In January 2015, CMBM began a comprehensive training in self-care, stress-reduction, mind-body medicine, nutrition, exercise, and group support for 200 committed Eskenazi Health System employees (Wellness Champions). The program combines our signature Mind-Body Medicine and Food As Medicine curricula. An integral part of this curricula included working with the Eskenazi Health Food & Nutrition Services team to make healthful, delicious food an essential part of everyday life for all staff and patients.
Over the course of 18 months, under the guidance and mentorship of CMBM senior faculty, the Eskenazi Wellness Champions learned how to fully integrate the wellness perspective and techniques into their daily lives and are now bringing this approach into the work they do with their colleagues and patients.
In an evaluation conducted by Eskenazi Health, Wellness Champions reported numerous positive outcomes as a result of the training:
- reduced stress
- lower blood pressure
- weight loss
- better family relationships
- closer workplace bonds
- increased physical activity
- healthier food choices and more positive attitudes towards eating
- and the diffusion of self-care skills into the hospital and the community
Many shared powerful stories of personal changes in their health and well-being, improved patient interactions, and a strong appreciation of Eskenazi Health and its’ leadership for providing this opportunity.
As they further practice this approach, it is expected that Eskenazi Wellness Champions will feel better and deal with their stress more effectively, decreasing the burnout, secondary stress and chronic illness that are widespread in hospital and health system employees everywhere.
Eskenazi Health is one of the nation’s largest safety-net health systems, serving all sectors of Indianapolis’ diverse population. The health system, which has nearly one million outpatient visits each year, is committed to actively encouraging patient participation and collaboration between its staff and the community.
The Eskenazi Health Midtown Community Mental Health’s Program for Central Indiana’s Depressed Children and Adults was made possible, in a large part, by the generosity of the Herbert Simon Family Foundation.