Helping Healers Heal: Evolving Emotional and Psychological Support for Healthcare Workers

Helping Healers Heal: Evolving Emotional and Psychological Support for Healthcare Workers

The COVID-19 pandemic poured gasoline on an out of control mental health crisis in the US healthcare system that was losing healthcare workers of all disciplines to burnout, drop out, depression, substance abuse, and suicide. We were losing 400 US physicians a year to suicide alone. In this session, we share how the nation’s largest municipal healthcare system leveraged, evolved, and expanded their Helping Healers Heal (H3) program and behavioral health services to emotionally and psychologically support their 42,000 staff through this once in a century pandemic.

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Ted Long
Ted Long, MD, MHS

Ted Long, MD, MHS, is Senior Vice President of Ambulatory Care and Population Health at New York City Health + Hospitals, the largest public health care system in the U.S. He is also Executive Director of the NYC Test & Treat Corps, the City’s comprehensive response to the COVID-19 pandemic since June 2020. The program has completed more than 11 million PCR and antigen tests for New Yorkers, as well as distributed tens of millions of at-home tests. Test & Treat recently created the nation’s first mobile Test to Treat program, where those with a positive rapid test can be instantly connected with oral antiviral treatment through a mobile unit.

New York City Health + Hospitals provides essential services to more than one million New Yorkers through 11 hospitals and more than 50 community health center sites. Dr. Long is responsible for leading the nation’s largest Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) and transforming the health system’s current portfolio of ambulatory care, with more than five million visits per year, into an integrated and high-quality network providing care to all New Yorkers, without exception. Additionally, he oversees Population Health and supervises the NYC Care program, which provides universal access to care for all New Yorkers regardless of immigration status or ability to pay.

Dr. Long previously served as Senior Medical Officer for the Quality Measurement and Value-Based Incentives Group at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), where he led more than 20 federal programs, including the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program and the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program. Before coming to CMS, Dr. Long served as Medical Director at the Rhode Island State Department of Health, where he led health care planning for the State. He was principal author for the first statewide evaluation of health service capacity and access to care, with a focus on primary care capacity and need.

Dr. Long is a practicing primary care physician who did his undergraduate work, residency training and post-graduate master’s work in health services research at Yale University. Dr. Long is currently a faculty member at the Yale School of Medicine and the Harvard Medical School Center for Primary Care, where he teaches about health policy and administration.

Eric Wei
Eric Wei, MD, MBA

Dr. Eric Wei is the Senior Vice President and Chief Quality Officer for NYC Health + Hospitals. He is an Associate Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine and Adjunct Professor at the NYU School of Global Public Health. NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest municipal health system in the United States, with 11 acute care hospitals, 5 skilled nursing facilities, 50+ community health centers, a home care agency, correctional health services, and an insurance plan, MetroPlus Health. He is the fellowship director for the NYC Health + Hospitals Clinical Leadership Fellowship. He serves on the board of MetroPlus Health and as faculty for the Greater New York Hospital Association/UHF Clinical Quality Fellowship Program.

Dr. Wei received his Bachelor’s degree in Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology at University of California, Los Angeles. He completed the combined MD and MBA program at University of California, Irvine. Dr. Wei completed his Emergency Medicine residency and the Healthcare Administration Scholars Program at the University of Michigan. He is a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

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