Lehigh County Health & Medicine Summer 2021 - 20

for physicians and their workplaces to address
the physical and psychosocial needs of health
care professionals during this challenging time.
COVID-19 left many health professionals seeking
help for stress and trauma. The PA PHP case
management staff are trained to assist in screening
and resource coordination for individuals seeking
mental health support.
The PA PHP recognizes the critical role engaged
workplace and family systems play in the recovery
process. Outreach, peer monitoring, and advocacy
are essential components which support
participants within the workplace. CME and
non-CME education is offered to educational
institutions, health systems, and other groups. As
the PA PHP plans for the future, it will continue
to identify and develop services relevant to the
unique needs of the safety-sensitive participants
it serves.
Tiffany Booher, MA, LPC, CAADC, CIP, CCSM
Director, Physicians' Health Program, The
Foundation of the Pennsylvania Medical Society
members experience illness-driven shame, isolation,
and relationship erosion. Through WPHP's
weekly group monitoring, online support for
significant others, and our annual reunion, participants
and their families can connect with each
other and develop lifelong relationships. WPHP's
alumni community can choose to stay in touch
through our Graduate Support Program after
they have completed their monitoring agreement.
WPHP participants also experience excellent
outcomes. Less than half of physicians
who are referred to WPHP require monitoring.
This means that in most cases we can offer
support and referral to appropriate services
without the need for a more involved monitoring
agreement. For those who do need
monitoring, 90% are unknown to their licensing
board, successfully complete the program,
and are practicing in their field at program
completion. Return to use is uncommon
among substance use disorder participants
with 12- and 60-month abstinence rates
greater than 90%. Half of program participants
describe it as " lifesaving " at program
completion with another 35% describing it as
WPHP is a non-profit, physician-led, confidential
program that supports physicians and
their families to have lives and careers they never
thought possible. WPHP began as a committee
in our state medical society in 1972 and evolved
over 40 years into the program we are today.
70% of WPHP's operating budget comes from a
surcharge that the license holders we serve impose
on themselves to support their colleagues and
peers in distress. This stable source of funding
contributes to the strength of our program and
reflects the deep commitment the Washington
medical community has placed in WPHP.
There are several things that make WPHP special
and have contributed to the gratitude WPHP
receives from participants, family members, and
professional stakeholders. First and foremost is
the community we create for our participants
and their families. Many physicians and family
" extremely useful. " Accountability, a chronic
illness management model, our highly trained
and experienced staff, and the exceptional
motivation of our participants make these
outcomes possible.
Finally, WPHP stands out as a " high-touch "
program. Our staff considers their relationships
with participants and their families to be the most
gratifying part of their work. Caseloads are low
which means each participant receives the time
and attention they need from their coordinator.
Our staff is consistently praised by participants
and their families for their kindness and empathy
during times of extreme difficulty. We are a soft
place to land for physicians who need to know
they are not alone and that things will be okay.
Recovering from COVID-19 will require that we
attend to the hidden wounds of our healthcare
heroes. WPHP wants their families to know
that there is help and support and that PHPs
around the country stand ready to assist them.
Asking for help is a courageous act of compassion
that may save the life and career of the health
professional you love.
Chris Bundy, MD, MPH, FASAM
Executive Medical Director,
Washington Physicians Health Program
& President, Federation of State
Physician Health Programs
We want to thank each PHP which contributed
to this article, as well as to emphasize Dr. Hall's
call to action:1
" Let your state's PHP help you.
Work with your state medical association to
help your PHP be the best it can be. Let's not
blame PHPs for the physician who arrives late
and far advanced in their downward spiral. Let
us help and care for one another by assuring
that our PHPs can do their work of life and
career-saving by supporting PHPs rather than
castigating by anecdotes. Be in communication
with your PHP and understand confidentiality,
compassion and competent care are the pillars. "
In addition to serving as Physician Family Magazine's
Associate Editor, Angelic Rodgers, PhD, is a
writer and freelance consultant. She and wife, Dr.
Dani Cothern, live in Camden, Arkansas, where
Dani is an OB/GYN with Ouachita Regional
Medical Center. Angelic can be reached through her
website at www.angelicrodgers.com.
1. https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/04/whyyou-should-support-physician-health-plans.html
3. https://bluetoad.com/
4. https://www.physiciansupportline.com/
5. https://surgeonmasters.com/peersupport
6. https://www.fsphp.org/
7. https://www.fsphp.org/state-programs
To learn more about The Federation of State Physician Health Programs,6
including links7
to contact information for your state PHP, please visit their website at https://www.fsphp.org.
20 Lehigh County Health & Medicine | SUMMER 2021
https://www.wphp.org/ https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/04/why-you-should-support-physician-health-plans.html http://www.paphp.org http://www.angelicrodgers.com https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/04/why-you-should-support-physician-health-plans.html https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/04/why-you-should-support-physician-health-plans.html https://www.bluetoad.com/publication/?m=62681&i=702934&p=24&pp=1 https://www.bluetoad.com/publication/?m=62681&i=702934&p=24&pp=1 https://www.bluetoad.com/publication/?m=62681&i=690093&p=18 https://www.bluetoad.com/publication/?m=62681&i=690093&p=18 https://www.physiciansupportline.com/ https://www.surgeonmasters.com/peersupport https://www.fsphp.org/ https://www.fsphp.org/state-programs https://www.fsphp.org/ https://www.fsphp.org/state-programs https://www.fsphp.org/

Lehigh County Health & Medicine Summer 2021

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