PRESS RELEASE

DR. LORNA BREEN HEROES’ FOUNDATION CALLS FOR SOLUTIONS ON FIRST HEALTH WORKFORCE WELL-BEING DAY

On the anniversary of the Lorna Breen Act passage, Foundation urges policymakers to support reauthorization

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (March 18, 2024) – Today, the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation, the only non-profit organization exclusively focused on health worker mental health and well-being, celebrates the inaugural Health Workforce Well-Being Day. This day, on the anniversary of the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act being signed into law, acknowledges the widespread burnout among health workers in the U.S. and the need for solutions. Over the past four years, the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation has made great strides in driving progress for health workers’ well-being and mental health through advancing key policies, creating meaningful connections and accelerating solutions.

“As we recognize the first Health Workforce Well-Being Day, we are incredibly proud of the progress the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation and its partners have made to improve the well-being of our nation’s health workers,” said Corey Feist, JD, MBA, co-founder and CEO of the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation. “However, we know there is much more work to be done. Acknowledging the pressures health workers face and making their well-being a priority is essential – and our solutions must move far beyond individual resilience. It is vital that we drive evidence-informed, systems level solutions to reduce and prevent burnout, sustain well-being and build a system where health workers can thrive. This not only benefits the healthcare workforce but also improves patient care and contributes to the overall health of our communities.”

Creating Meaningful Connections and Accelerating Solutions

With the ALL IN: Caring for Caregivers Program and Wellbeing First Champions Challenge, the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation guides healthcare executives to effectively lead and create better workplace environments for their health workers, such as implementing organizational well-being programs and removing broad and stigmatizing questions about mental health from credentialing applications for hospitals and health systems. The Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) developed Impact Wellbeing™ Guide: Taking Action to Improve Healthcare Worker Wellbeing, a free, evidence-informed and actionable guide for the nation’s hospital leaders to improve health worker wellbeing.

Through the ALL IN Coalition, Ambassador Program and Medical Student Coalition, the Foundation brings organizations and individuals together to harness our collective strength and make a lasting impact for the healthcare workforce. The Foundation’s new Ambassador Program taps into the influence of individuals who are deeply committed to improving health worker well-being and mental health. This group of experts, health workers and thought leaders serve as passionate messengers to amplify work around awareness, advocacy and advancement of solutions for clinician well-being.

“As a healthcare worker deeply committed to the well-being of my colleagues, I am honored to serve as an Ambassador for the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation,” said Dena Hubbard, MD, FAAP, neonatologist and quality director at the Cottage Hospital Santa Barbara NICU. “The Ambassador Program marks a significant milestone in our ongoing journey to nurture a culture of support and resilience among health workers, bringing together a group of highly involved individuals dedicated to these efforts who would otherwise be siloed in their work. Together, we will work towards a future where every health worker’s mental and emotional health is prioritized, focusing on systems change to ensure they have the strength to care for themselves while caring for others.”

Reauthorization of the Lorna Breen Act

The Foundation is also at the forefront of advocating for federal, state and local policy solutions that support the implementation of evidence-informed strategies to improve health workers’ mental health and professional well-being. The Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, which is currently up for reauthorization, provides support to address the mental health challenges health workers face and improves how the healthcare system operates so it no longer puts an immense strain on their well-being.

Since its passage in 2022, the Lorna Breen Act has funded $103 million across 44 organizations to implement evidence-informed strategies that reduce and prevent suicide, burnout, mental health conditions and substance use disorders.

However, this is only scratching the surface of caring for the nation’s caregivers — less than 1% of the 6,120 hospitals in the U.S. received grants, and it does not consider the 200,000+ other types of healthcare settings. In addition to widening its reach to more hospitals, the reauthorization of the Lorna Breen Act renews focus on reducing administrative burden for health workers everywhere.

“Today, on the anniversary of the Lorna Breen Act’s passage, we urge policymakers to reauthorize and increase funding for this landmark legislation,” said Feist. “This is not just a matter of policy—it’s a critical piece of legislation for our healthcare delivery supply chain that benefits every health worker, every patient, every caregiver, and every person that will require medical care in their lifetime.”

To contact your members of Congress about supporting the Reauthorization of the Lorna Breen Act, visit https://drlornabreen.org/reauthorizelba/

To learn more about Health Workforce Well-Being Day, visit HealthWorkforceWellbeing.org

About Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation

The Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation’s vision is a world where seeking mental health care is universally viewed as a sign of strength for health workers. We believe every health worker should have access to the mental health care and professional well-being support that they may need, at every moment in their career. We carry out this mission by accelerating solutions, advancing policies, and making connections that put our healthcare workforce’s well-being first.

To learn more about Health Workforce Well-Being Day, visit HealthWorkforceWellbeing.org