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Senators: Make March 18 Health Workforce Well-Being Day of Awareness


Resolution marks two-year anniversary of national legislation to fight burnout in physicians, other clinicians.

community health care workers team: © freshidea - stock.adobe.com

© freshidea - stock.adobe.com

Senators want to recognize March 18 as Health Workforce Well-Being Day of Awareness.

The date was selected to mark the anniversary of President Joe Biden signing into law the “Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Act,” in 2022. The legislation was named for Lorna Breen, the emergency physician who died by suicide in April 2020 after managing an emergency department overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. A new version of the bill, with a five-year funding period for programs to combat physician and clinician burnout, is pending in Congress.

Sen. Roger “Doc” Marshall, MD (R-Kansas), and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) issued a joint statement about the bipartisan resolution for March 18.

Sen. Roger "Doc" Marshall, MD 

Sen. Roger "Doc" Marshall, MD

“As a physician myself for over 25 years, I know how dedicated our health care workers are to serving their patients around the clock,” said Marshall, who worked as an obstetrician-gynecologist. “This job is not easy and requires strenuous hours and hard work, with immense stress and pressure; today, I'm proud to introduce our bipartisan resolution that designates March 18th as the Health Workforce Well-Being Day of Awareness. Honoring, supporting and taking time to recognize the challenges our health care professionals face is critical in providing every patient with excellent care.”

Marshall and Kaine both are members of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. Kaine was a supporter of the original legislation, noting Breen was born in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Medical Society of Virginia, a supporter of the legislation, has earned national attention for its SafeHaven program offering confidential mental health support for physicians and other clinicians.

Sen. Tim Kaine 

Sen. Tim Kaine

“Our health care providers protect our health and well-being every day, often at the expense of their own. My ‘Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act’ is making strides to reduce and prevent suicide, burnout, and mental and behavioral health conditions among health care professionals. I was proud to introduce a bill to reauthorize the law – but there’s more we can do to raise awareness,” Kaine said. “Designating March 18 as Health Workforce Well-Being Day of Awareness would help reduce stigma, advance research, and ensure providers can get the care they need.”

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