As COVID-19 spread through New York City in the early months of the pandemic, Columbia University’s nine hospitals had filled up with 2,500 coronavirus-infected patients by April 14. Clinicians on the front lines worked long hours and took on new roles. Meanwhile, leaders at the health system took action to support their workforce.
They provided housing to many workers, extended financial support for child care, expanded mental health benefits and offered bonuses to help employees deal with expenses they hadn’t anticipated, said Donna Lynne, chief operating officer of Columbia University Irving Medical Center and CEO of ColumbiaDoctors.
But not all health systems have the resources to beef up pay and benefits. Executives speaking at Modern Healthcare’s Women Leaders in Healthcare Conference Aug. 13-14 said leading with empathy, including workers in the decisionmaking process and being transparent can be just as effective.
Throughout the virtual conference, leaders detailed strategies for not only guiding their workforce through challenging times, but offered sage advice for how professionals can build a lasting career.