Extraordinary Times and Stressors for Healthcare Providers: Honoring Dr. Lorna Breen and Our Healthcare Heroes While Building the Missing Culture of Mental Health
Wednesday, December 9th
On April 26, 2020, in the midst of the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City, Dr. Lorna Breen, director of emergency medicine at Allen Hospital in New York City, died by suicide. Her death started a national conversation about the stresses and risks disproportionately placed on physicians and care providers during this challenging pandemic time.
To honor Lorna’s memory and start the hard work of addressing physician burnout, Jennifer Breen Feist and J. Corey Feist, Lorna’s sister and brother-in-law, started the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation. During this Keynote Lecture, Corey, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of the UVA Physicians Group, shared Lorna’s story and talked about the critical need to address physician burnout as well as the culture and stigma around stress, burnout and mental health in the medical field. He also spoke about the Foundation’s work introducing legislation that aims to reduce and prevent suicide, burnout, and mental and behavioral health conditions among health care professionals.
Corey Feist was joined by Dr. Taison Bell, MD, an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the divisions of Infectious Diseases and International Health and Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at UVA. Dr. Bell is the Director of the medical intensive care unit (ICU) at UVA Health and was recently recognized as one of the “30 Leaders Under 40 Changing Healthcare” by Business Insider. Besides treating patients in UVA’s COVID-19 units during the pandemic, Dr. Bell was also instrumental in bringing a clinical trial of remdesivir – now approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a COVID-19 treatment – to UVA. He spoke about honoring and acknowledging the heroic efforts of our healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the demands our society places on our care providers to keep people safe while the world is falling apart.
To learn more about Dr. Lorna Breen and the important work underway to address and advocate for mental health resources for healthcare providers, visit the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation website, or connect with them on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. #StandWithLorna