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Dr. Well-Be

Meet our Wellness Director

Working in healthcare is highly rewarding and highly stressful. That has been true for my entire career, but never more so than during the COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone in the Department of Medicine plays a critical healthcare role in supporting our missions of delivering the highest quality of care, training future healthcare providers, and creating new knowledge to improve that care. And each one of us is susceptible to the other pandemic, the pandemic of burnout.

I am grateful that our Department has taken an active approach to monitoring burnout and enhancing resilience for all of our employees. Recognizing that there are many factors that can tip the balance between stress and resilience leading to burnout, the Department seeks to address wellness at every level, from the individual to the institution, and beyond. We strive to enhance well-being in all of its domains through multiple pathways utilizing many types of communication, and we try to make it fun. - Senior Advisor and Director of Wellness, John I. Kennedy Jr., MD

Wellness at UAB

We are fortunate that UAB is heavily invested in promoting wellness. With its organizational home in UAB Human Resources, the UAB Employee Wellness Program is active campus-wide with a strong emphasis on physical health, promoting active living and healthy eating as well as early detection and prevention of illness. 

The DOM Wellness Program has strong ties to these programs and will coordinate efforts to build integrated and complementary programs. Additonal wellness resources can also be found on the UAB Medicine intranet.

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Wellness is a broad and complex topic. Therefore, the DOM Wellness Program addresses wellness in a holistic fashion, focusing attention on physical, psychological and professional factors that promote well-being and resilience and mitigate burnout. The program’s mission is parallel to the DOM Mission and Vision Statement, that is “to create a Department where people work as well, as long and as happily as possible."

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Wellness Priorities and Domains

The eight domains of wellness include, emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, spiritual and social aspects. It is important to grow and balance these domains to live a well-rounded and healthy lifestyle. UAB offers a variety of resources to accommodate each of these domains that are available to faculty, staff and trainees.

UAB provides resources and opportunities to help employees live well — from a dynamic schedule of wellness programs and initiatives, to on campus tools, classes and screenings that make it easy to make healthy choices in the workplace.

Emotional

Emotional wellness is being able to cope effectively with life and creating satisfying relationships with others. The School of Medicine Professional Development Office offers services for employees to work through any issues they may be experiencing. These services include psychiatry services and counseling servicesPhysician Counseling is provided if needed as well.

To be socially healthy, is to develop a sense of connection, belonging and to have a well-developed support system. It is easy to forget to feed this aspect especially in a fast-paced medical setting. Seeking assistance to maintain relationships and work life balance is an important aspect of social wellness. 

Intellectual

Intellectual wellness is recognizing your creative abilities and finding ways to further your knowledge and skills. Expand your knowledge of your specialty, or learn something new by utilizing UAB's partnership with Lynda Learning powered by LinkedIn.

Occupational

Occupational wellness is feeling or having personal satisfaction and enrichment from one’s work. UAB Human Resources offers various career development  programs and leadership resources to further your skills and career. There are also risk management resources available to physicians.

Financial wellness is being satisfied with both your current and future financial situations. UAB offers Financial Planning services to employees that will help create a specialized financial plan. An individualized financial wellness counseling session will help you gain a better understanding of your financial situation, while teaching you the best options for managing your finances and paying off debt.

Physical

Physical wellness involves physical activity, eating healthy, sleeping well and anything else that effects your physical state. Both Urgent Care and Primary Care doctors are available to accommodate any minor illness or urgent care needs. Campus Recreation offers clean facilities and affordable memberships that can be bought at a discounted price for faculty and staff. A major factor of physical and occupational wellness is sleep. To help reduce fatigue, UAB offers counseling and meditation services. For new mothers, lactation centers can be found at multiple locations on campus when employees return from FMLA leave.

Recovery from addiction is an aspect of wellness that can affect multiple domains. The School of Medicine offers on-campus counseling for substance use and UAB Medicine offers off-campus counseling for substance use.

Spiritual

Spiritual wellness is feeling a sense of purpose and meaning in life. It can be accomplished by spending time in meditation or prayer. UAB Pastoral Care offers services for both employees and patients to accomodate any spiritual needs.

If you are experiencing a crisis, call 911, call the National Suicide Hotline (1-800-273-8255), call the Birmingham Crisis Line at 205-323-7777 or text “UAB” to 741741 to text with a crisis counselor.

Employees can contact the UAB Employee Assistance & Counseling Center by calling 205-934-2281, emailing uabeacc@uabmc.edu or visiting uab.edu/eacc. If you are calling after business hours or on the weekends, call UAB Connect at 205-934-3411 to access the EACC on-call counselor. Also, the Professional Development Office provides confidential counseling, consultation and coaching for medical students, graduate students, residents, fellows and faculty within the School of Medicine/UAB Medicine. Appointments can be made by calling 205-731-9799.