CCEDC to Host ‘COVID-19 Impacts on Healthcare Workers and PA as a Trauma-Informed State’ on April 21

Mark Hostutler
Image via the Chester County Economic Development Council.

With the healthcare industry projecting that pandemic-induced PTSD and other psychological impacts are the next health crisis, HR professionals from across industries, as well as healthcare workers and administrators, are preparing to gather for “COVID-19 Impacts on Healthcare Workers and PA as a Trauma-Informed State.”

Registration is open now for the virtual conference hosted by the Chester County Economic Development Council and its Health Care Connect initiative on Wednesday, April 21 from 8-10 AM.

“What can employers do to support healthcare and non-healthcare employees now and in the wake of COVID-19? What issues can they expect to face – and for how long? Why is Pennsylvania becoming a ‘trauma-informed state’ and what does that mean for employers, workers, and other residents? These are among the issues we’ll be addressing, along with the latest on vaccine distribution and its impacts,” said Dr. Claire Mooney, Chair of Health Care Connect and President and CEO of Jennersville and Brandywine Hospitals/Tower Health.

Representing the Commonwealth will be Dan Jurman, Executive Director of Pennsylvania’s Office of Advocacy and Reform, an office Gov. Tom Wolf created in 2019 to benefit and protect vulnerable populations through reforms to policy and practice. Among those efforts is the plan for a “Trauma-Informed PA,” announced in 2020 as an effort to heal the Commonwealth’s population from ongoing trauma and chronic stress.

Jurman will address a wide range of issues, including:

  • what all employers can expect to see as impacts
  • what all employers should know as Pennsylvania moves through the process of becoming a trauma-informed state
  • where Pennsylvania is now in the effort almost a year after its announcement
  • how it will be applied to state agencies’ policies and practices, as well as to healthcare providers and employers across industries

“Everyone who has experienced COVID-19 on any level – from having to stay home from work or school, not being able to see friends and family members, losing a friend or relative to the virus – has experienced chronic stress and/or trauma,” said Jurman. “Healthcare workers experienced unfathomable challenges due to patient sickness and loss, concerns for family members, PPE challenges, uncertainties on the duration of the pandemic, and ever-evolving protocols. This is resulting in frontline fatigue, moral distress, PTSD, and other levels of trauma.”

The issue of frontline fatigue will be addressed in depth by Bill Belmonte, the Emergency Department Nurse Manager at Paoli Hospital, Chester County’s only certified trauma center. How to combat fatigue, treat it along with an examination of moral distress, and PTSD that healthcare workers and administrators are experiencing during COVID-19 will also be reviewed by Karen Oxler, the Executive Director at Philadelphia’s VA, the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center.