Cooper University Health Care earns distinction for commitment to well-being of health care workers

Cooper University Health Care Cooper University Health Care is a prominent South Jersey system.

Cooper University Health Care is one of only 28 health systems nationwide to earn the 2022 American Medical Association Joy in Medicine Health System Recognition. The AMA distinction is granted only to those organizations that demonstrate a commitment to preserving the well-being of clinical care team members by engaging in proven efforts to combat work-related stress and burnout.

“This recognition highlights Cooper’s belief that supporting our medical providers and other team members is essential to our mission to serve, to heal, to educate,” Dr. Eric Kupersmith, senior vice president and chief physician executive at Cooper, said. “Our efforts have centered on teamwork, innovation, transparency and resilience. This has translated into exceptional patient care and performance, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Health systems that have earned recognition from the AMA’s Joy in Medicine Health System Recognition Program have demonstrated that the well-being of health professionals is essential to caring for the health and wellness of patients, families, and communities,” AMA President Dr. Jack Resneck Jr. stated. “United by a commitment to build a culture of wellness that energizes care teams, the recipients of the Joy in Medicine Recognition are at the forefront and among the best at creating a workplace that makes a difference in the lives of clinical caregivers.”

A 2021 report based on research led by the AMA shows that “feeling valued by one’s organization was strongly associated with lower stress” and serves as a protective factor against work-related physician burnout. This important finding has paved the way for many organizations to reexamine how leadership, culture, peer support and removing obstacles to patient care act together to create the conditions where joy, purpose and meaning in medicine are possible. This year’s Joy in Medicine recipients have all taken important steps to support physician well-being for the long term.

As a leading academic health system, Cooper treated some of the most critically ill patients throughout the pandemic. Health care workers faced increased stress, anxiety and traumatic grief caring for large numbers of COVID-19 patients and witnessing high loss of life. Cooper team members team developed a Compassion and Resiliency Experience Program to provide direct support to its more than 8,900 team members throughout the pandemic and beyond.

The C.A.R.E. team provides support, education and skill-building through resiliency workshops, peer support groups and digital content. The peer support groups connect physicians, nurses and advanced practice providers to their colleagues. The team developed an extensive digital library and wellness intranet site addressing wide-ranging topics, including coping skills at work, maintaining a work-life balance, and sustaining a healthy lifestyle while under stress. The Daily Dose, an inspirational message, was created during the pandemic and was shared in daily co-CEO emails to all team members.