Well-being: Leading your staff during a crisis – Part 2

The Coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on hospitals and clinicians across the country. As the surge persists, staff stressors increase, and the relentless pressure compounds the seriousness of the problem. This episode reveals how Rush University Medical Center’s Strategic Communications department became a key player in helping the hospital, staff and community cope during the COVID pandemic crisis.


Guest speaker:

Anne Burgeson

Associate Vice President, Strategic Communications

Rush University Medical Center



Nicole Spatafora, MS-HSM

Senior Director, PI Collaboratives



Show Notes:

[00:27] Rush staff were very stressed as they prepared for “tsunami” of COVID heading their way and their first patient

[00:55] Rush set up a Hospital Incident Command to prepare for COVID pandemic

[01:50] Volume of positive COVID patients at Rush University Medical Center

[02:10] Established a communication plan and collaborated with command center and senior leaders

[02:50] Rumors were controlled by transparency and consistency in communications

[03:57] Rush used every means possible to spread the latest information – emails, newsletters and intranet accessibility at home, including positive articles, message boards and Q&A

[05:08] Senior leaders rounded seven days a week to directly answer questions and thank staff for coming to work and caring for patients in such an amazing way

[05:27] Started virtual town hall meetings

[06:05] Staff relied on constant and trusted communication

[06:49] Engagement survey numbers showed staff were still excited to come and do their jobs

[07:30] Robust communication to support community’s knowledge of latest COVID information

[08:30] Preparation for emergencies and frequent, reliable communications helped hospitals, staff and people around the world in a meaningful way


Links | Resources:

CDC: Stress & Coping Click here

AMA: Caring for Health Care workers during a crisis, Creating a resilient organization Click here

Harvard Medical School: Strengthening Resiliency in Health Care Providers During the COVID-19 Pandemic Click here

American Academy of Pediatrics: TheResilienceProject. We can stop toxic stress Click here


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