Nursing awarded $2.3 million to reduce health worker burnout
Funded by the Department of Health and Human Services, the grant will help workers in rural and underserved areas.
BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo School of Nursing will use a nearly $2.3 million federal grant to pursue a “mindful approach” to reducing burnout and fostering resilience among healthcare workers in rural and underserved areas to develop.
The grant, funded by the Department of Health and Human Services and awarded by the Administration of Health Resources and Services, supports UB’s Health and Public Safety Staff Resilience Training Program.
The three-year program will develop a plan that uses evidence-based and/or evidence-based strategies. These strategies aim to reduce and address burnout, suicide, and other mental illnesses while promoting the resilience of students, residents, professionals, paraprofessionals, trainees, and employers of such individuals in rural and medically underserved areas.
The program is particularly important due to the burden and additional demands placed on healthcare professionals, according to the university and government administration, who were instrumental in securing the scholarship.
“We take the mental health of our healthcare workers very seriously,” says Yu-Ping Chang, senior associate dean at the School of Nursing and principal investigator on the grant.
“Even before COVID, nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals were subject to high levels of stress and fatigue,” Chang explains. “The pandemic has only exacerbated this problem. Taking care of yourself while taking care of others is a demanding challenge that requires special attention and dedicated practice time, which we will address through this very important project.”
Rep. Brian Higgins, whose office announced the grant, says the COVID-19 pandemic has put significant pressure on New York State’s health care system, “particularly on workers who have been on the front lines of the pandemic since day one. ”
“This grant provides important training resources to better address burnout and mental health while building resilience for health professionals working in underserved communities,” says Higgins.
Addressing this concern is of particular importance given that New York State became the epicenter for COVID-19 infections early in the global pandemic.
According to the latest data, New York was the hardest-hit state in terms of job losses and deaths per capita from COVID-19, placing a particularly heavy burden on healthcare workers.
Three health systems in rural and/or medically underserved areas in upstate New York will participate in the resilience program, UB Nursing officials note.
This program provides training that includes immediate short-term resilience training, including an eight-week mindfulness-based stress reduction program to address the immediate needs of healthcare professionals; a long-term resilience program consisting of foundational training workshops; and a train-the-trainer program to promote long-term sustainability for each partner organization.
The program also includes a steering committee to support curriculum development – including oversight and adaptation to the needs of each organization – and a system-level protocol to foster resilience and promote equity, diversity and program effectiveness within each partner organization.
In addition, the program implements a system-level protocol designed to promote resilience, diversity, equity and effectiveness in any organization.
All training is offered to program participants free of charge. Funds provided by the grant will be used to hire staff to carry out program activities and to defray costs associated with conducting training.
Andrea Manyon from the Department of Family Medicine at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and Christopher Barrick from the School of Nursing are co-researchers on the grant.