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Wellness

Saint Louis University School of Medicine's Office of 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 whose 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
  • Rev. Charles Dey Jr., BCC, SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital Pastoral Care
  • Patrick Cousins, Campus Ministry
  • Daniel Blash, Ph.D., Vice Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer
  • Emily Cybulla, Graduate Student in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Wellness Resources

*Orexo is providing the opportunity for Saint Louis School of Medicine students, interns, residents, and fellows to participate in a quality improvement project with Orexo. Orexo has two digital therapeutics—one for depression/depressive symptoms and one for assessing alcohol use--that can be accessed by individuals through the internet on your smartphone, iPad, tablet, and laptop or desktop computer, as long as you have internet access. 

Only you, as the program user, will be able to decide who will see your personal information. If you choose to take advantage of either or both programs, your participation will be completely anonymous, and your information will not be shared with anyone inside or outside the Orexo organization.

Your healthcare provider will not receive any information about you through vorvida® or deprexis®.

vorvida® and deprexis® take protecting personal data very seriously. The programs only ask you to provide personal data to improve their experience with the therapeutic. Personally identifiable data will not be given to third parties or be used for marketing purposes. All personal data is saved according to data protection regulations, and data transmission takes place over a secure HTTPS internet connection, which encrypts it. More information about Orexo’s privacy policy can be found at orexo.com/privacy-policy. 

This opportunity has been reviewed and approved by SLU SOM administration and faculty.

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.
  • Behavioral Health Plan has office hours on Tuesday's from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Wednesday's from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on campus in room M-205 in Schwitalla Hall and several off campus locations
  • To reach Behavioral Health Plan, please email StlouisUHPBHP@uhsinc.com or utilize the 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
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.
  • Reimbursement for rideshare services (taxi, Uber, etc.) 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.
SSM Health Saint Louis University 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 is 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 nurses and emergency medicine personnel are trained with a self-care component included. 
  • 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:  Provides free, anonymous service to employees.
  • Employee Health: Any physical or mental health event can be addressed for employees and physicians
  • Lactation room: Located on the sixth and eighth floor of SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital.
SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital Chaplain Wellness Support
  • SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital's 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.
  • A memorial service is conducted annually for families of patients that have died or employees who have died. All families are invited.
  • The Caring Physicians Award Ceremony annually recognizes four physicians who provide compassionate care.
Wellness Champion Collaborative Activity Award Winners

To promote inter-program/departmental wellness activities, the GME office offers a competitive funding opportunity for collaborative wellness activities. Please see past award winners below:

  • Tonya Vernon (Hematology/Oncology) and Frances Copeland (Child Neurology): Group Yoga Sessions for GME Coordinators
  • Emily Cybulla (BioChemistry and Molecular Biology) and Abigayle Schnell (Pharmacology and Physiology): Mindfulness Walk for post-doctoral trainees

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 

Residents/Graduate Students
  • Abigayle Schnell, graduate student
  • Aliraza Ghani, M.D., cardiology
  • Amanda Hilmer, D.O., addiction medicine
  • Amy Gui, M.D., surgery
  • Christopher Tapia, M.D., neurology
  • Danyelle Beltz, D.O., family medicine
  • David Owens, D.O., interventional radiology
  • David Starr, M.D. pathology
  • Emily Cybulla, graduate student
  • Gebran Khneizer, M.D., gastroenterology
  • Heather Eschbach, D.O., internal medicine
  • Jasmin Meinke-Zhao, M.D., internal medicine
  • Jennifer Minoff, M.D., critical care medicine
  • Justin D'Addario, M.D., vascular surgery
  • Katie Forsman, M.D., neurology
  • Kavita Darji, M.D., dermatology
  • Mehwish Siddiqui, M.D., family medicine
  • Monica Goodland, graduate student
  • Noam Grysman, M.D., psychiatry
  • Rebecca Barr, M.D. surgery
  • Reema Agarwal, M.D., radiology
  • Sarah Saeed, M.D., rheumatology
  • Sonja Williams, D.O., family medicine
  • Stephanie Hinds, M.D., internal medicine
  • Sundeep Kumar, M.D., cardiovascular disease
  • Yang Li, M.D., dermatology
  • Yusuf Agamawi, M.D., otolaryngology
  • Isaac Philip, M.D. emergency medicine
Faculty/Staff
  • Adrienne Childers, M.D., otolaryngology
  • Ali Javed, M.D. critical care medicine
  • Aline Tanios, M.D., pediatrics
  • Cristina Stephenson, director of pastoral care
  • Daniela Hermelin, M.D., pathology
  • Edward Charbek, M.D., pulmonary disease
  • Elizabeth Keegan-Garret, M.D., family medicine
  • Elsayed Abo-Salem, M.D., cardiovascular disease
  • Emily Rodgers, D.O., psychiatry
  • Farid Sadaka, M.D., critical care
  • Deepa Arun, M.D., neurology
  • Jane McHowat, Ph.D., associate dean faculty affairs and development
  • Jennifer Cash, M.D., emergency medicine
  • Jennifer Fehlman, M.D., dermatology
  • Katherine Robbins, M.D., pathology
  • Kimberly Spence, M.D., pediatrics
  • Laura Grimmer, M.D., surgery
  • Lina Toledo Franco, M.D., palliative medicine
  • Matt Broom, M.D., pediatrics
  • Matthew Smeds, M.D., vascular surgery
  • Nicole Xynos, M.D., OB/GYN
  • Pooria Salari, M.D., orthopedic surgery
  • Robin Wessels, program coordinator pediatric anesthesia
  • Roshni Parikh, M.D., radiology
  • Sangeeta Khanna, M.D., ophthalmology
  • Setu Patolia, M.D., pulmonary disease
  • Stephanie Windish, D.O., cardiovascular disease
  • Steve Trottier, M.D., critical care medicine
  • Teresa Sullivan, pastoral care
  • Thanh-Mai Vo, M.D., nephrology
  • Thomas Porter, M.D., ophthalmology
  • Erin Schmidt, campus ministry