News in MSAH – Fall 2023
Posted Sep 27, 2023
As we continue through the Fall 2023 semester, I am excited to introduce myself and get to meet our MSAH students throughout the year. My name is Amy Upp, and I am the new director of the MSAH Program. I have a bachelor’s degree in exercise science, master’s degree in health promotion, and am currently working on a doctorate degree in public health. Throughout my career, I have worked in several medically based fitness centers, including the OhioHealth McConnell Heart Health Center, where I have been both the general manager and director. Currently, in addition to my role with Otterbein, I am the director of fitness and wellness with the OhioHealth Employer Solutions division. I am honored to lead a team of exercise physiologists, registered dietitians, wellness consultants, health coaches, and registered nurses. My team supports employers throughout Ohio with their health and wellbeing initiatives including health and wellness programming, biometric screenings, vaccine administration, and fitness center services and support. Our goal is to help employers take care of their associates and to create stronger cultures of wellness and well-being.
The health and well-being of companies extend to all industries and types of businesses, especially healthcare. Leaders and managers need to be ready to address challenges related to worker wellbeing that may impact their teams. These challenges can include resiliency in the workforce, prevention of burnout, high turnover rates, and overall mental and physical health challenges. Leaders in healthcare face these challenges every day, especially as we move out of the last few years of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic challenged healthcare organizations in ways that had never been realized before. Healthcare professionals continue to face the long-term effects of anxiety, depression, and PTSD symptoms. Healthcare organizations saw a 3% increase in quit rates during the pandemic and were the second-highest industry impacted by the Great Resignation (Morse, 2022). Burnout, and ongoing effects of burnout, can impact the level of care, reduce the quality of services, increase medical errors, and reduce overall patient safety (Leo et al., 2021). New medical students also saw an impact on their overall mental health. One study focused on medical students showed that 84.1% of students had increased levels of stress and anxiety and 25% screened positive for PTSD (Lee et al., 2021).
Moving into a post-COVID era, the long-term impact of the pandemic on the healthcare workforce is still being reviewed. Several organizations have created frameworks to support worker well-being as evidence continues to grow for the need to support our workforce in new ways:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health Worker Mental Health Initiative: Health Worker Mental Health Initiative | Blogs | CDC
- NIOSH Total Worker Health: Total Worker Health | NIOSH | CDC
- Surgeon General Framework for Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Workforce: U.S. Surgeon General Releases New Framework for Mental Health & Well-Being in the Workplace | HHS.gov
Healthcare leaders will be tasked with moving their teams forward and must understand how the leadership skills, competencies, and culture they create will impact their teams. Strengthening skills around emotional intelligence and resiliency will be key to the support and growth of healthcare organizations. Utilizing and practicing the knowledge and skills that students learn throughout their MSAH Graduate courses will help to develop strong Healthcare Leaders of the future with a greater understanding of the needs and opportunities to develop themselves and those around them.
Amy Upp, MS Allied Health
MSAH Graduate Director
Leo, C. G., Sabina, S., Tumolo, M. R., Bodini, A., Ponzini, G., Sabato, E., & Mincarone, P. (2021). Burnout
Among Healthcare Workers in the COVID 19 Era: A Review of the Existing Literature. Frontiers in public health, 9, 750529. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2021.750529
Morse, S. (2022). Healthcare Finance. Healthcare Second Largest Hit by Great Resignation. Retrieved
Søvold, L. E., Naslund, J. A., Kousoulis, A. A., Saxena, S., Qoronfleh, M. W., Grobler, C., & Münter, L.
(2021). Prioritizing the mental health and well-being of healthcare workers: An urgent global public health priority. Frontiers in Public Health, 9, 679397-679397. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2021.679397