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WPHP Blog

Stay up to date with news, announcements, and upcoming event information from the Washington Physicians Health Program team. For an archive of relevant resources on a wide variety of physicians health topics, please visit Articles and Publications.

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WSMA PSA #6: Staying well mentally & physically

Thank you for helping us stay well during this difficult time Washington State Medical Association (WSMA) !

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Setting the Record Straight

Check out Dr. Bundy’s three part series in the Washington Medical Commission’s Update! In this series Dr. Bundy is “Setting the Record Straight” and answering common questions about Physician Health Programs.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

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WPHP 2020 Annual Reunion Cancellation

Due to COVID-19, WPHP will be unable to hold the Annual Reunion on May 15-17, 2020.  We came to this decision with heavy hearts, understanding how much this event means to our attendees and staff.  We are also acutely aware of how much fellowship and recovery support are needed during these uncertain times.

We apologize for those who were looking forward to this event and the inconvenience this may cause with travel and work plans.  If you have any questions, concerns, or require follow-up please contact us.

2021 Reunion Information

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Online Recovery Support Resources

WPHP has put together a variety of recovery support resources accessible during this period of social distancing and stay at home orders.  

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Volunteers Needed for COVID-19 Response Work

A great opportunity to be of service to our community!

As Washington takes more steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 the Department of Health (DOH) will now enroll and activate emergency volunteer health care workers in preparation for health system requests and surging. This will help the state meet emerging demands for health care workers. Many profession types are needed to help in response efforts. Both Washington-licensed and out-of-state health care professionals can volunteer.

More information about participating in the Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioner Act is available here.

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Covid-19 Support Group Recommendations

Our Executive Medical Director, Dr. Bundy, is on the ASAM Covid-19 Taskforce and led the team that developed these recommendations for promoting support group attendance.

https://www.asam.org/Quality-Science/covid-19-coronavirus/support-group

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Mental Health Survival Guide for Physicians during COVID-19

It is more important than ever that physicians take care of themselves in this crisis.  It’s also becoming more and more difficult to access one’s regular supports and self-care activities.  We hope this is a helpful support to our physicians during this difficult time.

https://www.medicaleconomics.com/news/mental-health-survival-guide-physicians-during-covid-19 

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Introducing: Courtney Strong, LMHC, SUDP

We are excited to introduce our newest team member, Courtney Strong. Mrs. Strong joined WPHP in 2020. As Clinical Director, Mrs. Strong is responsible for direct supervision and professional development of the clinical staff.  In addition, Mrs. Strong manages quality, performance and operational activities that promote WPHP’s commitment to accountability, consistency, and excellence. She has a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Substance Use Disorder Professional who has been working in the behavioral health field for over ten years. Most recently, Mrs. Strong served as Director of Edgewood Health Network Seattle. Mrs. Strong applies principles of system redesign, organizational health and relationship building to promote the shared goals of our staff, participants and community stakeholders. Welcome Courtney!

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Cochrane Review Final Word on Benefits of 12 Step Programs

A 2020 Cochrane Review was recently released evaluating outcomes and cost-effectiveness of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Twelve-Step Facilitation (TSF).  While a prior 2006 Cochrane Review did not provide conclusive evidence of the effectiveness of the AA or TSF approaches, it was limited to eight studies and much has changed since then.

Most important to this current review is the number and quality of studies available for review. The current review includes 27 studies involving 10,565 participants with 21 of those studies being randomized or quasi-randomized controlled trials.  In short, the review demonstrates that AA/TSF increases rates and lengths of abstinence compared with other interventions (such as cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational enhancement therapy) at a much lower cost.

This 2020 Cochrane Review provides the highest scientific rigor. We are encouraged by the findings since they support a recovery process that has benefited so many of us, our participants, friends, family and colleagues. We are also reminded that there is more unknown than known when it comes to addictive illness and that our most strongly held beliefs are the ones we need to be most wary of. Polarized views of what works or doesn’t work usually betray us.  There are no simple solutions to the complex problem of addiction. Humility in the face of the awesome destructive power of this illness urges us to embrace every tool at our disposal.

We are grateful to the study authors for this important contribution.  It validates the experiences of millions who credit their recovery to AA and other 12 Step Programs and may help alleviate skepticism and doubt among others.  We extend special appreciation to Keith Humphreys, PhD, one of the study authors, an leader in the science of mutual help, supporter of the Physician Health Program model, and friend to WPHP.

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What your doctor wants you to know: Is it a cold or COVID-19?

Another PSA from the Washington State Medical Association:

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WPHP is Hiring!

We’re Hiring:  We are currently working to fill 3 positions!

  • Two Clinical Coordinator positions on our team.
  • One facilitator for the Mt. Vernon Substance Use Disorder group. This group meets for 1.5 hours once a week.

If you know someone who may be interested in joining our team, please direct them to our Indeed post for more information on the Clinical Coordinator position or have them contact Shea Scheuler directly with questions.

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WSMA PSA on COVID-19 #2

Check out the second installment of Washington State Medical Association (WSMA) sharing about COVID-19

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WPHP Deploys Virtual Technology for Office and Groups to Combat Spread of COVID-19

WPHP is always focused on promoting physician health in Washington State, maintaining the physician workforce and protecting patient safety. This has never been more important than during this time of COVID-19, when every health care professional is critically important to maintaining our health care infrastructure.

To stem the spread of COVID-19 generally and to reduce the risk that the health care professionals we support will be exposed to the virus, WPHP has taken the following steps:

  • Moved to virtual office operations as of March 9, 2020. WPHP remains fully operational with staff providing high-quality services to participants and stakeholders via HIPPA compliant video conferencing technology, email and phone.
  • Moved WPHP facilitated group meetings onto its video conferencing platform, starting with King County groups on March 9, 2020, and rolling out to the rest of Washington State in the coming days.
  • Developed strategies to mitigate other exposure risks that might be associated with WPHP monitoring.

WPHP is exploring additional opportunities to promote physician health such as making its video conferencing platform available to support peer-led recovery meetings for WPHP participants across Washington who need an alternative to their usual in-person meetings.

WPHP is fully committed to doing everything we can to help physicians stay healthy and strong during these challenging times. Do not hesitate to contact us if you know of a physician who is struggling and could use our services, or to discuss additional ways we may be able to provide support.

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Online Class: Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals

Join Mindfulness Northwest  every Tuesday from April 7-28, 2020 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. for an investigation of mindfulness from the inside out. This online module includes 5 sessions based on based on the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program. Students can learn from home while earning up to 14 CME credits.

For more information

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COVID-19 Resources for Health Care Professionals

WSMA has great resources on COVID-19 for health care professionals to reference. Please check out this video from WSMA’s president, Dr. Hirota or visit their informational page.

Visit Page

 

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WPHP’s 2019 Annual Report

Our 2019 Annual Report is here!

This Annual Report celebrates WPHP’s 2019 accomplishments and honors our partners. While the work we do is complex, it is based on a simple and highly effective model deployed with accountability, consistency, and excellence. WPHP works — the health professionals we support, as well as their families, patients and communities, all benefit from our efforts. None of this would be possible without the support of the licensees whose surcharges underwrite our work; the courageous compassion of those who reach out to us each year on behalf of themselves or a peer; the collaboration among the employers, organizations, professional associations, Boards and Commissions with whom we partner; and the dedication of our volunteer Board of Directors to guide our mission.

View Full Report

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Physician Health Statement Update

The American Society of Addiction Medicine recently posted its updated Physician Health Statement, Physicians and Other Health Professionals with Addiction, this policy statement strongly endorses the Physician Health Program model and demonstrates the value of a collaborative relationship with our partners in organized medicine.

Congratulations to the Federation of State Physician Health Programs for their successful collaboration with ASAM on this important work!

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A Day of Compassion Cultivation Practice

This event has been postponed. Health care providers looking for a rejuvenating and informative day with a wellness expert should check out this awesome opportunity! Join Diane Hetrick on March 28th for A Day of Compassion Cultivation Practice. This workshop includes compassion practices, guided meditations, and exercises to integrate into your life.

Learn more

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UW Medicine Update in Hospital Medicine

Join Dr. Bundy at the upcoming UW Medicine Update in Hospital Medicine. Dr. Bundy will be sharing on physician burnout as part of this event that is targeted for practitioners who take care of hospitalized general medicine patients.

Learn more

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