U of U Health's patient family advisory councils, Patient Design Studio and Advise Utah, recently gathered feedback from patients and caregivers on inpatient surveys and communication. Patient Experience's Emily Izzo, Corrie Harris, and Marcie Hopkins share insights from these advisory councils.
Transgender and gender diverse patients face systemic discrimination in our broader society and inequitable access to needed care. Ariel Malan, program coordinator and Andy Rivera, volunteer for Utah’s Transgender Health Program, share how to create an inclusive care environment for this vulnerable population focused on trust and respect.
When patients or family members use discriminatory language, it can be hard to know the next steps. Nursing Director Gigi Austria and EDI Consultant Sheila Sconiers offer practical steps to address discrimination at the bedside.
Accurate, self-reported race and ethnicity data is necessary to create visibility of health disparities, provide inclusive care, and improve equity of health outcomes. Patient access manager Kim Birrell, Revenue Cycle Coordinator Theresa Johnson, and Care Navigation Program Coordinator Erica Ulibarri share tools for leaders to support employees.
Sponsored by University of Utah School of Medicine's Office for EDI, the Department Time Out is a recurrent, systematic initiative during which participants take a scheduled recess from work/school responsibilities to discuss pertinent social issues. EDI Experts Jessica L. Jones, Helen Davis, Stacey Board, Holly Bynum, and Darin Ryujin share how faculty, staff and students take time to recognize and address pertinent topics of social injustice.
Hospitals and clinics can be frenetic environments. We know that performing optimally for the benefit of patients, families, and colleagues requires us to care for our basic needs and scatter moments of self-care throughout the day. One way to cultivate this awareness of the body and attend to its signals is through “walking meditation”—a focused awareness on the physical experience of walking.
Nurses are notorious for not taking breaks—the culture of their work environment doesn’t make it easy. Katrina Emery, a MICU charge nurse working on her doctor of nursing practice (DNP), sheds light on how to change culture to prioritize breaks to improve health and wellbeing.
Asian Americans face unique types of racism and discrimination that can make them feel invisible and out-of-place within our workspaces. By acknowledging this racism, we can take the first step to creating a more inclusive environment.
Medical education is steeped in tradition and hierarchy. A new generation of education leaders is sifting through their own stories and experiences to change how students are trained. In this essay, Michelle Hofmann, former associate professor in the Pediatrics department, reflects on her own experience in medical education: a journey from Doctor to Michelle.
The majority of long-term care needs are placed upon family members who often receive minimal support. Seeking to reduce the caregiver burden, College of Nursing Assistant Professor Jacqueline Eaton, shares an arts-based approach for engaging caregivers of people living with dementia through her research and ethnodramas.
In this first of three articles, University of Utah Health’s Chief Executive Officer Dan Lundergan shares how the same core values and beliefs that carried us through the pandemic will continue to successfully carry us into the future.
Teams naturally move through stages while working together but often get stuck or fail to reach their potential without recognition and leadership. Pharmacist Kyle Turner shares strategies for each stage of team development.
Whether we are navigating a patient death, a negative or unexpected outcome, a medical mistake, or a challenging interpersonal conflict, RAIN is an easy-to-remember tool that provides an opportunity to cultivate compassionate attention to our suffering, enabling us to respond effectively.
The transition from using the term "refugee" to "New American" is just another way University of Utah Health is creating an inclusive and welcoming environment. Redwood Health Centers Chantal Taha and Marissa Higbee, along with Patient Experience Project Administrator Anna Gallegos share the importance of using this new term.
U of U Health's patient family advisory councils, Patient Design Studio and Advise Utah, recently gathered feedback from patients and caregivers on patient communication. Their answers: empower me with more information. Patient Experience's Emily Izzo and Corrie Harris share insights from these advisory councils.
Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) are another goal setting framework you can use to keep project teams on track. Project management expert Kripa Kuncheria explains OKRs and provides health care examples and templates to try right now.
As we transition from universal masking to optional masking, we can expect a wide range of emotions from our teams, patients, and their caregivers. Providing clarity is one of the kindest things we can do for our teams and patients in the midst of change. Use this guide to help talk about it.
Although power can be good, it has negative connotations. We convened a group of local and national experts to unpack the concept of power dynamics. Nursing Director Shegi Thomas and Organizational Development Consultant Shelia Sconiers distilled our conversation into practical strategies for leaders to build positive power dynamics that engage and empower teams.
Hiring challenges are not new to hospitals and HR departments, but they have compounded in recent years due to the pandemic and the growth of our system. The Talent Acquisition team is using these challenges as an opportunity to reassess and refine our hiring practices to align with Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion efforts. Lisa Dyson and James Sugiyama share how they’re partnering with others to drive access and equity in hiring.
Learning how to navigate school, healthcare and more as they settle into Utah can be difficult for new Americans. Assistant Professor Milad Mozari from the division of Multi-Disciplinary Design (MDD) at the U’s College of Architecture and Planning, has been working to use virtual reality technology to support the resettlement process of Utah’s newcomers.
You’ve heard of setting goals, but what about a goal setting framework? Project management expert Kripa Kuncheria helps us organize our teams’ efforts by outlining goal setting frameworks with simple step-by-step options to try right now.
SMART Goals are a great starting point for any project. Project management expert Kripa Kuncheria helps us organize our teams’ efforts by outlining this goal setting framework with a simple step-by-step guide to try right now.
In health care, stress is a given. So how does a leader manage stress in this challenging environment? Director of Behavioral Health Adult Services Tracy Farley (above left) shares several techniques, including Code Lavenders: mindfulness exercises meant to help employees in high-stress situations.
Standard work is the most efficient way to accomplish a job quickly and accurately supported by visual guides. VA internist Sarah Hall and nurse practitioner Jamie Clinton-Lont team up with senior value engineer Luca Boi to share how they used standard work to make pain management safer for veterans.
Poster sessions can be a great way to disseminate information and communicate your work, but so often they are busy, crowded with text, and difficult to make sense of. Clare Kranz, Evidence Based Practice specialist and assistant professor, breaks down how to create simple posters that deliver big impact.
Fail fast and often has been Silicon Valley’s motto for years. For medicine, where failure can result in patient harm, failure has negative connotations. Peter Weir, Utah’s executive medical director of population health and a family medicine physician, discusses different types of failures, and how we become better people and better clinicians by talking about our mistakes.
Well-being specialist Trinh Mai started BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of color) Check-in & Support via Zoom as a place to grieve and honor George Floyd and process ongoing racism. This is a space for employees at the U who self-identify as BIPOC to experience community, share struggles and solutions, and celebrate being who they are. Trinh and some members of the check in group share how the group started, how it has evolved and its lasting impacts.
Your gut tells you a process could be better than it is—how do you back that feeling up with hard data? Senior value engineer Luca Boi shows how undertaking a baseline analysis can jumpstart your improvement project.
Intensive Outpatient Clinic Physician Stacey Bank, Social Worker Christina Cackler, and Executive Medical Director of Population Health Peter Weir share what it took to build an integrated practice and why it pays to innovate for patient-centered care.
With the month of Ramadan quickly approaching for our Muslim patients, many will want to keep up with their dental routines, so that fasting doesn’t have a negative impact on their oral health. University of Utah School of Dentistry's Arman Farhadtouski and Marcy Rogers empower their fellow providers with tips for Ramadan-friendly dental care.
Using inclusive language is one way to build respect and trust with our patients. The quick language guide, developed by UUSOM students, Christina Necessary, Jacob Knight, Raquel Maynez, Bridget Dorsey, Jessica Kunzman, Chieko Hoki, along with Family Medicine physician Tiffany Ho, is a starting point for healthcare providers to improve the way they speak and think about their patients.
Osher Center for Integrative Health wellness programs manager Britta Trepp and employee wellness team graduate assistant Rachel Krahenbuhl share recent research findings that suggest decluttering the spaces where we live and work can have a positive impact on our personal success and well-being.
Exceptional care only happens with an engaged team. Jared Wrigley should know: he has led three diverse teams at U of U Health—first, Westridge Health Center, and now, South Jordan’s primary care team and Parkway Health Center. Here are three effective ways he engages everyone on the team.
How can we put compassion for ourselves and others at the center of what we do? Second year medical student Tanner Nelson interviews pediatric ophthalmologist Griffin Jardine to share how he helps to install hope and compassion with his patients, and himself.
Magnet Program Director Gigi Austria unpacks the Magnet model with the first in a five-part series. Here she describes how transformational leaders achieve successful outcomes by sharing their vision to create an environment where everyone is empowered and engaged.
Whether it was growing up in segregated Georgia, working with leaders across the country during the civil rights movement, leading a congregation at Calvary Baptist Church, or teaching an ethnic studies class at the U, Reverend France A. Davis has lived the theme of “Choosing Love Over Hate.” With the U of U Marriott Library, he shares his experiences and discusses “choosing love” in navigating today’s challenges.
Rising racist aggressions against the backdrop of an anxious and unnerving year can exacerbate the trauma racial groups and minorities experience. Megan Call of the Resiliency Center, social worker Jean Whitlock and EDI expert Mauricio Laguan explain racial trauma and how kindness, to ourselves and each other, is what this moment demands.
Everybody deserves the dignity of being called by their chosen name and having their correct pronouns used. Organizational Development’s Sheila Sconiers and Clare Lemke, along with the Transgender Health Program’s Jessica Stahle, share the importance of pronouns, how to use them in patient care, and what to do if you make a mistake.
In an organization as big as U of U Health, it’s hard to know where our work fits into the big picture. System Planning Manager Cassandra Taft highlights five ways teams can meaningfully contribute to Operational Plan priorities, regardless of job role or responsibility.
Relational culture—when everyone on a team feels seen, heard, and valued for who they are—is a cornerstone of high-functioning teams. Kyle Turner shares the benefits of having a relational culture and how to apply the concept to health care.
Empathy is our cognitive ability to understand, communicate, and respond to another person’s perspectives, experiences, and concerns. Pediatrician Diane Liu reflects on the very real challenges of nurturing empathy in the face of the relentless demands of practice.
General Surgery Resident Molly Leonard, Colorectal Surgeon Luke Martin, and Infection Preventionist Hailey Harris share how they reduced infections by addressing patient, provider, and environmental factors.
Co-hosts Peter Weir and RyLee Curtis talk to Dr. John Hendrick from the University of Utah Health about palliative and hospice care. They also talk to Jillian Olmstead and Kellie Mieremet from The INN Between, an incredible local community organization providing end-of-life care for those experiencing homelessness.
This fundamental patient safety practice gets to the heart of “Do No Harm” in health care—so why is it slipping across the nation? In the spirit of New Year’s resolutions, we’re checking-in with U of U Health infection prevention experts Julie Swindells, Katie Smith, and Alessia Banning to bring hand hygiene best practices front and center.
By the year 2032, two-thirds of the provider workforce will be advanced practice clinicians (APC). Charity Coe and Julie O’Brien, APCs and seasoned leaders passionate about improving their discipline, are charting a course for the success of future practitioners.
Accurate, self-reported race and ethnicity data is necessary to create visibility of health disparities, provide inclusive care, and improve equity of health outcomes. Community engagement director RyLee Curtis, Chief Quality Officer Sandi Gulbransen, Project Manager Kimberly Killam, Patient Experience Director Mari Ransco, Chief Medical Informatics Officer Michael Strong, and Health Sciences Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Librarian Donna Baluchi explain how University of Utah is improving data quality.
What can 15 years of team-building leadership teach you? A lot. Expressive therapies manager, Holly Badger supervised the Huntsman Mental Health Institute's (formally known as the University Neuropsychiatric Institute) ROPES Course before becoming a manager of UNI's Expressive Therapy program. Here, Holly gives Accelerate a crash course in building community while strengthening a team.
Commensality Groups bring together a group of people for a meal to have discussions, learn from one another, and foster a sense of connection amongst peers. Internist and Pediatrician Margaret Solomon shares how she started a Commensality Group for providers at University of Utah Health and the benefits it gave her and her peers.
Dr. Roberto Campos Navarro is a Mexican surgeon from National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) specializing in medical anthropology, interculturality, and culturally delimited diseases. He visited U of U Health to share and discuss culturally responsive care and the opportunity to better serve our diverse patient populations. He shares 16 recommendations on how to have interculturality in health.
When patients or family members use discriminatory language, it can be hard to know the next steps. Nursing Director Gigi Austria and EDI Consultant Sheila Sconiers offer practical steps to address discrimination at the bedside.
With so much going on around the world and in our daily lives, our brains are constantly in overdrive. Mindfulness educator and social worker Trinh Mai explores what practitioners across U of U Health and the VA are doing to help their patients and teammates take a mental break and respond courageously in these times.
Learning a language is a lot like learning collaborative problem solving. Senior Value Engineer Luca Boi takes us to his childhood home of Sardegna, Italy, where he struggled to reconnect with the language—and then it clicked.
Chief Quality Officer Sandi Gulbransen and Accreditation Manager Kemper Funk provide insight on our partnership with DNV, how accreditation contributes to the safety of our patients and staff, and what to expect during our upcoming evaluation.
With over 12 years of experience, Amanda White, director of human resources analytics and technology, has worked on plenty of teams. She pairs her team experience with Bruce W. Tuckman’s team development research to share how teams can create an enduring culture of collaboration.
Emergency Medicine physician Megan Fix shares her personal story of how the simple act of a colleague asking, “No really, how are you?” changed her life.
Learners, patients, and teachers are more confident and inspired when we take time to create positive learning environments. Pediatric endocrinologist Kathleen Timme gives practical advice for integrating key aspects of a positive learning environment into your daily interactions.
Director of community engagement RyLee Curtis shares how we’re partnering with communities to build a new learning and health campus, and what we can apply now, even before construction starts
Nurse Leader Rounding fosters meaningful connection, deepens our understanding of our patients' experiences, and helps us improve as a system. Nursing and education champions Breanna Brannan and Kim Mahoney outline what the process looks like for Nursing Professional Development Practitioners (NPDPs) and offer tips for making connections with patients.
Utilization Review is a necessary, but oftentimes messy process that ensures patients are receiving the most appropriate care in the most appropriate setting. Jenny Tuan, hospitalist and medical director of Utilization Review, dissects what UR is all about, including confusing gray areas and sticky pain points.
Racism isn’t something that happens “somewhere else.” Mindfulness educators and social workers Trinh Mai and Jean Whitlock facilitated an interracial dialogue on talking about race and racism to learn from local lived experiences. Here they share a scenario reflecting common dynamics and give recommendations for a compassionate and constructive response.
The crises of Covid-19 and police brutality have highlighted systemic racial inequity in the United States and the need to consciously dismantle the forces that cause racial health disparities. PA students Scarlett Reyes and Jocelyn Cortez brought together Black patients at the University of Utah to share their experiences. Their advice: build cultural competence and be mindful of microaggressions.
Every Thanksgiving, Accelerate’s Marcie Hopkins makes not just one, but multiple pies to enjoy. To maximize efficiency, she teamed up with Farmington manager Matt Sanford to design the perfect process. And—of course—there’s a health care application as well.
Health care is full of high emotion—especially right now. Thankfully, there’s a simple framework we can follow to de-escalate with compassion. Hospitalist and UACT co-director Claire Ciarkowski introduces NURSE: a simple mnemonic for responding with empathy.
For many of us, focusing only on the positive—at the expense of experiencing a negative emotion—has been taught and expected. But why not adapt and learn from something so unique as an authentic human emotion? Sr. Director of Employee Experience Christian Sherwood shares learning from psychologist Susan David.
When it comes to work, collaboration is key, but do we really know what good collaboration looks like or how it functions? Director of Organizational Development Chris Fairbank shares the importance of investing in collaboration and how to sustain a culture of effective collaboration.
Stress manifests itself physically in the body. Throughout the past year, we’ve all been exhibiting stress physically to varying degrees. Tasha shares exercises and tips to reduce the physical manifestation of stress.
Listening to—and learning from—employees makes for a more humble and thoughtful leader. Chris Shirley, support services director, shares how he turned some stinging feedback into an opportunity to create community and inclusion.
Magnet Program Director Gigi Austria introduces our new approach to achieving nursing excellence at University of Utah Health.
This year’s MEDiversity Week theme, “Securing Health Equity for All,” will explore how University of Utah Health can develop policies, practices, and programs that move us closer to the goal of eliminating health disparities.
Establishing work/life boundaries as a clinician is easier said than done. Family medicine physician Stacey Bank and social worker Christina Cackler of the Intensive Outpatient Clinic share how to establish healthy boundaries based on individual team member needs.
Wellness Champions use prompts to check-in during meetings, team huddles, hand-offs, etc. Learn this simple way to help your team reconnect to purpose, be more engaged, focused, and cohesive.
Having trouble focusing or completing a task? It’s the “hyperactive hive mind” at work. In this first article of a two-part series, Chief Medical Officer Tom Miller, HCI’s Chief Clinical Officer Sachin Apte, Chief Wellness Officer Amy Locke, and Chief Medical Education Officer Mark Harris share highlights from the book A World Without Email and its application in health care.
Expert communicators Emily Izzo and Bridgette Maitre share how to ask open-ended questions to encourage conversation and promote meaningful connection.
The Resiliency Center uses a peer support model to provide increased institutional support for UUH employees during, or after, adverse clinical events and other stressful situations. Jake Van Epps and Megan Call share resources for joining the Peer Support Program and helping others process and cope with trauma.
After 25 years, Penny Stewart made a big career leap—from managing Utah’s surgery recovery team to managing an outpatient endoscopy unit. Here she shares what she learned about herself, integrating with a new team, and developing a culture of learning.
Mindfulness is awareness of the present moment—open to where we are and what we’re doing with a sense of acceptance. Associate professor/lecturer of social work and mindfulness instructor Trinh Mai explains why mindfulness is important and how she and colleagues incorporate it into their daily life.
Shared governance is a decision-making model designed to empower the people who care for patients. Chief Nursing Officer Tracey Nixon explains what it is, how it impacts you, and what to expect in the coming months.
We all do it. We draw a blank on our password, get locked out of login, “…duo what?” and so on. And then we wait for a University of Utah Health service desk saint who makes our machine work again. To help lighten their load a bit—and make our lives easier—we asked ITS Manager Mike Madsen for his “Top 4” preventive measures to avoid a call.
Incremental improvements, like introducing team members to a patient, can have a big impact on a patient’s experience. Neurologist Pete Hannon shares how his team has improved communication to earn trust and confidence.
Chief Human Resources Officer Sarah Sherer shares how Hospitals and Clinics Human Resources is working to integrate a culture of equity, diversity and inclusion at the individual, team and system-level.
Coworkers are often the first to recognize when a peer is struggling under extreme stress. Psychiatrist Kristin Francis and psychologist Rob Davies share how to break through the discomfort and talk to your struggling colleague.
Generosity is a quality that leaders need now more than ever. Dayle Benson, executive director of the Medical Group and chief of staff for clinical affairs, reflects on the generous leaders in her life to help readers develop a spirit of generosity in their own leadership styles.
Mindfulness educator and social worker Trinh Mai and research manager Eduardo Zamora normalize imposter syndrome and share institutional, interpersonal and self-compassion strategies.
Learning to listen is not only a leadership skill—it’s a life skill. Leadership training specialist Jess Burgett shares three practical tips for harnessing the power of listening with intent.
When we talk about being patient-centered, systems thinkers, and engaged experts, nurse leader rounding checks every box. It fosters meaningful connection, deepens our understanding of our patients' experiences, and by sharing what we learn, Nurse Leader Rounding can help us improve as a system. Initiative co-sponsors Tracey Nixon and Mari Ransco outline what’s to come for Nurse Leader Rounding at U of U Health.
Communication is a skill; it takes practice. Clinicians Caryn Peters and Patricia Liu share their method for making meaningful connections with patients and teams.
Keeping learners engaged during a talk or presentation is a challenge almost all educators have encountered. With the transition to more virtual learning over the past year, capturing learners’ attention can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. What are some tools and techniques to improve learner engagement?
As pandemic restrictions continue to lift, we in health care find ourselves in a fix. While some take extended vacations, others continue to work their tails off. The Resiliency Work Group's Megan Call and Mari Ransco share a metaphor—the horizon conflict—to help explain how to manage this moment.
The shift in medical culture to focus on well-being is a long time coming. Physicians Katie Gradick and David Sandweiss detail the development of the Resident Wellness Elective, and GME Wellness’ Rob Davies and Amy Armstrong share the greater system evolution within graduate medical education.
Effective recognition is key to engaging your team in the increasingly tough work we ask them to do. Luckily, we have an expert to guide us. HR’s senior director of employee experience, Christian Sherwood shares how you can better recognize your team – starting today.
Chief Nursing Officer Tracey Nixon walks us through the Department of Nursing Strategic Priorities to explain what it is, how it works, and why it matters to you.
How are we building digital literacy? Chief Information Officer Donna Roach and Sr. Director of Patient Experience Mari Ransco share how using design thinking and seeing care through the eyes of our patients is a great place to start.
To disagree means failing to agree. Synonyms include to contradict, challenge or debate. Synonyms do not also have to include to argue, quarrel, dispute, bicker or clash. Pediatric intensivist Jared Henricksen shares the best path forward when words become clouded with emotion.
Utah’s retail pharmacy team, led by Nathan Hagen, Russ Ragsdale, and Linda Tyler, share insights from the “Distraction Study”—a multi-year journey to improve safety and reduced medication errors by reducing workplace distractions.
After hearing feedback from community groups, University of Utah Health Plans Community Outreach team are taking an active role in educating underserved communities about health insurance through short videos, available in 11 languages.
Family physician and Resiliency Center co-director Amy Locke draws from personal experience and evidence-based research that supports two approaches for making your practice more efficient.
No matter how old your patient is, practicing age-friendly care is important to help people meet their health goals. Geriatrician Tim Farrell guides us through age-friendly care and shares how everyone can start implementing age-friendly care practices.
Emotion coaching is a skill that can help validate a person’s experience—but it takes practice. Follow this step-by-step guide to learn how to use this important skill with patients, co-workers, family members and friends.
After receiving feedback from an employee survey, Community Clinics Environmental Services Director Jess Rivera pulled her team together to address workplace discrimination. She shares insights from her journey to break down barriers and create a safe, inclusive work environment for all.
Strategic communications administrator Bridgette Maitre outlines a new way to connect, learn, and build community within the Department of Nursing.
With careful communication and teamwork, technical supervisor Lindsey Garcia, family medicine physicians Susan Pohl and Bernadette Kirarly, and associate director of strategic projects Erin McCormack share how Madsen Family Practice made it easier for patients to schedule virtual appointments and access the primary care they need.
Our work has high stakes, and it’s natural we feel a deep sense of responsibility. Ally Tanner teaches us that trust helps lighten the load.
Whether your goals are health, financial, or work-related, the Resiliency Center’s Betsy Holm shares how Atomic Habits can help you develop a system in your life to accomplish what it is you want to achieve.
When a medical error occurs, the patient is not the only person affected. Pediatric intensivist Brian Flaherty and psychologist Megan Call describe how caregivers can be impacted by medical error and provide strategies to cope.
Every summer, senior value engineer Cindy Spangler stocks our offices with an abundance of tomatoes, zucchini, and squash. We asked her to share how improvement thinking influences her gardening. Turns out, there are parallels–learn from others, stick to your scope, and learn from the mistakes.
Feeling stressed? Maybe you should decompress. Recreational therapist Holly Badger and training specialist MaryAnn Young outline three expert ways to add a little more play to your day.
How do you design a digital strategy? Chief Information Officer Donna Roach explains that it all begins with listening to your customer. Here, she guides us step-by-step through designing Utah’s digital roadmap.
Every summer, Utahns head to the mountains for camping, biking, rafting and other activities. And every summer, many a family is left without a stove, or a helmet, or a…because it was left at home. Thrill-seeker and value engineer Cindy Spangler wants to prevent your next packing mishap with a customized camping checklist.
Join the University of Utah community as we celebrate and honor Juneteenth. Here are a list of Juneteenth celebrations and events on campus and in the surrounding community, as well as suggested readings and resources.
Trust within our teams and organization is imperative to meet the needs of those we serve. Resiliency Center Social Worker Jamuna Jones shares seven ways to explore trust, courtesy of Dr. Brené Brown.
Transgender and gender diverse patients face systemic discrimination in our broader society and inequitable access to needed care. Ariel Malan, program coordinator and Andy Rivera, volunteer for Utah’s Transgender Health Program, share how to create an inclusive care environment for this vulnerable population focused on trust and respect.
U of U Health Senior Director of Patient Experience Mari Ransco explains the importance and empowerment of distinguishing between meeting patient versus consumer needs.
There’s a better way to respond to colleagues who share experiences about discrimination in society or the workplace. Preston Dahlgren, senior nursing director, relies on his master’s degree in marriage and family therapy to address the importance of validating emotions during hard conversations.
Mindfulness and Integrative Health researcher Adam Hanley and colleagues have shown integrating brief mindfulness practices into a variety of patient care settings can reduce pain, medication use, and improve patient satisfaction. Here’s how to try it out in your own practice.
We have personal protective equipment (PPE) for our body–but what about our mind? Huntsman Cancer Institute nurse manager Cassidy Kotobalavu has lead training on the concept of emotional contagion–how good (and bad) emotions spread. Here are Cassidy’s expert tips (with slides) on managing emotional contagion in health care.
Internal medicine residents Brian Sanders and Matt Christensen team up with senior value engineer Luca Boi to explain why investing your time honing a well-defined problem statement can pay dividends later in the ultimate success of a QI project.
Although her employees are scattered across multiple University of Utah Health locations, Jessica Rivera, director of environmental services for community clinics, maintains a tight-knit team that works and learns together. To strengthen that bond, Rivera has focused on five leadership lessons spanning value improvement, institutional standards, and good old-fashioned trust.
Rural and frontier communities have a harder time accessing care due to long distances and a shortage of medical resources in their own communities. The leaders of the Rural & Underserved Utah Training Experience (RUUTE) program, Kylie Christensen (medical school) and Sri Koduri (residency programs/GME), share what they’ve learned about improving access for rural communities now and into the future.
You are what you eat: eating habits and food choices in the workplace can impact your well-being and productivity. Wellness program manager Britta Trepp and nutrition specialist Helen Hardy shares how to cultivate and build a healthy and positive office eating culture.
As our health care system continues to address pandemic-related employee burnout and fatigue, we can apply simple strategies to enhance our own recovery. Psychologist Megan Call and physical therapist Keith Roper return to a previous marathon analogy to share five recovery strategies for individuals and teams.
Creating psychological safety for your team is a process that takes time, vulnerability from you as a leader, and collaboration from others. Psychiatrists Jen O’Donohoe and Kristi Kleinschmit share 6 practical next steps for when psychological safety might be a little off on your team.
Taped on the wall above my head was a sign that read, “My name is Tom.” As a cardiothoracic surgeon, making the transition from doctor to patient was humbling. I would like to share with you what the experience has taught me, and how it has changed the way I practice medicine.
Maternal-Fetal Medicine physician Brett Einerson is passionate about reducing uncertainty for women and their families and excited to improve health care on a grander scale. Here's the important part: He knows how to do it. Learn how he translates passion into team-based action.
The Zero Suicide initiative has been shown to significantly reduce suicides—and working toward zero suicides is our mission. Rachael Jasperson, Zero Suicide program manager, shares the framework for how we strive for this aspirational goal.
The month of Ramadan has begun for many our Muslim patients, and with it comes questions and concerns from health care providers about how to care for patients who are fasting. Refugee coordinator Anna Gallegos and physician assistant Wagma Mohmand consulted with religious and community experts to walk us everything we need to know about Ramadan and how to care for our diverse Muslim population.
In the beginning, there was High Reliability Thanksgiving. Then came High Reliability Camping and High Reliability Gift Wrapping. Now, manager Brittany Patterson takes on your vacation planning fears: Disney World, the high reliability way.
Safety as a value requires a cultural shift, not just getting people to talk about patient safety but to know how it impacts everything we do. U of U Health’s Director of Patient Safety Iona Thraen draws from the personal to highlight a system-based approach for moving from reactive to proactive patient safety.
When do I need a mentor and when do I need a coach? Utah Coaching Advancement Network (UCAN) co-director Tony Tsai partners with physicians Jared Henricksen, Amy Locke and Ryan Murphy to explore the benefits of professional career coaching in carving your own career path—along with the added benefit of fostering a sense of community, purpose and belonging.
When life gets busy, it’s easy to forget what keeps us grounded and therefore more satisfied with life. Sydney Ryan reflects on the importance of making time for yourself and prioritizing what is important for you. She explains simple, deliberate actions that have made a difference in her work and her life.
Dayle Benson, chief of staff for clinical affairs and executive director of the University of Utah Medical Group, shares her story and advice on the big decision to pursue additional education while growing your career.
Health care workers experience trauma every day in multiple ways, making it difficult to fully recover. Jake Van Epps shares tips for recovering and supporting your colleagues through these adverse events.
From the moment a patient steps into a doctor’s office, we’re trained to ask one question: “What is this patient’s primary problem?” Rebecca Wilson Zingg, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and Assistant Professor in the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Division, shares how a lens on integrative health and wellness can supplement conventional medical practice and this problem-based approach.
Continually speaking up is one of the most challenging things an employee does, and making it safe to speak up takes consistent supportive leadership. Members of the patient support services team share how to empower employees to highlight issues and provide solutions.
We pride ourselves on advocating for our patients, our colleagues, and ourselves—but could this approach be holding us back? As a pediatrician who cares for medically fragile children with complex needs, Michelle Hofmann examines how asking different questions can help us arrive at better decisions.
Many of us are conditioned to push ourselves even harder when times get tough. Why would anyone even consider taking a break? Research says you should. Here’s some rationale and tips to help challenge the instinct to keep pushing through.
Chief Wellness Officer Amy Locke, Resiliency Center Director Megan Call, and Chief Human Resources Officer Sarah Sherer provide answers to frequently asked questions from leaders about how to respond to employee engagement results.
For medical professionals working night shifts, getting adequate sleep can be a challenge. The Resiliency Center’s Jamuna Jones and Clinical Nurse Coordinator Brooks McAuliffe share an evidence-based “Top 10 Tips” from the CDC's NIOSH training to help night shift workers sleep better.
“I don’t like feeling angry, I don't want to feel this way all the time.” Community partner and licensed clinical social worker Jean Whitlock shares the importance of tending to stress injuries as a result of prolonged pandemic strain.
Senior value engineer Cindy Spangler is back to share how a few simple improvement tips enable processes to reach new levels of reliability.
Join the University of Utah community as we celebrate Women's Week. This year’s Women’s Week will validate and acknowledge the struggles we have been experiencing over the past two years and explore the ways we are shifting, striving, and thriving to become stronger as we emerge to a new future.
What can we do right now to make our work environment better? Chief Wellness Officer and family medicine physician Amy Locke shares a simple team-based model for identifying opportunities, sorting what’s feasible and impactful, and empowering the frontline to lead change.
Senior Value Engineer Luca Boi considers the link between well-being and problem-solving by examining our impulse to “continuously cope” rather than “continuously improve.”
The new Master of Education in Health Professions degree program offers a unique opportunity to improve teaching skills, influence the future of clinical care, and increase the impact of clinical educators. The program’s interprofessional leaders, Joanne Rolls, Rebecca Wilson, and Wendy Hobson-Rohrer, share why the program is important and offer a few quick tips to improve your teaching today.
Chief Medical Information Officer Maia Hightower shares a group exercise for exploring bias in the workplace that helps teams build connection and meaning.
Huntsman Mental Health Institute psychiatrist Jeremy Kendrick, operations manager James Stamos and project facilitator Mckenzy Schiffman introduce the CALL-UP program—a state-wide psychiatry consult service to support pediatricians and PCPs with difficult mental health cases.
Struggling to catch some ZZZ’s? Maybe your sleep hasn't been great lately? Either way, it's time to do something about it. Wellness expert Britta Trepp shares tips and strategies to improve your sleep quality and help you fall asleep faster.
Department of Surgery collaborators Courtney Lauer, Erin Heath, and Christina Choate share their process for establishing a culture of collaboration that facilitates communication across teams, fosters shared goals, and creates an atmosphere where failure is an opportunity to learn.
Health care professionals are unique: Not only do we have to work on our own behavior change, we often have to influence the behavior change of others—our patients. Director of U of U Health’s Resiliency Center Megan Call explains why it’s so challenging and provides steps to make it easier.
Rewarding staff might seem overwhelming amid all the responsibilities that come with being a leader. Yet, we know it has a significant effect on morale and retention. HR’s director of communication and recognition Christian Sherwood suggests a layered approach to show your appreciation that won’t necessarily hit your bottom line.
Chief Wellness Officer Amy Locke and Resiliency Center Director Megan Call share evidence-based discussion points and strategies informed by the collective wisdom of the last two years supporting U of U Health.
From the simple to the complex, problems plague our daily work. Quality Improvement experts Luca Boi and Ryan Murphy provide brief lessons and resources covering important problem solving techniques so you can develop solutions and make improvements.
Our work lives are changing as some of our homes once again become schools. The Effective Communicator reached out to HR experts Christian Sherwood and Rosemary Norton for advice about how managers can talk with their teams about being flexible with where, how, and when we work.
LGBTQ+ youth are at significantly higher risk for suicide and suicidal thoughts, and parents and providers need to know how to help. Pediatric psychologist Jessica Robnett and Transgender Program Coordinator Ariel Malan share best practices to care for this population.
Join the University of Utah community as we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and legacy. Here are suggested readings, resources, events and conversations throughout the week that honor Dr. King’s vision, offer direction, and challenge us to determine a better way forward.
When our world is turned upside down, we rush past our emotions to get over the pain and feel better. But this approach doesn’t allow us to actually work through the pain. Chaplain Saundra Shanti shares how to bolster our resilience by creating space for discomfort.
What is “Value Management” and why should you care? It's how University of Utah Health systematically improves the quality of care delivered to patients—and its never been more important as we redesign care during a pandemic. Chief Quality Officer Sandi Gulbransen shares the seven tenets of Value Management that guide our work.
Physician Assistant and Associate Professor Joanne Rolls cares for sexual and gender minority patients and teaches new physician assistants how to comfortably approach sexual health as part of overall health. She shares practical tips to take an inclusive sexual health history.
Feedback is a gift—even when it doesn’t feel like it. Senior Director of Care Navigation Stacy Silwany teams up with Organizational Development’s Michael Danielson to share how Care Navigation uses WellCheck survey data to learn from and engage employees in making the workplace better.
Senior Value Engineer Luca Boi translates Lean lessons in culture building from Hollywood’s big screen to our everyday lives.
GME Wellness Director Rob Davies explores the practice of gratitude journaling—writing down “three good things” every day for two weeks. This simple exercise can profoundly impact your overall sense of wellbeing.
Access to medical care isn't a given. Medical students from the Tribal, Rural, and Underserved Medical Education (TRUE) Graduate Certificate program tell us first-hand experiences that helped them build a passion for complex problem solving by experiencing big, systemic challenges up close.
In a culture that values self-sacrifice, setting boundaries reinforces additional values, such as support and compassion. Social Worker and Director of Mindfulness Programming Trinh Mai shares practical tips for setting boundaries and speaking up.
The higher education achievement gap is predicted to widen as Utah’s population grows over the coming decades. Pediatricians Cheryl Yang and Rebecca Purtell share six efforts the health care community can pursue to create and promote more equitable educational, health, and future career opportunities for all children.
The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian provides a wealth of perspectives often absent in American history textbooks and mainstream culture. Here are five curated favorites from the comprehensive collection filled with artwork and stories worth sharing.
You can only steer a ship if it’s moving. Leading successful change starts by first understanding your culture—then addressing deficits in a deliberate fashion. Senior value engineer Cindy Spangler introduces the Shingo Model, a principle-driven method to foster a healthy, adaptive, improvement-driven culture.
Physicians Peter Weir and Benjamin Lewis discuss the therapeutic use of psychedelics in mental health. Diving into the history, scientific data, and trends, they explore how psychedelics can help people with mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and trauma, to name a few.
One of health care’s biggest ideas is predictive analytics — looking at large amounts of data to predict future patient behavior or outcomes. Jeff Young, Associate Director in Decision Support, worked with a multi-disciplinary team to put predictive analytics into action. Here, he shares why innovation is nothing without the team.
U of U Health Lifestyle Medicine Program physician leaders Rachel Goossen and Rich Doxey provide support for care teams that empowers patients to make positive changes to their daily habits and overall well-being.
It’s one thing to read about “rural” health care—it’s entirely another to experience it. Faculty and students from the Tribal, Rural, and Underserved Medical Education (TRUE) Graduate Certificate share experiences and insights from summer in the Navajo Nation.
Hearing a patient is one thing—but actively listening to patients with empathy, understanding, and awareness is another. Nurse practitioner and headache specialist Susan Baggaley explores three trust-building techniques she employs to build relationships.
Making tough decisions about our health can be overwhelming, especially when we must navigate inadequate resources, foreign terminology, and conflicting information. Clinical Programs Administrator Darrin Doman discusses the importance of patient education and explains how to overcome common obstacles and improve patient education.
Psychological safety is crucial for the medical field to innovate and improve. Teams must feel safe and open to expressing concerns and reporting errors. Psychiatrists Jennifer O’Donohoe and Kristi Kleinschmit share tips to create a more psychologically safe environment for your team.
Taking time throughout the day to move is a great way to add physical activity to your routine and carve out space to reflect and recover. Wellness programs manager Britta Trepp, College of Health Graduate student Karly Ackley and physical therapist Tasha Olsen walk us through the motions.
The Effective Communicator teams up with Joe Allen of the Center for Meeting Effectiveness to share three data-driven recommendations on how to improve your meeting effectiveness and reclaim control of your calendar.
Manager Jenn Tuero has held jobs throughout the health care system all focused on one thing: easing the burden of patients and clinicians. In the process, she has mastered the art of integrating meaning into everyday work. We asked Jenn how she builds meaning for her team and makes every employee feel that they are never “just” an enrollment specialist.
Grief feels terrible—but that doesn’t mean that all grieving is bad or abnormal. Katherine Supiano, Director, Caring Connections: A Hope and Comfort in Grief Program, helps explain what feelings and actions during grieving are normal—and what actions might be cause for concern.
As Redwood Health Center’s program coordinator serving new Americans, Anna Gallegos has learned valuable lessons that can help all of us better care for patients of refugee background and vulnerable populations. Here are three suggestions to help make caring for patients easier.
University of Utah Health social worker and director of mindfulness programming Trinh Mai partners with chaplain Saundra Shanti to explore a new way to manage the exhaustion we feel: permission to give 20% less.
Physician leader and community organizer Richard Ferguson shares his work to form Utah’s first organization for Black physicians, with the aim to build a community among current Black physicians, residents, and students working or living in Utah.
Dentist Gary Lowder has spent the past 36 years working with patients who suffer from jaw disorders that result in chronic pain. As faculty in the School of Dentistry, he’s passing along the power of vulnerability as a patient trust-building exercise with his trainees.
The number one goal of the Zero Suicide initiative is to create a culture where we feel comfortable talking openly about suicide. Program manager Rachael Jasperson turns to U of U business school’s Eric VanEpps to learn the evidence-based case for overcoming our discomfort when discussing sensitive subjects.
Hospitalist Ryan Murphy and Value Engineer Luca Boi outline four questions to address at the outset of any improvement.
It might seem basic, but just calling someone by their name is one of the most powerful forms of recognition a physician can give their team. Moran Vision Services administrative director Brent Price and physician and vice chair Norm Zabriskie share the many lessons they learned from putting employees’ voices at the center of resilience efforts.
As physician shortages continue to leave rural, remote, and indigenous populations without access to quality care, director of education research Candace Chow and physician Juliana Simonetti partner to level the playing field for med students from underserved communities. Their new program, PROMIS2U, empowers these future practitioners by providing them with unprecedented academic support.
Being new is hard. Often for new faculty, it means adjusting to a new state, new team, new patients, and a new organizational culture. We asked hospitalists Ryan Murphy and Valerie Vaughn and surgeon Ellen Morrow for tips that only come from a little time under the belt.
Altruism and collectivism got us through the first year of Covid-19. Now what? As anger and resentment bubbles up on the frontline, VA internist Amy Cowan addresses our short fuse by sharing a simple practice for leading daily huddles to foster a bridge to better understanding.
Resiliency Center director Megan Call offers five simple and practical strategies to work through anger when all of your buttons have been pushed.
M.ED host Kerry Whittemore interviews infectious disease expert Andrew Pavia to learn evidence-based ways clinicians can address vaccine hesitancy, as part of the Medical Education for the Practicing Clinician podcast series.
Caring for our community has been our superpower throughout the pandemic. In this moment, however, our capacity for empathy is being challenged. Chief Wellness Officer Amy Locke shares four strategies to help keep your cool when emotions run high.
Adults are unique learners; they come with their own experiences, preferences, and baseline knowledge. Pediatricians Kerry Whittemore and Kathleen Timme discuss adult learning theory and how physicians can approach adult learners to teach more effectively. This is part of the podcast series: M.ED: Medical Education for the Practicing Clinician by Kerry Whittemore.
Process maps are a useful tool for focusing your efforts and saving valuable time. Senior Value Engineer Luca Boi explains how this team-based tool harnesses the power of visual thinking to help clarify complex processes.
Sometimes, just listening really helps. U of U Health patient Andrea Garavito Martinez and family physician Erika Sullivan discuss how physicians can meaningfully address health impacts of racism and identity with their patients.
Patrice Hicks shares her personal story of struggles and loss during the pandemic, and her glimmer of hope for the future.
Microaggressions commonly occur in medical settings creating psychologically unsafe environments of learning, working, and healing. Pediatricians Reena Tam and Margie Diaz-Ochu share how clinician-educators can cultivate awareness and practical tools to create safer, braver spaces in the moment.
Your social media feeds are awash with tips for working from home, but how do you lead from home? Karen Wilson and Dawn Newberry, of University Medical Billing, have led remote teams for years. Their experience boils down to one principle: build and maintain connection.
Creating a better experience for everyone—patients, staff, providers—takes consistency and small actions. For years, University of Utah Health’s Redstone Health Center in Park City has been amongst the top performers in the nation for patient experience. Long-time operations manager Pati Colvin and nursing supervisor Teresa Stone share the secrets to their years at the top. Spoiler alert—it's deliberate small steps.
University of Utah School of Dentistry student Lauren Kvam shares a personal story of her struggles from last year, and her hope for brighter days.
While many people run away from loss and grief, Katherine Supiano, director of caring connections, embraces it and those going through it. With the help of her community, she facilitates healing through compassionate support systems, evidence-based training, and emotional validation.
The Resiliency Center's Jean Whitlock and Megan Call provide a step-by-step guide for infusing frequent and efficient storytelling into your workday.
Value culture encourages us to look for and resolve our day-to-day problems and inefficiencies by asking, “What’s the pebble in my shoe?” But what happens when the pebble is in the patient’s shoe? Recent biomedical engineering grad Kyler Hodgson, operations manager Sarah Burton, and gastroenterology chief John Fang share how listening to patients can result in solutions that meet patient needs.
Leadership is not a destination, but a journey where you’re constantly evolving and entering new stages. Dayle Benson, chief of staff of clinical affairs and executive director of the University of Utah Medical Group, shares how to practice and embrace generativity to nurture the skills of those around you and become a better leader.
Chris Fairbank, director of organizational development, gives practical advice for using feedback from the Hospitals and Clinics WellCheck survey as a springboard for dialogue and growth, rather than a yardstick of personal leadership.
Updated with new reads for summer 2022, find out what leaders from across our health care system are enjoying. From imaginative fiction to social science touchstones, there's a book here worth pursuing on a long summer evening or an upcoming vacation.
Patient relations specialist Terri Berg shares her personal story of heartbreaking loss and struggles from last year, and how the support of her team helped her through it.
For patients, interpersonal and communication skills are the primary indicator of the provider’s competence and expertise. In this article, Graham Walker, Jeff Elton, Erin McCormack, Nickole Canfield, and Mari Ransco outline widely regarded best practices and resources for webside communication.
Simulation Center director Madeline Lassche shares her personal story of grief and struggle from last year, and how the support of her family and team members has guided her through it all.
Around 120 Utahns are diagnosed with HIV/AIDS every year. Rylee Curtis and Peter Weir sit down with Adam Spivak, co-founder of Utah’s only free PrEP clinic, and Ahmer Afroz, executive director of the Utah AIDS Foundation, to discuss the origin of HIV/AIDS and its prevention and treatment in Utah. This is Part 1 of a two-part episode.
The Resiliency Center's Wellness Champion Program shares posters from this year's Annual Well-being and Resilience Poster Fair.
What would it take to eradicate new HIV infections in Utah? Rylee Curtis and Peter Weir sit down with Adam Spivak, co-founder of Utah’s only free PrEP clinic, and Ahmer Afroz, executive director of the Utah AIDS Foundation, to discuss the challenges of community health in Utah. This is Part 2 of a two-part episode.
Intimate partner violence, rape, and sexual assault are hard topics to discuss. Kathy Franchek-Roa and Marty Liccardo provide positive strategies to work through these difficult issues.
While mental health access through insurance coverage has improved, efficient screening and placement is key to getting patients into mental health care. By taking deliberate steps to integrate depression screening into primary and specialty care office visits, patients are more likely to access mental health resources.
Redwood Health Center physician Eli Moreno shares a simple exercise to cut through vaccine misinformation and empower patients to make educated decisions.
Research scientist Saba Parvez shares his personal story of grief and struggle from last year, and his hope and silver linings for the future.
Chief Medical Informatics Officer Maia Hightower reflects on her grandmother’s experience and optimism to share a message of hope for meaningful change as we approach the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s death.
After a near-death experience, University of Utah Health Senior Value Engineer, Luca Boi, walked away with minor bruising and three powerful lessons.
Addiction specialist psychiatrist Beth Howell addresses the stigma and silence of substance abuse in health professions. If you or someone you know is struggling, there’s a global community of anonymized support.
Step into the shoes of James Mwizerwa, environmental services supervisor, to learn how he and his team stay resilient and persevere through their demanding work.
Many people, including health care professionals, are turning to alcohol and other substances to help cope with the stresses of Covid-19. Licensed psychologist Kelly Lundberg shares how to talk to colleagues who may be silently suffering.