Chief Wellness Officer
Dr. Heather Farley has personally experienced the trauma that impacts caregivers when a patient suffers an unexpected adverse event and the transformative power of supportive, evidence-based initiatives. She is passionate about advancing the professional fulfillment and wellbeing of health care providers so they can flourish at work and at home. Studies show that investing in employee wellbeing is a wise choice for health systems for a multitude of moral, ethical, and financial reasons. She leads advocacy programs and interventions aimed at optimizing the caregiver experience and fostering an organizational culture of wellbeing. Her mission is to restore joy and meaning in work for health care providers across the nation.
Director of the Center for WorkLife Wellbeing
Dr. Katie Godfrey is the Director of the Center for WorkLife Wellbeing at ChristianaCare where she leads a team of psychologists and researchers who develop, deliver, and study programs and initiatives to promote and sustain the wellbeing of healthcare professionals. She previously managed Care for the Caregiver, which is one of the country’s best utilized healthcare professional peer support programs with over 500 individual and group encounters per year. She partners with other organizations to develop and launch wellbeing programs.
Her research has examined peer support and the impact of stress and health behaviors on health and wellbeing from genetic factors to mechanisms of change with over 40 publications in peer reviewed and high-impact industry publications. In program development and clinical work, she is passionate about reducing barriers to connecting with support services and evidence-based interventions, including workplace wellbeing programs and technology-enhanced interventions. As a psychologist, she is intensely interested in the intersection of physical health and mental health and has expertise in psychological first aid, mindfulness-based interventions, and wellbeing-related behavior change. She is passionate about interdisciplinary work, saying we can be our best at work when we all work together. By practicing yoga, running, spending time outside, and playing with her dog she recharges physically and emotionally.
Senior Research Associate
Jim Highberger is the researcher and data analyst in the Center, helping design research studies, exploring the data, conducting analyses, and turning data into actionable plans and easy to read stories. His background is in public administration, sociology, and program evaluation. In his work, he examines how organizational structure, culture, and programs influence individual behaviors and attitudes within those organizations. He believes that creating supportive work environment happens at the structural level and individual level. He previously worked as a researcher at University of Delaware, studying adolescent mental health, physical health, and wellness in the Delaware school system, before joining the Center for WorkLife Wellbeing to focus his research on the wellbeing of our caregivers. When he is not exploring data, he enjoys exploring the outdoors as an avid hiker and camper.
Resident Wellbeing Specialist
Dr. Mark Mason works to foster healthy clinical environments so professionals can practice health care with fulfillment and meaning. He is fascinated by the power of groups to heal and reflect and leads quarterly wellbeing rounds with 300 interns and residents and fellows on such topics as sleep science, imposter syndrome, mindfulness, and self compassion. He previously worked as a staff psychologist and group therapy coordinator in a university college counseling center, and had his own experience with burnout, which led to his work helping others to be their healthiest selves. A devoted gardener, he delights in watching things grow, a passion that extends to his work. His avocation as an ultimate Frisbee player enhances his ability to teach others to connect through teams.
Program Manager, Care for the Caregiver
Christine leads a team of dedicated peer supporters who offer peer support to caregivers across the ChristianaCare system. Her background is quite diverse and involves psychological counseling, academia, and leading patient experience efforts within healthcare. She spent most of her adult life overseas, where she also co-authored two books on well-being and navigating personal change. She is passionate about cultivating a culture of wellbeing amongst caregivers so that they can thrive and provide the best possible care for patients, their families, and the community at large. She finds joy in connecting with others, spending time with loved ones, cooking with her better half, and capturing life’s beauty through the lens of her camera.
Caregiver Wellbeing Specialist
Dr. Watlington focuses on creating programming that helps mitigate the factors of stress, burnout, vicarious trauma, and compassion fatigue for caregivers in the acute and ambulatory healthcare setting. As an early career psychologist, she was the coordinator for the Returning Veterans Outreach, Education and Care program at the VA Maryland Healthcare System, worked for a large Behavioral Health company in a variety of leadership roles, and led a group therapy practice in Wilmington DE. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, listening to music, and spending time with her family.
Operational Team Lead
A longtime advocate of wellbeing, Danielle Kuhn is the initial point of contact for organizations who want to learn more about the center’s mission of promoting wellbeing in the workplace. Danielle provides project management leadership in strategic planning and performance improvement of the Center. She also works with ChristianaCare wellbeing ambassadors, who promote a culture of wellbeing within their teams. Organizing social connections for friends and family and practicing gratitude in her home life enhances her role in implementing WorkLife Wellbeing initiatives that promote the Center’s mission.
Melissa has over a decade of Executive Assistant experience and earned her MBA in Human Resources Management. Her background includes ghostwriting for business communications and organizing business procedures. In her role, she serves as the administrative support system that strengthens the team’s integral work and mission at the Center for WorkLife Wellbeing. Melissa maintains well-being and finds work-life balance by visiting local botanical gardens and playing arcade and video games with her incredible son.
Caitlin Tharp serves as the center’s program coordinator, where she champions the creation, implementation, communications/marketing, and successful function of all Center for WorkLife Wellbeing's programs and wellbeing initiatives that support our caregivers system-wide.
Caitlin's background is in health promotion and health behavior change. Having previously worked in higher education and community health, she is experienced in all areas of program planning and evaluation. Additionally, she loves creating and designing graphics to make data more accessible and fun.
Outside of work, she enjoys reading, spending time outside, hanging out with her dog, and fanatically cheering for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Ambulatory Wellbeing Champion
A family physician, Dr. Theresa Birardi began to dive into the data on caregiver burnout as she approached mid-career and was determined to make a difference in promoting joy and fulfillment in the practice of medicine. She is passionate about preventive care and works with doctors, advanced practice nurses and physician assistants to educate them on wellbeing initiatives that address potential issues, as well as existing concerns. Her role as a caregiver advocate is a dynamic complement to her work as a family physician and strengthens her personal commitment to a healthy diet, fitness and thriving family life.
Perioperative Services Wellbeing Champion
Dr. Julie MacRae is a plastic surgeon who helps surgeons and other perioperative staff to work productively and find fulfilment and enjoyment in their work. She has a deep interest in social and work life issues, including gender equity, implicit bias, culture and environment in the operating room, and the wellbeing of surgical providers/staff in a potentially stressful environment. She says the best part about being a surgeon is helping people feel better and expanding that goal through wellness work has enhanced her joy. She uses mindfulness techniques to reduce stress and anxiety in her own life, as well as the lives of her patients.
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