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Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States (KPMAS) launched its transformative Schwartz Rounds with fostering connections between self and others first in mind.

Kaiser offered the regular virtual forums starting in June 2020. The forums are a program of nonprofit The Schwartz Center to connect health care colleagues facing challenging experiences while caring for themselves and others. It was designed to support frontline physicians, nurses and health care teams who care for patients and focuses on compassion for oneself and patients.

Through the story-sharing format, participants examined supporting compassion for self and others, encouraging mindful self-care, discussing coping strategies and fostering community.

Each session averaged 106 participants and 78 panelists who shared unique stories representing the multidisciplinary health care team, with 20 sessions held from June 2020 to March 2022 including focuses on topics such as “Things Happen: How to Maintain Perspective and Perseverance,” Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity, Patient Communication, and others.

“By having this forum where physicians and staff could remain connected and resilient throughout the pandemic, our monthly Virtual Schwartz Rounds allowed us at KPMAS to continue to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve,” said Shannon Jones, the director of equity, inclusion, diversity and wellness at KPMAS.

The Schwartz rounds are just one example of the many programs Kaiser offers to support the mental, physical and emotional health of its employees.

“Schwartz Rounds at Kaiser Permanente in the mid-Atlantic region is a shining example of the importance of taking time for reflection, connection, and vulnerability in medicine,” said Dr. Opal Pettis, associate medical director of professional development and wellness, mental health, radiology and employee health.

This is a winner profile from The Daily Record's Health Care Heroes awards. Information for this profile was sourced from the honoree's application for the award.