About Our Wellness Initiative

This year the Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine department committed a tremendous amount of resources and energy towards developing a robust wellness program dedicated to the health and wellbeing of all members of the anesthesia department, including our residents and fellows. This extends to fitness initiatives, healthy snacks, community events and peer support.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, live yoga classes as well as group spin classes were offered to all members of the department. This dedication to fitness offerings only increased as gyms shut down during the pandemic. The department offered six days a week of online Zoom classes, including yoga, full body pump, and tai chi for a comprehensive workout regimen. These classes were a safe and welcome respite from caring for critically ill patients in the hospital during the COVID-19 crisis. In addition, daily breathing and meditation sessions were offered to all interested staff as well.

The wellness division also organized numerous social gatherings to bolster camaraderie among the clinical, research and admin staff of the entire department. This included an outdoor BBQ on the Harvard quad, monthly happy hours, and numerous baby showers. Healthy snacks are available for all late and overnight staff so they can stay well-nourished while working long hours in the hospital.

We have also made major improvements in the anesthesia department's peer support infrastructure. Supporting each other following difficult days and traumatic events is critical in combating clinician burnout. We have dramatically increased the number of peer supporters and have developed a system to promptly reach out to colleagues in need and provide longitudinal support. This has created a culture of empathy and mutual respect to help cope with the daily stress and tribulations of work in a stressful environment.

This dedication to wellness extends to our residents and fellows. They have been given financial and organizational support to host resident events such as apple picking, beach days, and outings such as "Escape the Room." Our trainees are an integral part of our department and we are committed to give them a culture of respect, support, and fun along with the academic and clinical rigor of their training.