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Bassett Healthcare Network’s Efforts to Combat Clinician Burnout Recognized by The American Medical Association

Written By Editor on 10/12/21 | 10/12/21

Cooperstown, N.Y. – The American Medical Association (AMA) recognized Bassett Healthcare Network last week as a recipient of the 2021 Joy in Medicine Health System Recognition Program. The AMA awards this distinction to health systems that actively demonstrate a commitment to the well-being of health care team members by combating work-related stress and burnout. Dr. Caroline Gomez-Di Cesare, MD, PhD, Network Director of Well-Being, accepted the recognition on behalf of Bassett Healthcare Network.


“The chronic crises throughout the COVID-19 pandemic have taken a toll everyone, with particularly high stressors on all of us in health care,” says Dr. Gomez-Di Cesare. “It is especially meaningful to receive this recognition of Bassett’s leadership at a time when working toward well-being in the healthcare workplace is even more important than ever before.”


“Our employees are the single most important asset we have at Bassett Healthcare Network,” says Dr. Tommy Ibrahim, President and CEO of Bassett Healthcare Network. “We strive to empower our people with a support system that allows them to thrive and give their best to our patients. An investment in our caregivers is an investment our patients and community.”


One such investment—and an important consideration in the AMA’s evaluation—has been the Clinician Peer Support Program of Central New York (CPSP-CNY). Launched in May, 2020 by Bassett with four other regional health institutions and now the American Nurses Association (ANA-NY), the CPSP-CNY offers emotional and empathetic support to clinicians under stress. The program’s referral system allows clinicians to confidentially reach out individually or on behalf of colleagues who might themselves be reluctant to seek help.  The multi-institutional framework matches clinicians with peer supporters from outside of the home organization, allowing for more anonymity when receiving support.  Peer support helps decrease suicide rates in other high stress professions such as police and military.


“Burnout is stigmatized as a personal weakness, making it hard for clinicians to speak up for themselves,” explains Dr. Gomez-Di Cesare. “Burnout is an occupational hazard in the high-stakes, high-standards medical profession, and burnout affects the quality of patient care.  Most of the factors contributing to burnout are organizational and systemic. Our goal is to minimize the risk of burnout just as we minimize the dangers of other occupational hazards.”



The AMA has granted Bassett a bronze recognition status for two years.  In its pursuit of the best possible patient care, Bassett plans to continue to expand efforts to care for caregivers. Dr. Gomez-Di Cesare looks forward to Bassett’s leadership being recognized at even higher levels in future assessments. 


“The 44 health systems recognized this year by the AMA are creating momentum in the health care community,” says Christine Sinsky, MD, AMA Vice President of Professional Satisfaction. “It’s a united commitment to wide-spanning change in the culture of medicine that emphasizes professional well-being in health care.”

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