14 chief wellness officers to know | 2024

Becker's is pleased to name 14 chief wellness officers to know. 

Hospitals and health systems are increasingly hiring chief wellness officers to help enhance fulfillment, joy and wellness within their organizations. Addressing the burnout and mental health challenges that many healthcare professionals face not only improves team members' lives, but also boosts the quality of care provided to patients. The wellbeing initiatives that chief wellness officers implement are helping to guide their institutions towards more efficient and resilient futures.

Note: This list is not exhaustive, nor is it an endorsement of included leaders, hospitals, health systems or associated healthcare providers. Leaders cannot pay for inclusion on this list. Leaders are presented in alphabetical order.

Contact Anna Falvey at afalvey@beckershealthcare.com with questions or comments.

Bree Andrews, MD. Chief Wellness and Vitality Officer at UChicago Medicine. Dr. Andrews serves as the first chief wellness and vitality officer for UChicago Medicine. In this role, she safeguards the organization's wellness by instituting programs that enhance collaboration, streamline practice processes and improve resilience. She leads a team of well-being directors, who guide engagement activities, as well as program managers that assist with the development of wellness programs. In addition to her leadership role, Dr. Andrews is a physician with expertise in neonatology. She is also an active researcher with an interest in the factors that influence long-term neurodevelopment. 

Chantal Brazeau, MD. Chief Wellness Officer of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (Newark, N.J.). Dr. Brazeau is the inaugural chief wellness officer for Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, in addition to her role as assistant dean for faculty vitality at New Jersey Medical School and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. As the top wellness executive for Rutgers since December 2019, she is charged with cultivating a sense of professional wellbeing for the system. In pursuit of this goal, she manages the strategic planning and vision for programs that support faculty, provider and learner wellness. Dr. Brazeau has been teaching, researching and presenting on the topic of professional wellbeing since 1995. She is also board certified in both psychiatry and family medicine.

Elizabeth Harry, MD. Chief Well-Being Officer for Michigan Medicine (Ann Arbor). At Michigan Medicine, Dr. Harry leads the Office of Well-Being as its chief well-being officer, collaborating with stakeholders across the system and university to enhance enterprisewide wellness. She aims to strengthen the system's wellness in both academia and clinical care through policy change, utilizing a data- and relationship-driven approach. Dr. Harry has more than 10 years of experience in healthcare, wellbeing and medicine. Her work on burnout, cognitive load and wellbeing has been nationally recognized. 

Heather Farley, MD. Chief Wellness Officer of ChristianaCare (Wilmington, Del.). Dr. Farley is an expert in the field of healthcare worker wellbeing. As chief wellness officer for ChristianaCare, she shapes the system's culture of wellbeing, addresses burnout and stress, manages changes, leads interventions and advocates for professional fulfillment. She helps implement evidence-based initiatives, knowing that investments in employee wellness benefit health systems for moral, ethical and financial reasons. Dr. Farley's overall mission is to support joy and fulfillment in caregivers nationwide. 

Nigel Girgrah, MD. Chief Wellness Officer for Ochsner Health (New Orleans). Dr. Girgrah is chief wellness officer at Ochsner Health, directing the system in its efforts to center wellness in the workplace. A physician executive and renowned thought leader, he brings years of experience in the healthcare industry and in the field of workforce wellbeing. He has held his current role since November 2018 and has worked within the Ochsner system since 2007.  

Jessi Gold, MD. Chief Wellness Officer for the University of Tennessee System (Memphis). Dr. Gold, a psychiatrist and the UT System's inaugural chief wellness officer, is an expert in student mental health, healthcare worker mental health, burnout and advocacy. The UT System encompasses multiple campuses, a health science center, an agriculture institute and a public service institute. In addition to her executive role, Dr. Gold serves as a psychiatrist at University Health Services on UT Health Science Center's Memphis campus. Prior to assuming her dual roles in February 2024, she was director of wellness, engagement, and outreach at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine in the department of psychiatry. Dr. Gold is also a writer with several published articles and an upcoming book about mental health. 

Becky Lowry, MD. Chief Wellness Officer at The University of Kansas Health System (Kansas City). Dr. Lowry became chief wellness officer for The University of Kansas Health System in July 2022. In her role, she addresses healthcare worker burnout, the physician shortage, and the root causes of these issues. To do so, she analyzes the societal, cultural, structural and organizational factors that play into these problems. Her work involves reducing stigma, eradicating barriers that prevent workers from seeking help, setting up support systems, implementing wellness programs, supporting diversity and inclusion initiatives, setting an overall wellbeing strategy, and much more. 

Kimberlydawn Wisdom, MD. Chief Wellness and Diversity Officer and Senior Vice President of Community Health and Equity at Henry Ford Health (Detroit). Dr. Wisdom is chief wellness and diversity officer at Henry Ford Health, as well as senior vice president of community health and equity. Her professional interests include health disparities, healthcare equity, maternal and child health, chronic illness, unplanned pregnancy, physical inactivity, unhealthy eating habits and tobacco use. Through her work and her community leadership, she has played a key role in enhancing the health of individuals in typically underserved groups. She has founded the African American Initiative for Male Health Improvement, the Women Inspired Neighborhood Network, and Generation With Promise. She has received various awards, written peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, and presented all over the country and world. She is also a board certified emergency medicine physician. 

Amy Locke, MD. Chief Wellness Officer of University of Utah Health (Salt Lake City). Dr. Locke has served as University of Utah Health's chief wellness officer since November 2020. In her role, she leads the development and implementation of wellness programs and initiatives across the system, aimed at empowering patients and team members to live healthy, fulfilled lives. Ultimately, the goal is a culture of wellness, efficiency and resilience. Dr. Locke is also executive director of the U of U Health Resiliency Center. She first joined the system faculty in 2015, focusing on preventive medicine, nutrition, and the intersection of conventional and integrative medicine. 

Kristine Olson, MD. Chief Wellness Officer at Yale New Haven (Conn.) Hospital. Dr. Olson is chief wellness officer for Yale New Haven Hospital, where she creates and launches evidence-based programs aimed at enhancing workforce wellbeing and performance. Thanks to her 21 years spent as a physician and 13 years as an assistant professor of clinical medicine at Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Olson brings to her role an intimate understanding of the unique professional lives of healthcare workers. Through her work, she collaborates with stakeholders to cultivate a workplace culture of engagement, resilience, fulfillment, reduced burnout and talent satisfaction. 

Susan Parisi, MD. Chief Wellness Officer at Geisinger (Danville, Pa.). Dr. Parisi became the inaugural chief wellness officer at Geisinger in 2022. Her role entails shaping an overarching strategy to achieve improved mental health, fulfillment, engagement and wellness for the system's team members. To this end, she heads advocacy programs and initiatives that foster professionalism, independence, job satisfaction and more. Dr. Parisi brings over 30 years of healthcare experience to the role and most recently was director of well-being for Danbury, Conn.-based Nuvance Healthcare.

Jonathan Ripp, MD. Chief Wellness Officer and Dean of Well-Being and Resilience at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (New York City). Dr. Ripp is chief wellness officer and dean of well-being and resilience at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, as well as a professor of medicine, medical education, geriatrics and palliative medicine. As chief wellness officer, he is tasked with creating, implementing and analyzing interventions that improve student, resident, fellow and faculty wellness. His main academic interests include physician burnout and well-being, topics that he has researched, published and spoken on with grant support. His work has helped to illuminate the root of physician burnout, as well as guided interventions to better support physicians. 

Tait Shanafelt, MD. Chief Wellness Officer at Stanford (Calif.) Medicine. Dr. Shanafelt is Stanford Medicine's first chief wellness officer, having taken on the role in 2017. That same year, he became associate dean of Stanford School of Medicine as well as the Jeanie and Stewart Ritchie Professor of Medicine at Stanford University. He is board certified in hematology, medical oncology and internal medicine. A skilled researcher and thought leader, he has published broadly about physician satisfaction and wellbeing, as well as its impact on patient care. 

Sun Yoo, MD. Chief Wellness Officer at UCLA Health (Los Angeles). Dr. Yoo assumed the chief wellness officer position for UCLA Health in December 2023. In this role, she is tasked with furthering and supporting wellness efforts systemwide. This includes conducting wellbeing assessments for physicians, heading strategies to address burnout, analyzing intervention impact, and collaborating with other leaders. Since its establishment in 2022, she has been the well-being committee chair within the department of medicine. Dr. Yoo also serves as section chief of extensivist and palliative care services, medical director of internal medicine suites, and continuity clinic director in the internal medicine suites resident clinic.

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