Healing Healthcare Initiative

The Healing Healthcare Initiative (HHI) is a senior leadership team education and support program for organizational change. HHI will guide healthcare leaders to reimagine their system’s operations, so their health workers can find strength and safety in prioritizing their mental health and well-being and deliver equitable, compassionate patient care.

For more than two decades, we have created renowned programs like Schwartz Rounds to support the mental health and well-being of the healthcare workforce. Now, we’re calling attention to the needs of healthcare leaders facing unprecedented challenges. The healthcare industry is facing a crisis: Employees are exhausted, burned out and demoralized. Many are experiencing traumatic stress, depression, and anxiety. In addition to harming their own mental health and well-being, this has serious implications for their patients’ experiences and outcomes, organizational efficiency, and employee retention. While these issues existed prior to 2020, the pandemic and renewed calls for health equity and racial justice have further heightened the urgent need to address them.

The pilot application will be opened for U.S.-based Schwartz Center healthcare members soon. In the meantime, please view the application readiness checklist.



Building on the principles of trauma- and resilience-informed care, the HHI Framework gives leaders practical tools based on several key principles:

  • Psychological and physical safety and support – Leaders create an environment that healthcare workers and patients can trust to insulate them from physical and psychological harm.
  • Well-being, mental health and sense of purpose – Leaders highly value healthcare workers’ mental health and well-being and demonstrate this in their strategy decisions, policies, accessible programs, and resource allocation.
  • Diversity and equity – Leaders initiate efforts, participate in, and commit resources to promoting equity and identifying, addressing and dismantling all forms of structurally embedded discrimination across their organization and system.
  • Inclusion, voice and choice – Leaders involve and include healthcare workers in decisions that affect their work/life balance and ability to provide relationship-based, high quality care without undue administrative burden.
  • Trustworthiness and transparency – Leaders share organizational and operational information and decisions with the goal of maintaining trust.
  • Team cohesiveness and collaboration – Leaders provide opportunities for healthcare workers to learn about and from each other foster mutual respect, shared knowledge and perspective-taking that contribute to team cohesion and collaboration on common goals.

The HHI pilot is a unique opportunity to make real change at your organization. The program offers unparalleled access to resources and leading experts in the Healing Healthcare Initiative Framework key principles, team building, compassion, and implementation, all at no cost to your organization.The pilot includes:

  • Collaborative learning: Expert-led live online learning sessions with Schwartz Center CMO Beth Lown, MD
  • Team building tailored to organizational needs: Featuring leadership coach and trauma-informed care expert Ken Epstein, LMSW
  • Compassionate leadership community: Cohort-wide program meetings for collaborative learning and Schwartz Rounds, facilitated by Schwartz Center staff
  • Guidance from world-class experts: Including Ron Carucci of Navalent, Karthik Sivashanker of the American Medical Association and Brigham & Women’s Hospital, and others
  • Organization-specific implementation mentorship: From our strategy partners at Oliver Wyman
  • Opportunity for impact: Our partner Goodman Research Group will support Institutional Review Board (IRB)-approved evaluation research of program implementation and impact

Health workers are exhausted, stretched thin and burned out at best— and at worst are anxious, depressed and suffering from traumatic stress, which is causing hospitals and health systems to experience unprecedented health worker shortages that directly impacts an organization’s financial stability and the quality and safety of its patient care.

The numbers are staggering:

  • ~60% of health workers are experiencing burnout
  • 40% of nurses, 33% of APPs, and 24% of physicians plan to leave practice in the next 2 years
  • It costs between $40-50k to replace a nurse and $500k-1M to replace a physician
  • 213% increase in hourly rates for travel nurses in 2022
  • ~$3M can be saved by hospitals for every 20 travel nurses eliminated
  • 71% higher likelihood of medical errors among nurses with poor mental health
  • 78% of physicians reporting medical errors also reported symptoms of burnout

This can feel overwhelming, and it’s certainly complex.

But it doesn’t have to be.

We are here to equip healthcare leaders in developing and implementing the right road map for their organization—helping to sustain their business, workforce and the patients they care for. 

The HHI program is designed to help organizations to develop key goals for unmet needs that align with your specific organizational priorities. This adaptable program will help your leadership team integrate existing programs or initiate new ones, confirm priorities, set goals and timelines, identify baseline assessment, develop and assess iterative improvement cycles – all with our expert guidance and support.

The HHI pilot will run from January to December 2023 and is open to all US-based Schwartz Center Healthcare Members in good standing. Six organizations will be selected to participate in the HHI pilot in 2023.

HHI is a leadership team support and education program intended for organizational leadership teams with decision-making capabilities. Each team that applies must have an explicit commitment from an Executive Sponsor (your CEO, President, or equivalent) to be eligible to participate

Each organizational team should consist of approximately six members who are from your organization’s leadership team. All team members will be expected to actively participate in HHI program meetings and activities.


  • The Executive Sponsor (CEO, President, or equivalent) is responsible for identifying the HHI Leadership Team that participates in this program. The team members will be 4 to 6 senior leaders who report directly to the CEO or President (or equivalent) of the organization, and should include those in roles like: CEO, CMO, COO, CHRO, CWO, CXO, etc. This group will participate in all HHI programs and activities and will meet on a regular basis.


  • As part of the program, each organizational team will also establish an HHI Organizational Committee (HHIOC) to provide input and implementation. This committee of 10 to 15 individuals should be representative of a broad swath of roles at your organization. They will not directly participate in HHI meetings and activities.



Each organization is expected to:


  1. Participate in the program from January-December 2023
  2. Have buy-in from an Executive Sponsor, i.e., the organization’s senior leader
  3. Identify an HHI Leadership Team and Team Leader to participate in the program
  4. Establish an HHI Organizational Committee (HHIOC) to get input and guidance from a broad swath of staff members who will implement projects
  5. Commit to enabling HHI Leadership Team and HHIOC members to participate in HHI
  6. Support pilot-related research activities, including liaising with our research partners on Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval and HHI program evaluation research activities
  7. At the program’s concluding Symposium, report on the work that has been done as part of the HHI pilot
  8. Support and sustain the implementation of any programs and policy or practice changes that arise from this work


Each individual participant is invited to:


  1. Attend HHI Program Meetings:
    1. HHI Kickoff (60 minutes)
    2. Mid-Course Full Cohort Meeting (60 minutes)
    3. Closing Symposium (TBD)
    4. Two Cohort-wide Schwartz Rounds (60 minutes each)
  2. Complete asynchronous online Learning Modules related to the HHI framework and key principles (3-4 hours total)
  3. Participate in three expert-led Learning Collaboratives (90 minutes each)
  4. Have the opportunity to meet for three optional implementation-planning sessions with a mentor from Oliver Wyman (60 minutes each)
  5. Attend two Leadership Team-building sessions with leadership coach Ken Epstein (60 minutes each)
  6. Support projects to embed key principles from HHI in organizational strategies, workflows, policies, and practices
  7. Meet with an HHI Organizational Committee to get guidance and input from a broad swath of healthcare staff members who will implement projects
  8. Participate in research activities related to the assessment of this pilot program.

HHI is a team leadership support and education program intended for your organization’s leadership team with decision-making authority. 


As part of the program, your leadership team will establish an HHI Organizational Committee to provide input and support implementation. This committee should represent a broad swath of roles at your organization and will likely include mid-level staff members.


Please stay tuned for additional information about HHI programming beyond this pilot.  

The organization is the participant in the pilot program. If a member of the HHI team at your organization leaves or is otherwise unable to participate, your CEO will be asked to identify a new member to take their place.

Members of the HHI Leadership Team will be 4 to 6 senior leaders who report directly to the CEO or President (or equivalent) of the organization, and should include those in roles like: CEO, CMO, COO, CHRO, CWO, CXO, etc.

Although you will participate in the program as a team, each team will identify one Team Leader to serve as a point of contact for Schwartz Center staff. Your team will also select  someone to liaise with our partners at Goodman Research Group (GRG) and the Institutional Review Board (IRB).


This pilot will be for specific healthcare sites looking to address problems and implement solutions at a site level. This is important for program assessment and data collection. For the pilot cohort, we will be working with site-level hospitals. Systems that are interested in broader HHI participation should stay tuned for opportunities beyond this first cohort.

Six organizations will be selected to participate in the HHI pilot. These can be mid-sized hospitals, small hospitals, neighborhood healthcare organizations, etc. Please note that we are looking to engage with organizations that have a high level of leadership buy-in.


The effectiveness of the HHI Program at your organization will rest on the commitment and resources dedicated to it.

We anticipate a minimum meeting time of 13-15 hours of program meetings over the course of the year, plus an additional 3 hours in optional meetings with mentors. Beyond the meeting times, organizations will make their own decisions about how much time to dedicate to planning and implementing this project.



If an occasion arises where a participant cannot attend a specific session, they should notify their Team Leader. If someone needs to step away from the HHI program, the CEO will select a replacement for the team.

You will need to get official sign-off on the application from your organization’s CEO, president, or their equivalent. Each organization invited to join the HHI pilot will be asked to sign an addendum to their Schwartz Center membership agreement

In order to apply, we require applicants to view an informational webinar before applying, which can be found here.


The application will ask you to identify HHI team members, specify the work that you are already engaged in, identify any measurement tools for employee well-being that are currently in use, and provide additional information regarding your organization’s intent to fully engage in the pilot. Please review the application readiness checklist for more details.


Applicants will be notified of their standing in November 2022. If your organization is not selected for the pilot, we will notify you in late 2023 of additional opportunities to engage with the material.

The HHI pilot is open to US-based Schwartz Center healthcare members in good financial standing at no additional cost.  

We plan to share the results of program evaluation and project reports in 2024. We hope to publish our findings about how HHI can support the healthcare workforce. 

Please stay tuned for additional offerings related to HHI that will be made available to all Schwartz Center Members. These currently are in production and will be available in 2023.

If your organization is not joining the pilot, for any reason, please stay tuned for future HHI offerings, including future cohorts. We anticipate that applications will reopen in late 2023.


HHi Diagram


Presentation Slides

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