College of
Human
Medicine

Culture of Caring

Reinforcing a culture of caring and wellness

September 30, 2019

The College of Human Medicine was founded as an institution dedicated to caring and wellness.

Efforts are underway to reemphasize that culture and ensure that the college fully acknowledges and respects the physical and emotional wellbeing of its faculty, staff, students and patients.

“It’s about making the system caring, safe and responsive,” said Jennifer Johnson, PhD, a psychologist and C.S. Mott Endowed Professor of Public Health. Dean Norman Beauchamp Jr. asked Johnson and Claudia Finkelstein, MD, the college’s director of Wellness, Resiliency and Support for the Vulnerable, to lead a workgroup, which founded and developed the program.

They call it “Creating a Culture of Caring Using Trauma-Informed Principles.” Overall, the program uses a trauma-informed approach, which is an evidence-based model for organizational change. It emphasizes the physical, psychological and emotional safety of those within the college, as well as for those it serves. Johnson emphasized that although the model includes the word “trauma,” it applies to more than the most serious cases, such as a physical assault. It’s equally aimed at dealing with smaller issues by creating a sense of safety, transparency and peer support.

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