Bipartisan Clinician Well-Being Legislation Promotes Mental Health Among Those Working on the Frontlines of the Pandemic
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Envision Healthcare, a leading national medical group, today welcomed the enactment of the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act and the country’s efforts to prioritize healthcare professionals’ health and well-being. The bipartisan bill is named in honor of Dr. Lorna Breen, an emergency physician in New York City who died by suicide in April 2020 after caring for patients during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. This legislation advances the critical effort to change the culture and conditions that lead to burnout and eliminate the stigma that deters healthcare professionals from seeking mental healthcare. President Joe Biden signed the bill into law after it was approved with strong support from both parties in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
“The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the importance of supporting the health and well-being of clinicians who go above and beyond to care for patients in need,” said Stefanie Simmons, MD, FACEP, Vice President of Patient and Clinician Engagement at Envision Healthcare. “The Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act will help America’s healthcare professionals access critical mental health resources. The enactment of this law sends a strong signal of support to clinicians across the United States, particularly as we enter the third year of the pandemic.”
Specifically, the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act:
- Establishes grants for training health profession students, residents or health care professionals in evidence-informed strategies to reduce and prevent suicide, burnout, mental health conditions and substance use disorders. The grants would also help improve health care professionals’ well-being and job satisfaction.
- Seeks to identify and disseminate evidence-informed best practices for reducing and preventing suicide and burnout among health care professionals, training health care professionals in appropriate strategies, and promoting their mental and behavioral health and job satisfaction.
- Establishes a national evidence-based education and awareness campaign targeting health care professionals to encourage them to seek support and treatment for mental and behavioral health concerns.
- Establishes grants for employee education, peer-support programming, and mental and behavioral health treatment; health care providers in current or former COVID-19 hotspots will be prioritized.
- Establishes a comprehensive study on health care professional mental and behavioral health and burnout, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on such professionals’ health.
Healthcare providers go through years of intensive training, incur significant financial debt from school and give up time spent with their families to provide lifesaving care to their community members. Many clinicians have the added pressure of being exposed to trauma and managing their own emotional responses while remaining a source of calm and strength for their patients, their families and their teams. During the course of the pandemic, Envision has provided crisis peer support, implemented mental health leadership training, enhanced formal mental health services and launched peer-to-peer support groups for clinicians.
“Envision Healthcare strongly supported this bipartisan bill as it made its way through Congress,” said Patrick Velliky, Vice President of Government Affairs at Envision Healthcare. “The COVID-19 pandemic has put a significant strain on all healthcare professionals and our already fragile healthcare ecosystem. We must protect the clinicians who care for our country. Providing them with critical resources, as outlined in the bill, is a positive first step in helping them thrive and supporting the long-term health of our nation. This bill aligns with our initiatives to promote clinician well-being, and we are very pleased to see the president sign it into law.”
To learn more about Envision’s commitment to professional well-being, click here.
About Envision Healthcare Corporation
Envision Healthcare Corporation is a leading national medical group that delivers physician and advanced practice provider services, primarily in the areas of emergency and hospitalist medicine, anesthesiology, radiology/teleradiology, and neonatology to more than 1,800 clinical departments in healthcare facilities in 45 states and the District of Columbia. Post-acute care is delivered through an array of clinical professionals and integrated technologies which, when combined, contribute to efficient and effective population health management strategies. As a leader in ambulatory surgical care, AMSURG holds ownership in more than 250 surgery centers in 34 states and the District of Columbia, with medical specialties ranging from gastroenterology to ophthalmology and orthopedics. In total, the medical group offers a differentiated suite of clinical solutions on a national scale with a local understanding of our communities, creating value for health systems, payers, providers, and patients. For additional information, visit www.envisionhealth.com.