Physicians spend their days taking care of patients, but who helps take care of them? In 2020, the Nebraska Medical Foundation (NMF) in partnership with the Nebraska Medical Association (NMA) launched a new state-wide wellness program to do just that.

The NMA is an advocacy group that includes 3,000 physicians from across Nebraska. By partnering with the LifeBridge Nebraska program, both practicing and retired physicians are able to connect with volunteer coaches, who are also physicians and share in the unique career experiences of the job. Coaches are available to help those in need navigate a variety of personal and professional conflicts, such as:

  • Maintaining work-life balance
  • Compassion fatigue
  • Family stressors
  • Anticipating life changes such as retirement
  • And more

“Even prior to COVID-19, physicians operated under stressful circumstances,” Lindsey Hanlon, LifeBridge Nebraska program coordinator, said. “There’s a lot required of them. We want our physicians to be as happy and healthy as possible by looking at their whole health and wellness.”

Conversations between peer coaches and the physicians they support are confidential with no medical records created, which Hanlon said helps physicians to feel more comfortable reaching out.

The program currently has four volunteer coaches from various specialties and practice settings, including Dr. Todd Stull, LifeBridge Nebraska medical director. Stull said that the program’s unique format of offering support through peer coaches sets it apart from employee assistance programs.

“LifeBridge can provide a connection that helps physicians take care of themselves,” Stull said. “One of the goals for LifeBridge is to address problems early to mitigate the chances of developing more serious issues.”

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) is proud to support LifeBridge Nebraska and physicians across the state.

“On behalf of BCBSNE, thank you to all who care for our members and community,” Kathy Nellor, BCBSNE health transformation leader, said. “It’s an honor to support LifeBridge Nebraska and help the NMA provide this fantastic program empowering physicians to focus on their well-being and receive guidance from those who know the demands and joys of the job better than anyone.”

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