Welcome to the Michigan Medicine

Wellness Office

Welcome to the Wellness Office!

The Michigan Medicine Wellness Office is solely dedicated to improving workplace well-being, reducing professional burnout, and creating a caring, safe environment where all faculty, staff and learners at Michigan Medicine can thrive.

Our focus is to help make workplace well-being part of your experience while providing excellent patient care, work, education and research across Michigan Medicine.

What will you find on the Wellness Office website?

  • This site provides information to learn more about workplace well-being, including workplace well-being toolkits (coming soon!), which are evidence-based interventions for leaders, faculty, staff, and learners to address several factors impacting workplace well-being.

  • You will also find detailed information about the Wellness Advocate Network, comprised of clinical, operational and research leaders across Michigan Medicine actively engaged in furthering workplace well-being.

  • The Well-Being Help Center connects you with key resources to support individual and team needs, coordinated with many caring partners providing emotional health and well-being services.

  • Information and resources continually updated from the Family Care Task Force.

We hope you find the website helpful. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please contact us at wellness-office@umich.edu. Stay well and Go Blue!

Message from Chief Wellness Officer,
Kirk J. Brower, MD is below.

Posted February 15, 2021

Most of us have felt stressed by COVID-19 in some way to some extent. We may have trouble sleeping or getting much done during the day, feel physically sick (like a tension headache or upset stomach), or just not feel like our usual selves as well as lonely and isolated. These are common ways to feel during major life challenges and after traumatic events, which we sometimes refer to as post-traumatic stress.

Such stress can also occur after losing someone close to us; surviving a nearly fatal illness or injury; or seeing something horrible happen to another person such as a patient or loved one. Many of you have faced this caring for patients during this pandemic. Healing can and does occur after traumatic events, however, emotional “scars” sometimes remain, similar to physical scars after physical injuries. The scars remind us of a past we’d rather forget. Even so, we learn to live with our scars rather than forgetting the past completely.

Isn’t there something beyond healing and living with our scars? Fortunately, yes! And we call it post-traumatic growth. This can occur alongside stress and healing, but does not replace them. When my daughter was young and ill with cancer in the hospital, I rested my hand on her shoulder to comfort her. I felt something I had never experienced previously, as if a type of therapeutic energy was flowing through me to her. I found this experience very comforting and grounding. I repeated this touch many times during the course of her illness.

The feeling gave me a new perspective on life. The experience was physical (touching), emotional (comforting), and spiritual (connecting with a hard-to-describe, outside source of energy) – all at the same time. I also felt a stronger connection with my daughter. Overall, the experience changed me in a positive way.

Organizations as well as individuals can undergo post-traumatic growth, which involves five general areas: openness to new possibilities, a greater sense of strength, stronger sense of spirituality, deepening relationships, and greater gratitude. Accordingly, we can help Michigan Medicine grow through this pandemic experience by asking questions such as these:1

  • Openness to new possibilities: What can COVID-19 teach us about improving the ways we care for patients and each other?

  • Greater sense of strength: What strengths is Michigan Medicine using to survive the pandemic, and can we use those strengths to bring about positive change in other areas?

  • Stronger sense of spirituality: Are we living our true mission, vision, and values? Can we strengthen our commitment to, and practice of our values?

  • Deepening relationships: How can we engage each other in safe, transparent, and two-way conversations to facilitate support and mutual trust?

  • Greater gratitude: How can we appreciate each other to demonstrate the extent that we truly care about each other’s well-being?

Let’s reflect on these questions for ourselves, each other, and Michigan Medicine.

1 Olson et al. Pandemic-driven posttraumatic growth for organizations and individuals. JAMA 2020. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2020.20275.

Michigan Medicine unequivocally recognizes racism as a public health issue, and we should be standing out as leaders against inequality. We are committed to creating fundamental change that leads to a culture of anti-racism, and a medical school and health system that are leaders in equity, justice and inclusiveness for people of all colors.