Monday, January 24, 2022

UMC Gets $3 Million Federal Grant for Employee Stress

UMC issued the following statement. 

 For two years now, health care workers at the University of Mississippi Medical Center have given their all to help heal patients sickened by COVID-19, and at the same time, those with traumatic injuries and serious diseases.  

Many are stressed and burned out. Some have left the profession. A $3 million federal award, however, will allow the Medical Center to offer them new tools for support as they cope with challenges wrought by the pandemic and strive to regain their well-being.  

“This is very intentionally designed to reach every category of health care staff. It’s not just about doctors and nurses,” said Dr. Joshua Mann, professor and chair of UMMC’s Department of Preventive Medicine and the grant’s principal investigator. Mann also directs the Office of Well-being, which secured the grant and will implement it.  

The Office of Well-being is a service area of UMMC, working independently from other departments to focus on improving the well-being of all faculty, staff and students.   

The three-year funding comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration and is part of an overall $103 million in awards. Ten institutions, including UMMC, were funded through the grant category “Promoting Resilience and Mental Health Among Health Professionals Workforce Program.”  

HHS’ goal: Retain health care workers by addressing their mental health needs and by responding to the nation’s critical staffing needs.  

UMMC will create new programs through the Office of Well-being to alleviate stress and mental health challenges and to keep those entrusted with patient care on the job. Money also will be used to enhance and expand some current programs, including the RISE (Resilience in Stressful Events) team. RISE offers a workplace support system for caregivers whose stress can become or has become traumatic, hindering their ability to deliver safe and compassionate care.  

“This is exciting, because it provides a whole layer of assistance beyond RISE,” Mann said.  

The new programs include:  

  • The Office of Well-Being will offer an interactive program that allows employees to anonymously complete an online form to be screened for stress, depressions and other mental health conditions, and to receive a personal response from a mental health counselor. Employees can also choose to anonymously communicate back with the counselor to receive recommendations, feedback and support for connecting to available services. The grant will allow the Office of Well-being to hire mental health professionals to perform the screening.   

Dr. Julie Schumacher, a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, will work with screeners to identify employees who would benefit from being referred to the department for counseling, and “to identify people who might need an expedited referral for treatment,” Mann said.  

“This is the biggest allocation of the funds. To have the staffing to implement an in-depth screening program is a significant step beyond what we can do now,” Mann said.  

  • The Office of Well-Being will offer online modules, developed by staff across the Medical Center, that are about five minutes long. They’ll help walk employees through how to improve their sleep, reduce anxiety and cope with other mental and physical health challenges exacerbated by past and current stress in their workplace.  

“This is also a great way to expand engagement of people throughout the Medical Center on the topic of well-being,” Mann said  

  • Grant money will be used to provide mini-grants to groups within UMMC who have ideas for process improvement activities related to well-being.  

  • The Medical Center will take part in national collaborative networks that focus on the needs of clinical employees.  “This will include quality improvement projects that revolve around well-being,” Mann said.  

The grant can make a significant difference in preserving the well-being of the Medical Center’s 3,000 nurses, said Dr. Kris Cherry, chief nursing executive.  

“The well-being of our staff has to be a priority,” Cherry said. “What we’re seeing is a great exodus from health care, and part of that is because of the stress caused by the pandemic. Having the Office of Well-being available to help with building resiliency is key so that we can stabilize our workforce so that employees can provide the best care possible to our patients.”  

The UMMC initiatives are in keeping with the grant’s purpose, which is “evidence-informed programs, practices and training, with a specific focus on providers in underserved and rural communities,” Health and Human Services said in a news release. A total 45 health care hospitals and facilities will share in the grant funds.  

“ ... The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified issues that have long been a source of stress for front-line health care workers, from increased patient volumes to long working hours,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in the release.  

“While the challenge is complex, these multi-year awards will support proven strategies for health care providers, academic institutions and other recipients to reduce burnout and build resiliency,” the release said.  

The American Hospital Association, in its 2022 Environmental Scan report, says that 62 percent of all health care workers say worry or stress related to the pandemic is having a negative effect on their mental health. Thirteen percent report they’ve received mental health services or medication; 20 percent say they need those services but aren’t getting them.  

The report also says 22 percent of nurses say they might leave their position providing front-line patient care within the next year because of insufficient staffing, the demands and intensity of the workload and their job’s emotional toll.  

And, the report says that 50 percent of health care workers queried by the AHA in July 2020 said the emotional health and well-being of staff was their top pandemic challenge – and that jumped to 75 percent for those queried in August 2021.  

Support for front-line caregivers and all involved in patient care – potentially, about 6,000 Medical Center employees – “was recognized as being needed before the pandemic,” Mann said. “The issues around burnout led to the creation of the Office of Well-being.  

“It’s obvious that the stress of the past two years has made it worse,” Mann said. “We have health care staff who are mentally exhausted, and they’ve accumulated stress from the pandemic. We will be dealing with that fallout for some time.”  

New programs can meet employees where they are – for example, online modules preferred by some younger employees, or face-to-face counseling for those who want that personal interaction, Cherry said.  

“A grant like this can help us not only identify and pick up on symptoms such as feeling hopeless or burned out, but also have different options to access services. It will offer us tools to be able to reach out to staff so that they feel comfortable.”   



Anonymous said...

What a colossal waste of money.

Anonymous said...

Online modules to reduce stress -
A great personal touch to a real, human crisis. Hope it works, got my doubts.

Anonymous said...

I feel better already*

Anonymous said...

This can afford much better choreography for the nurses to create sexually suggestive TikTok dance videos while wearing their PPE.

Anonymous said...

Worthless Monopoly money is all it is now....Everybody ready for the next Great Depression 2.0? It's just over the horizon after Xiden sends troops and ships to the Ukraine to get mopped up by Russians.

Anonymous said...

By 3 dozen hamsters, take care of them for 9 months, their reproductive rate should provide a comfort hamster for every pronoun on staff. Problem solved. I think they make covid masks for them too!

Anonymous said...

Thatll buy a lot of Soylent

Anonymous said...

Or you could just pay better and stop the Covid lies now. You see, most if not all of these folks who aren't high paid Doctors and Nurses do the dirty work ! Yes, Nurses and Doctors earned their pay and their place but it is those without the titles who are doing the real crap work for shit pay. CNA's are especially unappreciated from a pay standpoint . Folks who handle phone traffic trying to set schedules are also getting screwed as far as pay. UMC is a hospital FULL alright. Full of shit.

Anonymous said...

UMC has like 8000 employees, so thats $375 for each employee. They'll get around than half that after taxes and PERS contributions if this went to paychecks, but knowing government waste, the university will probably get "stress relief" couches and other garbage.

Anonymous said...

As long as the administrative tier gets it's fair share for administering the grant...that's all I care about.

Anonymous said...

But it’s free money!

Anonymous said...

Just heard that a patient waiting for a wheelchair waited and waited but not enough staff that would normally do that.....and why would that be...FREE MONEY....they don't have to work!

Anonymous said...

They could use the money to pay the current market demand rate for nurses. Then Dr. Woodward would not have to be puzzled as to why her staff is leaving for lucrative PRN work.

Anonymous said...

No employee will benefit whatsoever. A reward for promoting the gov’t covid hysteria.

Anonymous said...

Probably would have been less stressed if the UMMC administration didn’t threaten to fire unjabbed employees. Still waiting to see how many quit or were fired for it.

Anonymous said...

Office of Well-Being = Ministry of Silly Walks.

Anonymous said...

All I'm saying is, some of you should provide links.

Needles McGuire said...

Maybe they'll decide to hand out some of that free money over at the intersection of 55 and Lakeland. The stress-level over there must be pegging the needle, right? What a colossal waste of MY money.

Or, wait! Use it to paint the lounges in more updated, cheerful colors and pipe in some Reggae.

Anonymous said...

I guess they will use the money to build another frigging building!

Anonymous said...

6:47 : I am hearing they backed down from that and granted anyone who sent an exemption it.

Anonymous said...

down a rathole-


We're taking four of the ninety reserved parking spots and painting them cheerful colors and designating them for revolving employees of the month. Everybody eventually gets a trophy and Krystal meal for four. We're all about satisfaction and retention here. We've been listed in 'best places to work' for decades!

Anonymous said...

Maybe give the nurses a certain space that has naked male dancers (in a mask) they can go to when they are feeling down. And for the males the same....only hot chicks please. No Pats.

Anonymous said...

Major nonsense!
Contemptible waste!

Anonymous said...

These nurses are “overworked”. They work 36 or 48 hours per week. I remember my first part-time job also.

Anonymous said...


Good for you. Not everyone wants to give their all and best to an employer for pennies on the dollar, while others in their profession are respected and paid a fair wage. The cat is out of the bag, and the pandemic has opened the eyes of so many that realize that they should be getting paid more. The suits (overseers) that are running the herd for the masters better help to get a grip on things, or this will get worse before it gets better.

Anonymous said...

11:48...You're full of (bedpan matter). Show me an RN making less than $70,000 and I'll eat your stethoscope. Your 'pennies on the dollar' comment is inaccurate and silly.

Anonymous said...


I'm sure you can find plenty of nurses that make less than $70k in a 40 hr/week. This issue does not only refer to just the RN's, but the other nursing levels as well as the staff of hospitals. People have more options now, and are refusing to put up with the cow manure that the powers that be have been forcing on them for so long.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel


Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS