MSMS Michigan Medicine November December 2022

18 michigan MEDICINE® | Nov / Dec 2022 says Doctor Shahady. “Just hearing that made me feel a lot better.” SafeHaven™ offers much more than that though. In addition to in-the- moment, 24-hour telephonic support, SafeHaven™ also offers provides clinicians and their families access to the WorkLife Concierge—an all-purpose virtual assistant that can manage every day tasks—legal and financial consultation services and resources, the VITAL WorkLife App, and peer coaching—something Doctor Mittal has been doing for a number of years now as a certified coach. “I think the power and real value of the peer coaching lies in the fact that you’re providing clinicians with access to someone who really understands what you’re going through and what you’re experiencing,” says Doctor Mittal. “We’ve been there. We’ve seen it. We’ve experienced it. So, we’re in a position to say, ‘It’s normal, it’s okay, there’s a way forward, and here it is.’” Through SafeHaven™, physicians are eligible to participate in up to six sessions of confidential peer coaching with one of VITAL WorkLife’s certified coaches. Working together, clinicians and coaches talk through the problems at hand, work to identify values and set goals, and then identify the strategies and action steps necessary to achieve those goals. And while it may not sound like much, the numbers indicate just the opposite. According to recent research from the Mayo Clinic, physicians receiving peer coaching sessions experienced a 17 percent decrease in burnout compared to a 5 percent increase in burnout for physicians who went without coaching. Vital WorkLife’s own qualitative and quantitative data similarly bears out an impressive positive impact, with pre- and post-coaching surveys indicating that 92 percent of participants reported an improvement in overall well-being with an average improvement of 58 percent across specialties. After her initial phone call, Doctor Shahady decided to utilize the services of one of VITAL WorkLife’s peer coaches, in this case a psychiatrist from Atlanta. In just one session, Doctor Shahady was provided with a new set of resources and ideas to help her deal with the stresses that came with being a provider during the peak of the pandemic as well as an effective new way to talk with her patients about vaccines that provided exactly what she needed to keep practicing and move forward. “It was such a helpful and freeing experience for me,” says Doctor Shahady. “In just one session, it reset me enough to say to myself, ‘Alright, here’s what I can do as a provider and here’s what I can’t do, and I have to be okay with that.’” In addition to the confidentiality component, the in-the-moment availability of SafeHaven™ services and resources make it a particularly attractive tool for busy health care providers. “Most of us just aren’t going to take a half day off to go and talk with a counselor about an issue we’re having,” says Doctor Shahady. “We’re not going cancel half a day of patients for our own needs—we just don’t work that way, so having in-the-moment access to things like the concierge, the VITAL WorkLife app and the 24-hour phone support—the ease and accessibility of all these tools make SafeHaven™ a really easy thing for physicians to utilize.” All SafeHaven resources are provided in support of one aim—helping suffering physicians to reset and refocus, to find balance and reconnect to the joy they once found in medicine. “I think we’ll soon see more and more providers utilizing SafeHaven™ services and say to themselves, ‘Oh my gosh, I needed this. And I really need to tell my colleagues about this because it’s been so helpful to me,’” said Doctor Mittal. “That’s the kind of culture of care that providers and organizations alike need to be building and championing. I’m optimistic that we’ll one day get there, and I think SafeHaven™ will play a big part in that.” Learn More To learn more about the SafeHaven™ program and what it can offer you and your organization, please visit: Gertrude “Trudy” Shahady, MD V. Simon Mittal, MD, MMM Kevin McFatridge, MSMS COO