July 30, 2019

Dean's & CEO's Message: Cultivating our wellness culture

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August marks National Wellness Month. Throughout the next several weeks, you’ll see a lot of content on our social media channels pertaining to the topic of personal wellness. Here at UAB Medicine, we’re focused on cultivating a work environment that values wellness in each aspect of an individual’s life—be it emotional, physical, intellectual, social, or occupational. UAB Medicine leaders know that by creating programs and opportunities to support each of these facets of wellness, we’ll enhance our community in meaningful and lasting ways.

As an academic medical center situated in a major urban university, we have the advantage of teaming up with many partners in this effort. For many years, UAB Employee Wellness has created programs and hosted events that positively impact the entire campus. As UAB Medicine’s wellness efforts continue to develop, led by our chief wellness officer Dr. David Rogers, we will consistently partner with UAB Employee Wellness as well as other groups in UAB and UAB Medicine. We want to ensure that no member of our UAB Medicine community is overlooked when it comes to accessing wellness tools and resources.

Last year’s launch of the Well-Being Index was a big step in the right direction. Although all the individual data is private and anonymous, we are now able to look at the institutional data to help inform many of our decisions moving forward. For instance, if we see that one subset of our community appears to be in distress, we will be better equipped to address that issue in a timely and thoughtful manner. It is our hope, though, to create a culture where all leadership decisions are made with an effort to reduce work-associated stress to the greatest extent possible. The nature of our work often involves a high amount of stress, but we believe that we can work together to counterbalance many of those challenges.

The experience of overall wellness doesn’t look exactly the same for everyone, and that’s why we will continue to share tools and resources that address the different components of personal wellness. It is our hope that by prioritizing these efforts across our academic medical center, wellness will become even more central to the UAB Medicine identity. When individuals join our community, we want them to be greeted by a culture that is noticeably supportive of their personal wellness. We welcome your input and ideas related to this topic and will be sure to share them with our wellness team. We’d also like to thank Dr. Rogers and everyone who has worked with him to drive these efforts.

Selwyn Vickers, M.D., FACS
Senior Vice President for Medicine
Dean, School of Medicine


William Ferniany, Ph.D.
CEO, UAB Health System