- Eric Elvanian, LCSW, Director of Integrated Behavioral Health, Delaware Valley Community Health, Norristown, PA
- Naomi Walinsky-King, MD, Delaware Valley Community Health, Norristown, PA
- Noel Ramirez, DBH, LCSW, Clinical Social Work, Noel B. Ramirez, LLC, Philadelphia, PA
- Kelly Rembolt, PA-C, Delaware Valley Community Health, Norristown, PA
- Geraldine Pena, M.Ed, LPC, Behavioral Health Consultant, Delaware Valley Community Health, Norristown, PA
- Vincent Lamont, LPC, Behavioral Health Consultant, Delaware Valley Community Health, Norristown, PA
- Michelle Schweitzer, LCSW, Delaware Valley Community Health, Norristown, PA
Delaware Valley Community Health is a Philadelphia-based FQHC. In 2018, medical providers from our largest and busiest center brought to leadership some significant concerns around burnout. Looking at the issue from all angles, we decided to pilot a group for medical providers, over lunch, to discuss patient care and the challenges faced daily that contributed to burnout. Based on the principles of a Balint group, the Circle of Trust was created. The monthly group is led by the Director of Integrated Behavioral Health with significant support from the center’s Medical Director. These discussions of patient care guided by both a licensed clinical social worker and a medical doctor, began to bring new perspectives to shared frustrations, as well as opening doors for organizational change. Starting with only a few attendees, the Circle of Trust now regularly has 100% attendance and participation. Together, we have structured a an opportunity to speak with and listen to one another, impart strategies for mitigating burnout, build skills around effective patient communication, boundary setting, and problem solving. In this session, we will share the foundation and structure of Circle of Trust, some of the topics covered, and the changes it has effected over the course of two years. We will provide tools and strategies to form this group in your organization.
- Discuss staff burnout challenges faced in their own organizations, identify obstacles to satisfaction, and determine if a Circle of Trust group may be a solution.
- Describe the essential elements of a Circle of Trust group, write ground rules, and choose appropriate leaders and leadership approaches.
- Build a structure for a Circle of Trust group that aligns with the needs of your organization, as well as qualitative evaluation metrics.