Kansas City,
09:00 AM

Children’s Mercy Kansas City Honored by AMA for Promoting Wellbeing of Healthcare Workers

Children’s Mercy Kansas City has earned recognition from the American Medical Association (AMA) as a Joy in Medicine™ recognized organization at the Silver level – the first and only freestanding children’s hospital to receive this distinction. The prestigious AMA honor is granted only to organizations that meet rigorous criteria of the Joy in Medicine™ Health System Recognition Program and demonstrate a commitment to preserving the wellbeing of clinical care team members through proven efforts to combat work-related stress and burnout.

Healthcare workers are experiencing increased moral distress and burnout in the workplace which can lead to feeling emotionally and physically exhausted as they take on more challenges at work and home,” said Stephanie Burrus, DO, FAAP, Chief Wellbeing Officer, Center for Wellbeing, Children’s Mercy. “We are committed to promoting a culture of wellbeing and belonging, fostering workplace improvements, and supporting personalized resilience. As team members’ wellbeing increases, so does our ability to better care for the children and families we serve.”

Burnout rates among the nation’s physicians and other healthcare professionals spiked dramatically as the COVID-19 pandemic placed acute stress on care teams and exacerbated long-standing system issues. While the worst days of the pandemic have past, the lingering impact of work-related burnout remains an obstacle to achieving national health goals.

“Health organizations that have earned recognition from the AMA’s Joy in Medicine Health System Recognition Program are leading a national movement that has declared the wellbeing of health professionals to be an essential element for providing high-quality care to patients, families, and communities,” said AMA President Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, M.D., M.P.H. “Each Joy in Medicine recognized organization is distinguished as among the nation’s best at creating a culture of wellness that makes a difference in the lives of clinical care teams.”

"The goal of the Joy in Medicine Health System Recognition Program is to unite the healthcare community in building a nationwide culture committed to the wellbeing of clinical care teams by helping health organizations invest in action plans promoting professional fulfillment and meaning that clinicians find in caring for their patients,” said Christine Sinsky, M.D., AMA vice president of professional satisfaction.

Children’s Mercy has robust programs that serve to create an environment of wellbeing and foster joy in the workplace. The Children's Mercy Center for Wellbeing is responsible for strategic approaches to address healthcare workers’ wellbeing through developing and supporting workplace improvement projects, partnering to create a culture of wellbeing and belonging, and promoting personalized resilience to ensure team members have the resources they need to flourish in the workplace. 

Center for Wellbeing initiatives include elevating meaningful work in tandem with reducing non-meaningful work, improving a sense of community among team members, analyzing impacts of moral distress and burnout, integrating a culture of wellbeing and belonging through enterprise-wide engagement, support for distressed staff and their leaders, brief crisis intervention, community referrals for mental health and other support services, and mindfulness-based stress reduction classes.

Since its inception in 2019, the Joy in Medicine™ Health System Recognition Program has recognized more than 100 organizations across the country. In 2023, a total of 72 health systems nationwide earned recognition with documented efforts to reduce system-level drivers of work-related burnout and demonstrated competencies in commitment, assessment, leadership, efficiency of practice environment, teamwork, and support.

Learn more about the AMA Joy in Medicine™ Health System Recognition Program at ama-assn.org/joyinmedicine