civility. If you have a major safety concern or professionalism concern, or compliment that you would like to share, we hope that you will use the UMMSafe/RL6 tool, easily available on the Intranet Insider and EPIC. Please note that these concerns are followed up quickly and comprehensively and can be entered confidentially just by clicking the "confidential" box.
  • Recognizing that EMR inefficiencies contribute to significant frustration, our co-Directors of Medical Informatics (Tiffany Kuebler, PA-C and Dr. Bruce Greenwald) are working to identify specific means to make EPIC more user-friendly and ultimately make daily work flows more efficient and effective. Regular communications have been implemented with a Clinicians IT update email newsletter. Information-sharing sessions, where clinical informaticists and our co-Directors work with residents and fellows to optimize EPIC workflows, have been created. Upcoming session dates will be published as they become available. Providers with specific Epic issues can call the IT Help Desk at 410-328-HELP (4357) and select option “3” to speak with clinical informatics support. The informaticist can address specific problems or stumbling blocks in Epic. Providers can also email the Directors with IT issues at MedicalDirectorsClinicalInformatics@umm.edu
  • 4 lunches or breakfasts throughout the year, served in the Café Corridor near the cafeteria or Gudelsky Lobby (pick-up-and-go with social distancing) to celebrate and show our appreciation for our residents and fellows and their dedication to outstanding work.
  • Pick-up-and-go snacks are periodically offered in the Café Corridor and include brownies, cookies and ice cream- watch for announcements.
  • Dog therapy for staff (already available and associated with Pets on Wheels- may also be available for select meetings/conferences with sufficient lead time)- look for regular announcements. Even virtual dog therapy can be fun and stress-reducing.
  • Renovated House Staff Lounge located on the 4th floor of the Weinberg building above the Operating Rooms area (W4L155) – the space has been completely renovated from floor to ceiling and now offers new individual workstations, comfortable furniture, an updated kitchen area, a large table with seating and a newly installed water station - feel free to rest and relax here.
  • Participation in teams and committees focused on promoting greater equity, diversity and inclusion within our communities. Feel free to reach out to: Dr. Latey Bradford (Minority House Officer committee)
  • Humanities Rounds - View Humanities Rounds: Gratitude for more information. Additional links will be distributed as more rounds are scheduled.
  • Funding has been provided to individual training programs for creating wellness activities of their own design.
  • Subsidized membership at the UREC gym/pool across the street

If you have additional suggestions on how we can promote resident and fellow wellness, I hope that you'll reach out directly to the GME office (MHyson@umm.edu) or Dr. Michael Jablonover at mjablonver@umm.edu.