Family of ER physician who died by suicide lobbies for clinician mental health bill

Family members of a New York City emergency room physician who died by suicide last year are pushing for federal legislation to address the nation's physician burnout crisis, The Washington Post reported Sept. 15.

Lorna Breen, MD, was chair of the emergency department at NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital and treated countless COVID-19 patients during New York City's first surge. Dr. Breen, 49, contracted COVID-19 during the spring 2020 surge but recovered and quickly returned to work. She died just 24 days after coming back to work. Her family said she did not have a history of mental illness.

The Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act — sponsored by Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va. — would require research into healthcare worker's mental wellness and provide grant funding for healthcare facilities to launch suicide prevention and peer-support programs, among other inititives. The bill unanimously passed in the Senate last month.

Dr. Breen's sister, Jennifer Feist, and her husband Corey Feist joined Mr. Kaine and two Virginia physicians outside the U.S. Capitol Sept. 15 to urge the House of Representatives to pass the legislation. 

"We need the House of Representatives and the Energy and Commerce Committee to act on this legislation," Mr. Feist said during the news conference. "We need to demonstrate to our healers that this is our recognition of their care for us, and we need to care right back for them."

To view the full article, click here.

Copyright © 2022 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars