Staff Wellness & Resiliency

Community-supported programs fight burnout by helping staff recover and rebound from stress. 

Making time to Pause

With community support through the Covid-19 Fund, Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital became the first in the Sentara system to hire a dedicated staff resiliency coordinator in 2021, charged with creating programs to help frontline teams manage stress and fight burnout. Veteran SMJH nurse Esther Lozano Otis stepped into the role, bringing with her deep expertise in and Western and Eastern healing traditions. 

She leads an Intentional Caring Committee with wide representation and strong executive support, which designs resiliency programs that address the most pressing staff concerns, from career advancement to anxiety, exhaustion and burnout. 

The Staff Wellness program offers mindful movement, nature walks, Stress First Aid, resiliency spaces, and massage designed to address the repetitive stress injuries that are common among many technicians. The goal, as Esther puts it, is to "meld the two worlds of health and wellness, which don't always go hand-in-hand for healthcare workers. We want to give our staff permission and resources to take care of themselves."