Awards, COVID-19

Spectrum Health nationally recognized for efforts to reduce worker stress and burnout

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Oct. 7, 2021— Spectrum Health is a recipient of the American Medical Association’s 2021 Joy in Medicine™ Health System Recognition Program.

The national distinction recognizes health systems with a demonstrated commitment to preserving the well-being of health care team members by engaging in proven efforts to combat work-related stress and burnout. Spectrum Health is one of 44 health care organizations across the country to be recognized this year.

“It’s truly an honor to receive such important recognition from the AMA, and we are committed to continuing our work to help support all of our frontline team members,” said Dr. Joshua Kooistra, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Spectrum Health. “COVID has tested us all, but it’s the people on our front lines who are, most often, feeling the extreme mental effects of the pandemic, and it’s our responsibility to ensure their well-being is intact.”

Since the pandemic began, the health system has implemented several resources to help support team members including a Well-Being Index that regularly gauges how well clinicians are doing both physically and mentally, as well as offering community building programs, support groups, promoting mindfulness and launching a peer-support pilot program.

A national study examining the experiences of physicians and other health care workers who worked in health care systems during the COVID-19 pandemic found that 38% self-reported experiencing anxiety or depression, while 43% suffered from work overload and 49% had burnout.

Kooistra added that while the health system has been seeing similar burnout and stress trends, feedback from the Well-Being Index continues to shed light on what helps and what doesn’t. For example, an overwhelming majority of respondents said it was their Spectrum Health colleagues that helped improve their sense of well-being the most.

“I am grateful to Dr. Kristin Jacob, Courtney Hilbert, and our team at the Office of Physician & APP Fulfillment who are dedicated to the well-being of our physicians and combating stress and burnout with proactive, innovative efforts that take into account this important feedback,” Kooistra said. “It’s because of these initiatives that continue our momentum to make Spectrum Health a great place to work.”

Candidates for the Joy in Medicine Health System Recognition Program were evaluated according to their documented efforts to reduce work-related burnout through system level drivers. Scoring criteria was based on demonstrated competencies in commitment, assessment, leadership, efficiency of practice environment, teamwork and support.

A full list of winners can be found here.




People are at the heart of everything we do, and the inspiration for our long and continuing legacy of strong community partnerships, philanthropy and transparency. Our award-winning team improves health, inspires hope and saves lives across 13 counties in West Michigan. We bring together 11 hospitals—including Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, with expert care from 350+ pediatric specialists in 70+ specialties and programs—three rehabilitation and nursing centers, 120 outpatient sites and telehealth services. We are proud to work with 4,000 physicians and advanced practice providers, including Spectrum Health Medical Group, one of the largest and most comprehensive multispecialty physician groups in West Michigan.

Sarina Gleason
Media Relations
Phone: 517.256.5618