University Hospitals has created an executive position, chief whole health and well-being officer, to direct evidence-informed integrative health strategies to support patients' well-being, going beyond disease management to include prevention and chronic disease reversal.
UH has appointed Dr. Francoise Adan to the new role, the creation of which signals "a paradigm shift whereby patient care will emphasize prevention, lifestyle change, and disease reversal rather than merely disease treatment, which will further promote the health care value equation," according to a news release.
Adan, who is trained in psychiatry and is board certified in holistic and integrative medicine, specializes in stress management, work/life balance and the mind/body/spirit connection.
In partnership with population health and clinical leaders, Adan—who serves as the director of the UH Connor Integrative Health Network and is the Christopher M. & Sara H. Connor Chair in Integrative Health for UH—will guide the systemwide effort to support and empower people to reach their "optimal professional and personal potential in the context of true well-being," according to the release. Adan created the initiative, known as the UH Connor Integrative Health Network, through which medical care is integrated with innovative, evidence-based therapies and services in an effort to bring optimal health and well-being to patients and employees.
"Dr. Adan has demonstrated tremendous ingenuity, collaboration and agility in growing UH Connor Integrative Health, and in particular during the pandemic, she exhibited incredible resourcefulness and resilience in leading her team to reimagine the way we care for our health care workers and the community," said Dr. Dan Simon, UH chief clinical and scientific officer and president, UH Cleveland Medical Center, in a statement.
Adan said in the release that UH plans to develop education programs for caregivers that emphasize whole health, well-being and self-care, and will seek federal grants and funding for research on such interventions.
She will be responsible for collaborating across the system to create and implement programs and services to improve clinical outcomes, promote health care value, and increase caregiver engagement, satisfaction and retention, according to the release. Externally, her focus will be on building and expanding programs to empower patients to actively engage in improving their well-being.
"The pandemic has catapulted the importance of self-care to the top of the list for not only promoting our physical and emotional wellness, but for nurturing our resilience," Adan said in a provided statement. "Our goal is to build on the extremely successful evidence-based programs we've already deployed to ensure continuous improvement in delivery, caregiver and patient satisfaction, positive health outcomes, and patient engagement with the UH system."
Adan earned her medical degree from Université libre de Bruxelles in Belgium, followed by three years of working in the field of family medicine, according to the release. She was a Crain's Cleveland Business Women of Note in 2019.