Supporting our leaders and each other

Dr. Chintan Mistry

With a background in emergency medicine, Dr. Chintan Mistry, Chief Medical Officer, Advocate Medical Group – South Chicagoland PSA, already has a lot of experience dealing with situations that are tense and stressful. But when Advocate Aurora Health launched the Together as One Peer Support Program earlier this year, he saw it as an opportunity to learn even more and support his team.

“The program provides training to employee ambassadors to help them recognize and intervene when a colleague is impacted by stress in the workplace,” he explained. “The value of an approach like this is clear.”

Team members are trained in how to talk and listen to others, to provide emotional support and to be there for each other.

“Some of the training was familiar to me, but I also learned new techniques and skills. I see it as an additional set of tools I can use to better care for my team and peers.”

The program, which was funded thanks to gifts to the COVID-19 Relief Fund, was created in response to the high levels of stress and burnout being experienced by clinicians and frontline health care workers as the pandemic wears on.

“Within a week of completing the training, I found myself using the tools and techniques from the program when talking with two peers who were under stress and confiding in me,” he shared.

Employee ambassadors like Dr. Mistry can also refer team members to specialized resources in Trauma Recovery, Mission and Spiritual Care, Employee Assistance Program or Behavioral Health.

“There are also resources available for us. If I’m in a situation with a colleague who’s struggling and I don’t know how to respond, I can reach out to other professionals for advice.”

The program benefits not only team members, but also patients.

“Anyone who is compromised by things like stress won’t be at their best or sharpest. You can never completely separate your personal and professional lives,” said Dr. Mistry. “If you can recognize when people might need help and take care of them, they’ll be better equipped to care for our patients.”

How you can help

The Together as One Peer Support Program would not exist without the generosity of donors. To make a gift in support of our COVID-19 Relief Fund, click here.