The nonprofit Community Healthcare Network, which serves more than 85,000 New Yorkers a year at 11 federally qualified health centers in the city, has joined forces with the nonprofit telehealth mentoring program MAVEN Project to offer support and advice to its primary care providers.
MAVEN’s nationwide network of experienced physicians, both retired and practicing, volunteer as online mentors and consultants in medically underserved areas.
CHN partnered with MAVEN, which stands for Medical Alumni Volunteer Expert Network, in order to lessen burnout among primary care providers, who face numerous quality metrics, punishing schedules and patients with complex comorbidities and social problems, explained Dr. Elizabeth DuBois, CHN’s deputy chief medical officer and associate vice president of medical affairs. “Obviously you care about physician burnout all the time, especially in the primary care setting,” she said. “One of the things in the literature that decreases burnout is peer support and peer mentoring.”
The partnership will initially serve 42 primary care clinicians, including doctors, nurse practitioners and midwives. Each cohort of eight to 10 providers participates in a three-month program consisting of three group sessions, six one–on-one mentorship sessions and surveys to monitor progress.
Mentors encourage discussion of daily challenges and help brainstorm strategies and best practices. But all information shared with the mentors and in the surveys is confidential. Management sees aggregated data only about the sessions, which don’t identify individuals.
The program will also address the shortage of specialists and long wait times for patients by offering providers video consultations with MAVEN specialists, who will review de-identified patient data and help determine whether an individual needs to see a specialist.
The hope is that these relationships will continue beyond the official program period, DuBois said. “There’s no time limit as to how long they can be reaching out to the mentors.” —R.S.