Dr. Josette Gordon-Simet (left) pictured accepting LifeBridge recognition award from Lindsey Hanlon (right)

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) has been recognized by LifeBridge Nebraska for its continued support of the LifeBridge Nebraska Physicians Wellness program. The award is given to health care partners in the state who have demonstrated a commitment to preserving the health and well-being of local physicians.

“Physician well-being is essential for high-quality patient care,” said Dr. Josette Gordon-Simet, chief medical officer for BCBSNE. “LifeBridge recognizes that the work physicians do can be stressful and provides the tools needed to help mitigate that stress.”

In 2020, the Nebraska Medical Foundation (NMF), in conjunction with the Nebraska Medical Association (NMA), saw the toll the COVID-19 pandemic was taking on health care professionals and wanted to find a way to help. The organizations created a program designed to specifically address the stress and burnout physicians were experiencing.

Burnout and doctoral work stressors have long been an issue the medical community has struggled with and was a recognized issue in medicine well before the pandemic began. The Critical Care Societies Collaborative (CCSC) issued a call to action in 2016 to address burnout syndrome (BOS).

According to the CCSC, up to 45% of critical care physicians reported symptoms of severe BOS, which includes mental and physical exhaustion due to prolonged stress in the workplace. These symptoms are typically work-related and caused by discrepancies between the expectations and the actual requirements of the job.

LifeBridge Nebraska is available to help providers experiencing BOS.

“The mission of LifeBridge is to support the well-being of doctors in Nebraska by offering free, confidential coaching services,” said Lindsey Hanlon, LifeBridge Nebraska program coordinator. “Our coaches are also doctors and provide physicians with a safe place to talk about the nuances of their jobs and any stressors that they’re dealing with. Since the coaches are peers, they can easily relate and offer advice or simply lend an ear.”

Gordon-Simet said BCBSNE, which has been a LifeBridge Sustainability Partner since 2020, is proud to have earned the LifeBridge recognition award.

“It’s an honor to be there for our state’s physicians when they need us,” Gordon-Simet said.

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