CHARLOTTE – The American Medical Association announced Atrium Health is one of 44 health systems named to the 2021 Joy in Medicine Recognition Program.

This distinction recognizes the Atrium Health enterprise – including the greater Charlotte area – for preserving the well-being of health care team members by combating work-related stress and burnout.

This recognition is a testament to Atrium Health’s dedication to its clinicians’ well-being, especially during the pandemic,” said Dr. Scott Rissmiller, executive vice president and chief physician executive for Atrium Health. “By encouraging multidisciplinary teamwork, promoting innovation and fostering emotional resilience, our physicians and advanced practice providers can continue to provide outstanding care for our patients every day. We are honored to be named among the best in the nation for our commitment to our colleagues' professional and mental health.”

A national study examining the self-reported experiences of physicians and other providers who worked in health care systems during the COVID-19 pandemic found that 38% experienced anxiety or depression, 43% suffered from work overload and 49% had burnout.

Since early last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has placed extraordinary stress on health care professionals,” said Dr. Kevin High, president of Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist. “Health systems have experienced unprecedented challenges. It is more important than ever to focus on the well-being of care teams and to combat higher rates of work overload, anxiety and depression. Atrium Health is proud to lead in promoting an organizational culture that empowers and supports our clinicians.”

Candidates for the Joy in Medicine Health System Recognition Program were evaluated by their documented efforts to reduce work-related burnout.

Atrium Health formed its “Best Place to Care” initiative to empower physicians to maximize their passion, potential and performance. The group’s focus on well-being has resulted in numerous initiatives, including:

Executing a workforce manager system in ambulatory practices to ensure clinicians have adequate staffing support;

Providing a well-being helpline, available 24/7, to facilitate peer-to-peer, mental health and chaplain services;

Establishing PeerNet, a system staffed by faculty members to help clinicians dealing with adverse clinical events as well as processes to reduce administrative burdens.

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