Members in Action: Northwell Health

Be Well: Northwell Health Center for Traumatic Stress, Resilience and Recovery

Northwell Health is an integrated delivery system with 23 hospitals, over 800 outpatient facilities and 76,000 employees and is one of the largest employers in New York State. Given the size and scope of the team and the work they do, including extensive trauma response programs, Northwell Health had been developing a trauma center for team and community members before the COVID-19 pandemic, which only accelerated the need.

Prior to the founding of the Center for Traumatic Stress, Resilience and Recovery, Northwell Health psychiatric teams were already working with people who experienced trauma as a result of natural disasters, like Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Harvey, working with veterans with PTSD, as well as with the 9/11 first responders at the World Trade Center. Because of their work with Veterans, first responders and their families they were already set up with the resources to prioritize caring for their own workforce to better take care of patients when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. 

The resulting Center for Traumatic Stress, Resilience and Recovery (CTSRR) started as a voluntary effort to bring support to different campuses, but as the needs became clearer it quickly became a funded, organized structure to oversee trauma and resilience services, evaluative and research activities. The CTSRR is a partnership between Northwell’s Behavioral Health Service Department, Department of Occupational Medicine, and Human Resources. 

Featured Podcast: #WeAreHealthcare: Addressing Workforce Challenges in America's Health Care Systems

A talented, qualified, engaged and diverse workforce is at the heart of America’s health care system. But hospitals and health systems face mounting and critical staffing shortages that could jeopardize access to care in the communities they serve. As hospitals struggle to retain and support an exhausted workforce they are left looking for unique ways to better support and enhance resilience among clinicians and to address the traumatic stress caused by COVID-19. In today's episode Elisa Arespacochaga, AHA vice president of clinical affairs and workforce, sits down with Dr. Rebecca Schwartz, associate professor and chief of Social Behavioral Sciences at the Department of Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology and Prevention, associate investigator at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research and director of Research and Evaluation at the Center for Traumatic Stress, Resilience and Recovery at Northwell Health, as well as Dr. Mayer Bellehsen, director of Behavioral Health at the Center for Traumatic Stress, Resilience and Recovery at Northwell Health and Mildred and Frank Feinberg Division of the Unified Behavioral Health Center for Military Veterans and Their Families to talk about the Center for Traumatic Stress, Resilience and Recovery at Northwell Health.