CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s Impact Wellbeing™ Campaign Releases Hospital-Tested Guide to Improve Healthcare Worker Burnout

Evidence-Informed Resource Helps Hospital Leaders Enact Positive Systems Change in Six Steps

Press Release

For Immediate Release: Monday, March 18, 2024
Contact: Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

As part of the first federal campaign to address healthcare worker burnout, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) today released an evidence-informed and actionable guide for the nation’s hospital leaders to improve healthcare worker wellbeing – Impact Wellbeing™ Guide: Taking Action to Improve Healthcare Worker Wellbeing. This Guide is the newest addition to the Impact WellbeingCampaign, launched in October 2023, and provides a step-by-step process for hospitals to start making organizational-level changes that will impact and improve the mental health of their employees.

“The role of healthcare workers in taking care of all of us is absolutely vital to our society, to our economy, and to our culture. But our healthcare workforce needs to feel supported, too,” said John Howard, MD, Director of NIOSH. “The Guide includes six action steps to implement and accelerate professional wellbeing, which enables leaders to make systems-level changes and builds trust between leaders and healthcare workers.”

As highlighted in a recent CDC Vital Signs, health workers face a mental health crisis. The realities of our healthcare system are driving many health workers to burn out. They are at an increased risk for mental health challenges and choosing to leave the health workforce early. Leveraging CDC/NIOSH’s expertise and leadership in Total Worker Health®, NIOSH and the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation developed the new, free, evidence-informed Guide to help executive-level hospital leaders make powerful workplace improvements quickly, while taking into account the realities that many hospital systems face when it comes to finding additional time, cost, and staff to implement this work.

“We know hospital leaders have a lot of competing demands and it can be overwhelming to know where to start when working to improve professional wellbeing,” said Stefanie Simmons, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation and a board-certified emergency medicine physician and healthcare executive. “The Guide provides hospital leaders across the country the tools for putting together a more cohesive wellbeing strategy, allowing them to take stock of where they are now, highlighting some of the missing pieces, and taking action to get to where they want to be.”

The Guide outlines six key steps for hospital leaders to take, which were pilot-tested and refined with a working group comprised of six U.S. hospitals:

  1. Conduct a review of your hospital’s operations to determine how they support professional wellbeing.
  2. Build a dedicated team to support professional wellbeing at your hospital.
  3. Remove barriers to seeking care, such as intrusive mental health questions on credentialing applications.
  4. Develop a suite of communication tools that help you share updates with your workforce about your hospital’s journey to improve professional wellbeing.
  5. Integrate professional wellbeing measures into an ongoing quality improvement project.
  6. Create a 12-month plan to continue to move your hospital’s professional wellbeing work forward.

CDC/NIOSH will host a webinar series, beginning in late April 2024, for hospital leaders to learn how to use each section of the Guide. The goal is for participating hospitals to start implementing the Guide immediately after the webinar series.

CommonSpirit Health, one of the largest nonprofit health systems in the U.S., supported NIOSH in pilot-testing the Impact Wellbeing Guide in six hospitals from July through December 2023: CHI St. Vincent Infirmary, CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs, CHI Saint Joseph Hospital, CHI Health-Creighton University Medical Center-Bergan Mercy, CHI Health Mercy Council Bluffs, and CHI Health Lakeside.

“As we navigate the challenges of healthcare, prioritizing the wellbeing of our healthcare workforce is always a priority,” said Paul Raines, System SVP Behavioral Health at CommonSpirit Health. “Through the pilot program, this Guide has acted as a catalyst, allowing these six hospitals to effectively and efficiently accelerate the existing tools and resources we have developed as a healthcare system. The Guide is an important component as we seek to ensure that hospital leaders have the right tools to provide a supportive environment for the healthcare workers who take such good care of our communities.”

Explore the Impact Wellbeing Guide and other resources at

Impact Wellbeing is made possible by the COVID-19 American Rescue Plan of 2021. It builds on momentum from the passage of the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act.

Established under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, NIOSH is the federal research institute focused on the study of worker safety and health, and empowering employers and workers to create safe and healthy workplaces. For more information about NIOSH, visit


Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC’s world-leading experts protect lives and livelihoods, national security and the U.S. economy by providing timely, commonsense information, and rapidly identifying and responding to diseases, including outbreaks and illnesses. CDC drives science, public health research, and data innovation in communities across the country by investing in local initiatives to protect everyone’s health.