The Jordan Elizabeth Harris Foundation, a nonprofit serving North Texas, has provided research funding in the amount of $15,000 to the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine’s THRIVE wellness curriculum.
The foundation was created in 2014 after the 2012 suicide of Jordan Harris who was in her senior year at the University of Michigan to provide Tarrant County with evidence-based suicide prevention training and education.
Physician burnout has become an epidemic, with far reaching implications for patients, clinicians, and health systems, the foundation said in a news release, and physicians in training must be educated about burnout, but more importantly must be engaged to consider what information, skills, and advancements are needed to mitigate the effects of burnout and move toward resilience.
Medical students are a population at risk for mental health challenges and suicide, the foundation said. The TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine supports its physicians in training and is proactive in arming them with the proper tools to be mentally healthy students as well as physicians in their chosen fields of medicine.
The TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine developed the THRIVE wellness curriculum, a longitudinal, integrated and collaborative system of instruction, learning and support for the School of Medicine students focusing on their well-being.
Part of the mission of The Jordan Elizabeth Harris Foundation is to support innovative projects that address mental health.
“The mental health research funding component of our mission is so critical in that it provides much needed dollars to advance the methods and ways we treat mental health including depression and suicide,” Executive Director Christina Judge said in the news release.
“We are so pleased to be working with The Jordan Elizabeth Harris Foundation for another year and are grateful for their support of our mission to transform holistic medical education. Students in medical school face significant challenges and literally deal with life and death. This funding helps us to provide the skills and training necessary to be prepared for the rigors of practicing medicine,” said Dr. Danika Franks, assistant dean for Student Affairs.
Founding Dean Dr. Stuart Flynn said the donation will pay dividends for future physicians and their patients.
“I cannot thank The Jordan Elizabeth Harris Foundation enough for their generosity, foresight, and vision to support future physicians,” Flynn said.
The program includes physician development coaches who are physicians hired from the community to guide medical students through the ups and downs of medical school. They reinforce well-being and encourage coping skills and work-life balance.
Another program is preparation for practice – a longitudinal course that covers topics such as health care policy, population health, team-based care and more, to teach and give students practical tools and information to deal with real-world issues.