Danville, Pa. — Burnout and emotional exhaustion can creep up on anyone, physicians included.
In order to help its employees, Geisinger Health System has appointed Susan Parisi, MD, as its first Chief Wellness Officer. In this position, Dr. Parisi will work to provide mental health, professional fulfillment, and general well-bring support for Geisinger employees.
In addition to mental health support, she’ll oversee advocacy programs and initiatives for enhancing shared decision-making, professional satisfaction, autonomy, and a culture of professionalism and respect.
“Our employees are the heart of everything we do,” said Janet Tomcavage, Geisinger executive vice president and chief nursing officer. “As we strive to make better health easier for those we serve, we will continue to invest in our employees and create an engaging, supportive employee experience where every person feels motivated and connected to their professional purpose. We’re incredibly fortunate to have gained such an experienced and committed leader with Dr. Parisi, and I’m confident she will help us strengthen our focus on the health and well-being of our Geisinger family.”
Geisinger created its Center for Professionalism and Well-Being prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the crisis drove the health system to accelerate its efforts to help healthcare workers with anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress.
“The crisis of emotional exhaustion and burnout on the healthcare workforce is more important than ever — and it deserves our full attention,” Dr. Parisi said of her new duties. “I’m thrilled to join Geisinger in this new role and partner with our Geisinger family to find new and better ways to build a culture that supports the well-being of everyone who commits their lives to this work. When we create a culture focused on allowing our teams to thrive personally and professionally, we create a world-class experience for everyone — our employees, our patients, and our members.”
Dr. Parisi brings three decades of experience in healthcare, spending the earlier part of her career caring for patients in obstetrics and gynecology. She’s held leadership roles in several organizations, most recently serving as the director of well-being for Nuvance Healthcare, where she worked to implement a strategic and collaborative well-being program that accommodates seven hospitals, a multispecialty group, and 2,500 physicians across New York and Connecticut.
Dr. Parisi pursued prestigious Stanford Chief Wellness Officer training, which she completed in 2019. In 2018, she completed a fellowship in integrative medicine at the University of Arizona. She earned her Bachelor of Science with a concentration in genetics and development from Cornell University and her medical degree from New York Medical College. She serves on several boards and committees, and is an active member of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.