November 22nd, 2022
WILMINGTON, Del. — U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons and U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester (all D-Del.) hosted U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy today to discuss burnout issues that have risen among health care workers in Wilmington.
Murthy joined the congressional delegation for a tour of healthcare and youth service locations to get a sense of how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted morale and retention rates in those fields, and how funding from legislation like the American Rescue Plan and Bipartisan Safer Communities Act has been applied to addressing those challenges.
Tuesday’s tour included visits to Westside Family Healthcare, ChristianaCare’s Wilmington Hospital, and REACH Riverside’s Teen Warehouse. Officials heard from employees and individuals utilizing the services there.
“I am grateful to Senator Coons, Senator Carper, and Representative Blunt Rochester for the opportunity to meet with health workers and youth service providers from across Wilmington who have been working tirelessly throughout the pandemic to support their community’s needs. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on our health workers, who were already experiencing crisis levels of burnout before the pandemic. It has also had a profound impact on young people and their mental health,” said U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy. “Today’s conversations highlight the need to confront the longstanding drivers of burnout among our health workers and those who care for our families, and this will continue to be a top priority for me.”
“I am honored Dr. Murthy came to visit Delaware today to visit our health care providers and community advocates who are in our neighborhoods each and every day working to help Delawareans,” said U.S. Sen. Tom Carper. “As we continue to navigate the effects of the pandemic, ensuring our community partners and front-line workers have the resources and support they need is vital to meeting the needs of all Delawareans.”
“I was moved to hear the stories of the challenges and difficulties faced by a workforce already shouldering the burden of so much overtime to keep our community safe. I am also so thankful that Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy took the time to come to Delaware and listen, and am confident his witness to these issues will only continue to strengthen our relationships across all levels of government to get much-needed resources to the First State’s medical workers,” U.S. Sen. Chris Coons said. “I am so proud of the people doing the work here—good work—and I will continue to fight at a federal level to find ways the help while you deal with struggles caused by the pandemic.”
“As we look to rebuild in the wake of COVID, we know that our country is facing unique challenges from its aftermath. Challenges like health care workforce burnout and mental health challenges for our young people” said Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester. “That’s why it’s critical that we work together — at the local, state, and federal levels — to provide the resources, support, and training our health care workforce needs to do their jobs successfully to maintain our quality of care. As a member of the Health Subcommittee in the House, I’ve championed several bipartisan bills to support youth mental health and secure funding for our health care infrastructure so that we can support our young people and bolster our health care workforce — issues I know Surgeon General Murthy has prioritized as well. I want to thank the Surgeon General for coming to Delaware to hear the on-the-ground experience of our health care workforce and our young people, and look forward to our continued partnership to bring additional support to our communities.”
“The surgeon general’s visit was an incredible opportunity to share our caregivers’ stories,” said ChristianaCare Chief Wellness Officer Heather Farley, M.D., MHCDS, FACEP. “We appreciate his focus on caregiver wellbeing and his recently released framework for mental health and wellbeing in the workplace, which will help guide future efforts to support our caregivers at ChristianaCare.”
“As a community health center serving Delaware’s families most in need, our care teams are on the frontlines fighting diseases compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lolita Lopez, President & CEO of Westside Family Healthcare. “Grateful for the time spent today with Surgeon General Murthy and members of the congressional delegation discussing the health worker burnout crisis, and ways we can continue to support our care teams in the future.”
“At The Warehouse, a service partner of The WRK Group, including REACH Riverside and Kingswood Community Center, we see teens and young adults continue to battle burnout and mental health issues in a post-pandemic world. The ongoing challenges surrounding COVID-19 continue to impact our communities and requires innovative support and intervention responses for our teens to achieve life-long success,” WRK Group CEO Logan S. Herring Sr. said. “The WRK Group is so thankful to U.S. Surgeon General Murthy, Senator Coons, and Congresswoman Blunt Rochester for speaking candidly with our teens and community partners about their personal experiences and challenges as well as their commitment to finding practical solutions.”
See photos from the Westside roundtable here.