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Health and Well-Being Environmental Assessment for Lasting Healthcare Workforce Resiliency in Wisconsin

Growing and retaining Wisconsin’s healthcare workforce by addressing worker burnout and well-being

Full Project Name:Health and Well-Being Environmental Assessment for Lasting Healthcare Workforce Resiliency in WisconsinPrimary Community Organization:WHA Foundation, Inc.Principal Investigator:Alicia Pilarski, DO, Emergency MedicineAward Amount:$49,659
Award Date
January2023
Project Duration:12 months

Project Description Narrative:


The Wisconsin healthcare workforce, from administration to the front line, faces many challenges, leading to an imbalance of staffing supply and demand for our Wisconsin hospitals and health systems. Wisconsin's population is aging rapidly and growing slowly. The state's younger generation is not large enough to replace those retiring from the healthcare workforce over the next two years. In fact, 2020 marked the first-time future retirees outnumbered young people. Additionally, valued colleagues are leaving the health workforce. Many in the health workforce are experiencing symptoms of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a loss of sense of professional efficacy, all of which are dimensions of burnout that can have an adverse impact on the quality and safety of patient care and patient satisfaction.


Hospitals and health systems need recommendations to identify well-being opportunities to attract new talent in the spirit of maintaining Wisconsin's long-standing commitment to quality and safety, ranking among the top states in the country for several years.


This project will embark on a comprehensive environmental assessment, surveying all levels of the healthcare system, including frontline care delivery, the health care organization, and the external environment, to identify what is driving those in healthcare to leave; what is being done to mitigate this in Wisconsin and other states; what gaps, tools, resources, and models of well-being are being successfully employed; and what promising strategies aimed at preventing, ameliorating, and ultimately eliminating healthcare worker burnout are in place to make a positive impact on employee growth and retention.


Community partners: Children's Wisconsin/Pediatric Emergency Medicine/Trauma, UW Health/Internal Medicine, Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA)

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