Sanford cares for its caregivers as human beings first

Caregivers feel pandemic stressors too, and Sanford Health is here to help

Three Sanford Health employees sit talking in a conference room, spaced 6 feet apart from each other.

“We’re here to support you. We’re here to take care of you and do whatever we can to help ease your time through this.”

That’s what chief human resources officer Darren Walker said during a message for the Sanford Health workforce of more than 50,000.

“We’re all facing different stressors. Everybody’s being hit with different things,” Walker said. “If it was all one thing it would be easy for us to find solutions, but it’s not.”

Leaders are taking extra steps to ensure the well-being of not only employees but clinicians. The many resources available include support for family, mental health and more.

Links to well-being resources, found on employee web portals, include:

  • Videos, articles, webinars and podcasts about mental health
  • Free one-on-one counseling for emotional distress, legal troubles, and financial troubles
  • Consultations with certified health and wellness coaches on topics including
    • Exercise
    • Nutrition
    • Resiliency
    • Nicotine cessation

Luis Garcia, M.D., is the president of Sanford clinic operations, overseeing all clinicians.

“In times of extreme uncertainty and in times of extreme need, our clinicians have been that voice of confidence,” Dr. Luis Garcia said. “They have assured our patients that no matter what brings you in — whether it’s COVID or not — we are ready to take care of you because we made that commitment to you long time ago … and a pandemic is not going to change that commitment.”

The practice of medicine right now is extremely challenging, Dr. Garcia said. There is no better time to make sure employees and clinicians feel supported with proper company resources in place.

“Before a nurse, before a physician, before an advanced practice provider (APP), before the three or four or five or twenty letters behind your name, you are a human being and we care for you as a human being.”

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Posted In Behavioral Health, Coronavirus, Expert Q&A, People & Culture, Physicians and APPs, Wellness, Workplace Health

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