Yale New Haven Health System: Award-winning EAP Supports Workforce Resilience

A health delivery system experiences disruption every day—lives are saved and lives are lost. The stress on health care providers is unrelenting.

To protect and support their workforce, Yale New Haven Health System (YNHHS) implemented a comprehensive EAP (branded as Employee and Family Resources or EFR) in late 2011 with Beacon. EFR focuses on prevention and resilience, helping employees be more present during the workday; better manage stress; and be more focused, present, and compassionate with their patients.

Award recognizes extensive programming, leadership support, impressive outcomes

The recipient of the Employee Assistance Society of North America (EASNA) U.S. Corporate Award for 2018, YNHHS’s program was selected for its excellence, innovation, and impact in the workplace.

YNHHS is Connecticut’s leading health care system, consisting of five hospitals and a physician group. As a provider of comprehensive, family-focused care in more than 100 medical specialties, YNHHS has more than 6,300 university and community physician and advanced practitioners. U.S. News and World Report ranks YNHHS among the best hospitals in the United States.

Provided by Beacon, the YNHHS EAP is a six-session, comprehensive EAP with work/life and legal/financial services, in addition to internal resources dedicated to wellness. It includes extensive programming to proactively help employees develop resilience in the face of daily caregiving stresses as well as to respond to disruptive events when they occur. Key program elements include:

  • Six-week mindfulness course
  • Short, phone-based meditations
  • Workshops on self-compassion, stress, relaxation, change, interpersonal conflict, and work/life balance
  • Depression screenings for employees and depression awareness trainings for supervisors
  • Resident Wellness Visit program for medical residents to increase resilience and prevent burnout; an onsite EAP counselor teaches a first-year resident about the program and provides an opportunity to engage on issues of concern
  • Internal critical incident response team with peer members; managers know they can call the EAP for support; this team responded to 18 disruptive events in 2017, assisting 209 employees

Key to program success is the support of YNHHS leadership and coordination with other internal stakeholders (Safety, Employee Relations, Occupational Health, Human Resources, Integrative Medicine, Wellness). The EAP continues to evolve its programming, integration, and promotion as it has proven to be an effective partner in promoting and protecting employee health and well-being.

A snapshot of outcomes includes:

  • More than three (3.2) percent of the workforce participated in a mindfulness course (either six-week course or introductory session); the average reduction in perceived stress was 28 percent and the average reduction in burnout was 15 percent.
  • For those with several levels of distress, the EAP provider functional assessment demonstrated an 81 percent improvement after counseling services.
  • Because of its integration in the organization and proactive approach to employee well-being, the program achieved nearly 20 percent utilization in 2017 for its short-term EAP counseling, work/life services, legal/financial services, organizational services, and prevention programs.

How Beacon works with YNHHS

Founded on a collaborative partnership that began at program implementation, Beacon provides YNHHS with:

  • Consultation on strategy
  • Focus on execution
  • Data to support program monitoring and continuous improvement

Beacon meets weekly with the YNHHS EAP program leader and quarterly with the governing committee, comprised of a broad group of representatives from YNH’s hospitals, physician groups, human resources, employee relations, and its wellness management program. The goal of these meetings is to create strategies that will increase employee awareness of the EAP and further integrate the EAP in the organization.

About the Beacon Employee Assistance Program

Beacon is proud to partner with YNHHS. Companies with Beacon as their EAP partner have been the recipient of the EASNA Corporate Award 10 times in the last 14 years.

The Beacon EAP helps employees and their family members cope with life’s toughest obstacles and issues of daily living. We partner with organizations to maximize the health and productivity of the workforce by integrating our services with an organization’s existing goals and initiatives. We anticipate issues, develop programs, and design policies to suit a client’s organizational culture and needs. Our EAP currently serves 14 million individuals in the United States, and more than 1 million additional individuals in 80 countries across the globe.