Healthy Healer Project

The Healthy Healer Project is a collaborative effort to promote joy and meaning in medicine (JAMM) for healthcare professionals. It is our response to an epidemic of isolation and burnout that is driving many of our best and brightest healers out of clinical medicine, and in far too many cases, to taking their own lives. To paraphrase John F. Kennedy, “The times are too grave, the challenge too urgent, the stakes too high (to stand by idly). We are not here to curse the darkness, but to light the candle that can guide us through that darkness to a sane and safe future.” In that spirit, the Healthy Healer Project brings to health care leaders the vision and strategy they need to lead measurable, palpable, and immediate change; and to practicing clinicians the connections, perspectives, and tools they need to remain whole as physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, and other members of the health care team.

Healthy Healer Project Overview

Sampler of services provided under the project’s umbrella

Strategic Planning for Total Performance in Health Care

Target audience: health care executives, policy makers, operations directors
Duration: 3-5 days
Description: How does an organization rally its resources to provide the highest quality care, an unsurpassed patient care experience, and joy and meaning for those people providing the care? What is the framework for this work and how do you build and maintain a daily approach to the work that strikes a sustainable balance between the numerous wants and needs of patients and the fundamental self care needs of the health care providers? Health care leaders with a track record of success in navigating the healthy tension between Multiple Simultaneous Conflicting Imperatives (MSCI) share their victories and failures (because as Brene Brown says, “The real badasses are the people who wade into discomfort and vulnerability and tell the truth about their stories”). Attendees are coached to think and plan within a comprehensive framework that focuses on culture, practice support, and locally based personal wellness programs.

Strategy graphic

Strategy = Having what it takes and doing what you say

Evidence Based Resiliency Training

Target audience: practicing clinicians
Duration: 1.5 days
This course teaches seven workplace habits that promote wellness. The curriculum focuses on creating a personal mission statement; growing close social networks; imitating resilient others; becoming nutritionally and physically fit; and being mindful and mentally focused. Participants are paired with accountability partners. Graduates sustain positive changes in wellness habits one year after completing the course.

Skills Model and photo collage

Servant Leadership Training Programs

Target audience: health care leaders
Duration: 1-2 days
The most effective leaders for a new and improved medical system are servant leaders who understand the value of asking the people doing the work, “What’s working and what’s not working” and who understand how this engagement of the workforce has always been the foundation of process improvement. Drawing on the work of Sutton and Rao, we ask the question, “What’s possible in a world of non-negotiables and guardrails?” (Answer: transformational change).

Sweet Spot graphic

A Story of Joy & Meaning in Medicine featuring A New Path, Chit Chat with The Little Man, and Playtime with The Elephant.

Target audience: leaders and practicing clinicians
Duration: 4 hours
Burnout has separated healers from their meaning and purpose. This high-partcipation workshop invites participants to take a fresh look at why and how they do their work as individuals and as team members. The instructors explore with the audience a promising new construct that features servant leadership, making the choices that promote joy and meaning, and reconnecting emotionally with the stories that first called us into the healing professions.

JAMM story board

Connect the Docs

Target audience: care teams
Duration: 45 minute sessions; facilitator training is 8 hours
Connect the Docs (CTD) is a CME accredited program which addresses challenging issues in the doctor/patient relationship. The format consists of case discussions about difficult encounters with patients and/or their families and is most commonly given as a lunch conference. The discussion focuses on issues related to the experience of the doctor, the patient and their relationship. These discussions are not support groups and are not directed towards problem solving about the case. They focus on achieving better clarity of the situation by exploring different points of view. Participants report new insights and presenters often report more freedom and ease in dealing with the situation.

Connect the Dots

Healthy Healer Faculty

healthy healers faculty

John Chuck, MD is a wellness consultant for health care professionals and the founder of the Healthy Healer Project. He was the Chief of Health Promotion and the Chief of Physician Health & Wellness for Kaiser Permanente in the Sacramento/Roseville area. He was also the Chairperson of the Regional Physician Health & Wellness Leaders Group for The Permanente Medical Group (TPMG), the nation’s largest multi-specialty group practice comprised of 9500 physicians serving over 4 million patients in Northern California. His work has been recognized with the Sidney Garfield Exceptional Contribution Award from The Permanente Medical Group (2004), the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the UC Davis Alumni Association (2014), and the Charles J. Soderquist Award from the U.C. Davis Foundation (with his wife, Lesli, 2018). John is a graduate of UC Berkeley and the UCLA School of Medicine. He served his family practice residency at the UC Davis Medical Center.

Evan Bloom, MD was the Assistant Physician in Chief for Human Resources for the Kaiser South Sacramento Medical Center where he also served as the Chief of Physician Health & Wellness and the Chief of Physician Well Being. He was recognized with the Sidney Garfield Exceptional Contribution Award from The Permanente Medical Group in 2008 for his innovative work in physician health and wellness. Evan is a graduate of UC Davis and the UC San Francisco School of Medicine and served his pediatrics residency at the Harbor/UCLA Medical Center.

Jessica Mahony, MD is the former Chief of Physician Health & Wellness at the Kaiser San Francisco medical center where she taught clinical leaders how to lead engaged, resilient, and satisfied teams. She also led initiatives to build physician support and self care into the prevailing culture. Jessie is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the UC San Francisco School of Medicine and did her pediatrics residency at the Kaiser Oakland Medical Center. She is an Associate Clinical Professor at UCSF, Chair of the San Francisco Marin Medical Society’s Task Force on Physician Wellness, and certified coach and yoga instructor.  

Thomas Nesbitt, MD, MPH is the Emeritus Vice-Chancellor of for Strategic Technologies and Alliances at UC Davis Health. He worked with Governor Schwarzenegger and the UC Office of the President to establish the California Telehealth Network. He also developed the UC Davis Prime programs that prepare physicians to work in rural and underserved urban areas. His work was recognized with the UC Davis Transformational Leadership Award. He earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from UC Davis and his MPH from the University of Washington. Tom did his family medicine residency at the UW associated Spokane program.

Taylor Riall, MD, PhD is the Chief of the Division of General Surgery/Surgical Oncology at the University of Arizona. In addition to being an international expert on comparative effectiveness and patient-centered cancer care, she oversees a surgical training program that features innovative wellness interventions for the residents. While serving as President of the Society of University Surgeons, she delivered a powerful keynote address about the role of mindfulness, self-awareness, and emotional intelligence in a well-balanced life. Taylor earned her medical degree and served her residency and fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University and also earned a Ph.D. at the University of Texas.

David Cosca, MD was the head team physician for UC Davis Intercollegiate Athletics and a member of the UC Davis Sports Medicine Program. A modern day Renaissance man, Dave has also enjoyed great success as a musician, contractor, outdoorsman, and winemaker. He speaks on a wide variety of topics including finding wellness through exercise, dance, and music. Dave is a graduate of Stanford University and the UC Davis School of Medicine. He did his family practice residency and sports medicine fellowship at the UC Davis Medical Center.

We have a dream

. . . about a world in which healers are united in their purpose, integrity, vulnerability, and mutual support.  We invite you to join us in making this dream come true.

Hands up at Sea Mar

Reaching up to touch all the people and ideas that inspire us” at the Sea Mar biannual physician meeting, Seattle, WA, 2019