Saint Louis University Graduate Medical Education is dedicated to supporting a multi-component approach to wellness for use by all programs and for the benefit of all graduate medical trainees.

Here, members of the Saint Louis University School of Medicine community can find tips and tricks to combat burnout, how to deal with stress and acquire tools for resilience to achieve optimal wellness.

The program was designed by a steering committee and members included:

  • Julie Gammack, M.D., associate dean for Graduate Medical Education
  • Brianne Newman, M.D., program director of psychiatry
  • Dawn Prentice, of the St. Louis Behavioral Medicine Institute
  • Rob Hartmann, BCC, Saint Louis University Hospital Pastoral Care
  • Robert Murphy, S.J., Campus Ministry
Wellness Resources
University Health Plan: Behavioral Health Program
  • Behavioral Health Plan for residents includes six free and confidential visits not submitted to insurance. Does not need to be for a medical diagnosis. Available for stress management, relationship problems, etc.
  • 24/7 access to an on-call clinician for urgent behavioral health matters at 314-977-1066
  • Behavioral Health has a Behavioral Health Advisory Board (15 to 20 residents) and the group meets twice yearly to discuss Behavioral Health Plan benefits
  • Behavioral Health Programmatic Support meetings are available for program discussion/debriefing
  • Behavioral Health Plan: Tuesday and Wednesday office hours on campus in room M-205 in Schwitalla Hall and several off campus locations
School of Medicine Wellness Support
  • Mindfulness and Resiliency Space on the second floor of Schwitalla Hall. This room is dedicated to accommodate the residents and students as a tranquil, peaceful place for reflection, meditation and prayer. Private, curtained spaces offer privacy for trainees.
  • GME Wellness Program:  This program is in development and lead by a steering committee that includes program director in Psychiatry, St. Louis Behavioral Medicine Institute, SLUH Pastoral Care, Campus Ministry and the GME Office DIO.
  • Taxi vouchers for residents too fatigued to safely drive home.
  • GME Professional Oversight Committee monitors resident duty hours and fatigue concerns.
  • Mindfulness training for all incoming interns.
  • SLURA officers who are available to residents to hear concerns and as liaison to GME office.
  • SLUCare Express offers same-day/next-day urgent care medical visits for residents and faculty.
SLU Hospital Wellness Support
  • Critical Incident Stress Debriefing. Initiated by nursing managers through nursing leadership to discuss difficult situations. This is often done within a week and physicians/students are invited.
  • Staff Support Groups. Unit-based support with a minimum four sessions includes weekend and all shifts.
  • Donation drives to collect items for patients.
  • Discharge with dignity closet. Staff-contributed clothing and other personal care items given to patients (and staff) who are in need.
  • Comfort cart, which makes rounds on floors with snacks. This is done on special occasions and holidays.
  • Lavender cart. when a difficult situation arises, a cart comes to the area with snacks, stress relieving items, personal care items. It's kept in nursing supervisor’s office and stays in area for 12 to 24 hours. This is available 24/7.
  • Roving Basket. Every two weeks, the basket goes to a different department. Baskets are filled with treats, gifts and "thank you" cards. Baskets are then refilled and passed to the next department.
  • Hospital Week, which includes a picnic BBQ lunch for staff/physicians.
  • Holiday Lunches. Free “Holly Day” Christmas and Thanksgiving lunch for staff/physicians.
  • Just Culture Initiative
  • Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI) training. All emergency medicine personnel are trained with a self-care component included. All new nurses will be trained starting January 2018.
  • Hospital Wide Safety/Wellness Committee. Residents can participate on this committee which addresses safety in workplace.
  • Call room space is available for all resident students who are in need of a place to rest.
  • Employee Assistance Program, which provides free, anonymous service to employees.
  • Employee Health. Any physical or mental health event can be addressed for employees and physicians
  • Lactation room, which is located on the fifth floor of the hospital.
SLU Hospital Chaplain Wellness Support
  • Saint Louis University Hospital chapel on the third floor of the hospital is open 24/7. The chapel is utilized for Muslim prayer on Friday afternoons
  • Chaplains can be paged and respond to all codes, deaths and rapid response events.
  • Student shadowing program, which allows medical and nursing students to shadow chaplains.
  • A chaplain is available via the on-call chaplain, 24/7, to staff and physicians (as well as patients/families) to provide listening and ministry.
  • Memorial service is conducted annually for families of patients that have died or employees who have died. All families are invited.
  • Caring Physicians Award Ceremony, which annually recognizes four physicians that provide compassionate care.
  • In the new hospital, a chapel is being designed with an upper loft area that overlooks the chapel. The loft area is being proposed as a multi-faith reflection area available for staff and physicians.

Wellness Champions

Wellness Champions, comprised of residents and faculty, are individuals who will serve as liaisons to programs and residents on wellness initiatives.

The Wellness Champion team consists of 12 to 15 faculty members and 15 to 20 residents who are appointed by their department chair, program director, self-nominated or members of the Wellness Steering Committee.

Wellness Champions are expected to:

  • Commit to one year of service
  • Attend the kick-off retreat and quarterly evening meetings
  • Be a liaison to programs and residents on wellness initiatives
  • Communicate and disseminate resources to programs
  • Promote professionalism and "Just Culture" at SLU
  • Champion efforts to improve wellness across the School of Medicine
  • Engage with GME and hospital leadership in assessing the outcome of wellness initiatives

Current Champions 

  • Stephanie Windish, M.D., cardiology
  • Anastasia Kurta, M.D., dermatology
  • Kayla Donnawell, M.D., emergency medicine
  • Ritesh Gandhi, M.D., family medicine (St. Louis)
  • Brittany Goodrich-Braun, M.D., gastroenterology
  • William Goldkamp, M.D., gastroenterology
  • Cameron Simmons, M.D., hospice/palliative medicine
  • Amitbah Singh, M.D., internal medicine
  • Ahmed El-Sabbagh, M.D., nuclear medicine
  • Kathryn Renner, M.D., OB-GYN
  • Haley Bray, M.D., otolaryngology
  • Nick Sacksteder, M.D., orthopaedic surgery
  • Odia Eigbire-Molen, M.D., pathology
  • Samantha Rohe, M.D., pediatrics
  • Margaret Chen, M.D., pediatrics
  • Sohail Nibras, M.D., psychiatry
  • Yusuf Akpolat, M.D., radiology
  • John McCormick, M.D., surgery
  • David Melendez, M.D., urology
  • Reyanna Massaquoi, M.D., neurology
  • Elsayed Abo-Salim, M.D., cardiology
  • Steve Trottier, M.D., critical care medicine
  • Farid Sadaka, M.D., critical care medicine
  • Ali Javed, M.D., critical care medicine
  • Jennifer Cash, M.D., emergency medicine
  • Elizabeth Keegan-Garrett, M.D., family medicine (St. Louis)
  • Maureen Lyons, M.D., internal medicine
  • Shilpa Babbar, M.D., OB-GYN
  • Sangeeta Khanna, M.D., ophthalmology
  • Minh-ha Hoang, M.D., orthopaedic surgery
  • Karen Moser, M.D., pathology
  • Kimberly Spence, M.D., pediatrics
  • Austin Dalrymple, D.O., rheumatology
  • Brianne Newman, M.D., psychiatry
  • Kevin Mahoney, M.D., surgery
  • Grace Montenegro, M.D., surgery
  • Matthew Smeds, M.D., vascular surgery
  • Anjali Patel, M.D., anesthesia
  • Himanshu Kaulas, M.D., neurology