New position will lead the charge in promoting a culture of personal and professional well-being.
Furthering Geisinger's commitment to investing in the health and well-being of its employees, Susan Parisi, M.D., has been named the health system's first chief wellness officer.
In this new role, Dr. Parisi will champion and guide the implementation of a systemwide strategy to improve the mental health, professional fulfillment and overall well-being of the Geisinger family. She'll also oversee advocacy programs and initiatives aimed at enhancing shared decision making, professional satisfaction, autonomy and a culture of professionalism and respect.
"Our employees are the heart of everything we do," said Janet Tomcavage, Geisinger executive vice president and chief nursing officer. "As we strive to make better health easier for those we serve, we will continue to invest in our employees and create an engaging, supportive employee experience where every person feels motivated and connected to their professional purpose. We're incredibly fortunate to have gained such an experienced and committed leader with Dr. Parisi, and I'm confident she will help us strengthen our focus on the health and well-being of our Geisinger family."
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, efforts were already underway at Geisinger to improve employee well-being with the establishment of the Center for Professionalism and Well-being — a team that offers Geisinger employees a variety of services related to mental health, burnout mitigation, community building, professionalism in the workplace and more. Throughout the pandemic, these efforts were accelerated as studies revealed that more than one in five healthcare workers had anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
In accepting the position, Dr. Parisi said, "The crisis of emotional exhaustion and burnout on the healthcare workforce is more important than ever — and it deserves our full attention. I'm thrilled to join Geisinger in this new role and partner with our Geisinger family to find new and better ways to build a culture that supports the well-being of everyone who commits their lives to this work. When we create a culture focused on allowing our teams to thrive personally and professionally, we create a world-class experience for everyone — our employees, our patients, and our members."
Dr. Parisi brings three decades of experience in healthcare, spending the earlier part of her career caring for patients in obstetrics and gynecology. She's held leadership roles in several organizations, most recently serving as the director of well-being for Nuvance Healthcare, where she worked to implement a strategic and collaborative well-being program that accommodates seven hospitals, a multispecialty group and 2,500 physicians across New York and Connecticut.
After supporting fellow physicians through their own experiences with burnout and emotional exhaustion, Dr. Parisi pursued the prestigious Stanford Chief Wellness Officer training, which she completed in 2019. In 2018, she completed a fellowship in integrative medicine at the University of Arizona. She earned her Bachelor of Science with a concentration in genetics and development from Cornell University and her medical degree from New York Medical College. She serves on several boards and committees, and is an active member of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.