Special Projects Fund

Project Title

Preventing Clinician Burnout in Central New York

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Special Projects Fund

Date Awarded

March 13, 2020


Central NY





Clinician burnout is an occupational hazard characterized by emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and reduced professional efficacy.

Research has found that burnout can result in decreased access to care for patients and increased health care costs as a result of lost productivity and recruitment. Clinicians are often reluctant to admit distress, and difficulty in acknowledging this perceived weakness in front of nonphysicians makes traditional group support programs inadequate for clinicians. In 2020, NYHealth awarded Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital (Bassett Medical Center) a grant to establish a multi-institutional peer support network in Central New York to combat distress and burnout among clinicians.

Under this grant, Bassett Medical Center partnered with health systems from across Central New York to establish a peer support network for thousands of physicians, residents, advanced practice clinicians, nurses, and social workers. The project promoted organizational culture change that emphasizes and embraces workforce resilience, recognizes clinician distress, and combats the stigmas surrounding help-seeking. To create the network, peer supporters were identified at each institution and trained at a central location, with follow-up meetings to debrief and reinforce skills. Additionally, Bassett Medical Center implemented a peer support dashboard and conducted surveys to evaluate patient and provider satisfaction and improve program curriculum. This pilot was the first regional clinician peer support network in the United States and serves as a model for statewide expansion.