episode 17 – the art of resilience | Dr. Marc Moss & Katherine Reed
In this episode, we talk to Dr. Marc Moss and Katherine Reed, who run and collaborate in the Colorado Resiliency Arts Lab at the University of Colorado Medical Campus. What does it mean to build resiliency among medical care teams? Why art is the way to do so? How medical teams actually building their resilience through the program? How is the program teaching resiliency? All these questions and more in our new episode.
Marc Moss, MD
Marc Moss is the Roger S. Mitchell Professor of Medicine, Vice-Chair of Clinical Research for the Department of Medicine, and Interim Head of the Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Dr. Moss has a longstanding interest in critical care-related research, and he has held continuous NIH funding as a Principal Investigator for over 19 consecutive years. The NIH funds dr. Moss’ research on wellness, and he recently received funding from the National Endowment of the Arts.
Katherine Reed, LPC, Art Therapist & Manager of Ponzio Creative Arts Therapy Program, Children’s Hospital Colorado
Katherine earned her Masters in Art Therapy at the Art Institute of Chicago, with a focus on art therapy as social action. Her experience nourished her drive to empower individual expression as a means of connecting to ourselves and others. Katherine’s current role allows her to integrate her passions at CHCO: building a comprehensive team of creative arts therapists developing creative opportunities for youth mental health services, creating resilience strategies for medical and psychiatric providers, and using the arts as vehicles for healing, building, and empowering community.
Nir Hindi: [00:00:00] Hey Marc. Hey Katherine. Welcome to the Artian podcast. Maybe we can take one minute to hear about you, Katherine. Can you introduce yourself to our listeners?
[00:00:11] Katherine Reed: [00:00:11] Absolutely. My name’s Katherine Reed and I am an art therapist here in Denver, Colorado. I work at children’s hospital, Colorado managing the creative arts therapy program.
[00:00:23] Nir Hindi: [00:00:23] Great. Marc.
[00:00:24] Marc Moss: [00:00:24] My name is Marc Moss. I am a pulmonary critical care doctor. I work at the University of Colorado hospital and I’m also the head of the division of pulmonary sciences and critical care medicine at the University of Colorado school of medicine here in Aurora, Denver, Colorado.
[00:00:42] Nir Hindi: [00:00:42] First of all.
[00:00:42] Thank you, Marc and Katherine for taking the time and sharing with us all the work that you are doing, the resilience lab, which we will talk in a second. But Marc, I want to take you back to 2018. You actually saw a call from the national endowment for the arts, for a research lab, a proposal involving the arts, health, and emotional wellbeing.
[00:01:04] You apply and you win the grant to start the Colorado Resilience Arts lab, or also known as the CORAL. Now, before we get into the labs activities, I want to start by asking what led you to actually research resilience among medical teams.
[00:01:23] Marc Moss: [00:01:23] So there are a few stories Nir that I can tell that led me to, um, realize that this was a major issue in healthcare.
[00:01:32] The first is we were doing research on patients that survive being critically ill in the intensive care unit and following them up with questionnaires to see how their mental health was after they left the intensive care unit and their physical health. And we had two research coordinators who were former critical care nurses that were doing that research with us.
[00:01:58] And one day, one of the nurses walked into my office and said, you know, Marc, I just want to let you know that the reason I left bedside nursing was all these questionnaires that I’m asking patients in terms of anxiety and symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. I had all those as an ICU nurse, and that’s why I left the profession.
[00:02:21] We talked for a few minutes and I thought it was, you know, pretty, I was concerned about her and we pretty interesting conversation. I wasn’t really sure what to do about it. It sounds like a made up story, but it’s true. The next day our other research coordinator came in independently, didn’t know that the first one had talked to me and had the same conversation.
[00:02:40] And she told me that she had left critical care nursing because she was burned out and had nightmares and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. And that’s why she left that bedside nurse thing. So based on that, we sat down and said, we should study this and see if this is a problem. Or if this is just a two anecdotal experiences.
[00:03:02] And that led to our first paper in the area. The other two stories or, or personal one was I was attending in the intensive care unit around that time. And it’s a story I tell a lot, but I think it’s a pretty telling story. We were seeing many patients, um, and I was trying to make sure that the people that were there overnight got out on time.
[00:03:25] And in the middle of talking about one of the patients with the whole team of students and other doctors and other healthcare professionals, a patient, a few rooms over had a cardiac arrest. So we ran into the room to try to resuscitate that patient. Um, and unfortunately he passed away and in the interest of time and pressure to get the work done, I turned to some of the other doctors and said, why don’t you stay with Mr. Smith? Who just passed away?
[00:03:56] We’re going to go back and talk about Mrs. Jones and pick up where we left off. So we got back to the room. I said, okay, well, let’s pick up where we left off and talk about mrs. Jones has kidney failure. And I looked up and one of the medical students who was doing a sub-internship was crying.
[00:04:16] And I looked up at her and I said, Are you okay? And she said, yes. And as Katherine, hopefully we’ll testament, I’m a pretty nice guy. And, um, but I was so caught up in the moment and um, I said, well, what’s wrong? And she said, it’s sad. And I said, what’s sad? And she said, the patient just died. And I realized I had already moved on.
[00:04:41] I had already put it aside and I’d already come back and said, okay, got to get the work done and keep going. And I realized sort of what’s happened to me that way, that I, in some sense that lost a sense of humanity. Um, and then third story is a short one is that, um, we do our clinical time in one to two week blocks and we usually start on Monday.
[00:05:05] And it was Sunday night. I was sitting around the dinner table with my family and my wife turned to my two children and said, just remember, dad starts in the intensive care unit tomorrow and we have to be extra special, nice at home. And I said, what are you, what are you talking about? Like, why would you say that?
[00:05:22] And she goes, well, you know how you get when you’re on service. And you’re just a little short and you’re testy when you come home and you’re just not the same person. And I realized that. My work was affecting my life outside the hospital. So those three stories, you put them together. That’s really how I got interested in this.
[00:05:42] And then go back to that first paper that we did.
[00:05:46] Nir Hindi: [00:05:46] And that was once again, the paper, this paper. When was it?
[00:05:49] Marc Moss: [00:05:49] So long time ago near it, that paper got published in 2006. So we started working on this 16 years ago. Um, so this is not a new phenomenon. This has been going on forever. People just didn’t want to talk about it.
[00:06:04] And what we showed 16 years ago is that this is an epidemic. This is an epidemic of psychological distress in healthcare professionals.
[00:06:14] Nir Hindi: [00:06:14] So you touched so many points that I have questions for, uh, before that one of the things that you are doing is actually kind of developing resilience and maybe just to put everyone on the same page, how would you define resilience?
[00:06:28] Marc Moss: [00:06:28] that is a really important question and the best way to describe resilience is it is a characteristic of being able to bounce back when faced with adversity or a tragedy and the best way people think about it as a spiderweb, a spiderweb gibbs a little bit, but it comes back and there are some people that inherently can see the good in things.
[00:06:54] And in the face of tragedy can kind of bounce back from that pretty quickly. Um, what’s important about resilience is it can be learned. So there are some people that are better, more resilient than others for a variety of reasons, but it’s. Sort of like an athletic ability. So I set up an appointment. I don’t think Katherine had a clue who I was and I went over and met with Katherine and I pitched this idea to her. And she said, wow, this sounds really interesting. So it was sort of a matchmaking process. Someone connected us. And then Michael. So there are a few stories near that I can tell that led me to, um, realize that this was a major issue in healthcare.
[00:07:40] The first is we were doing research.
[00:07:43] Nir Hindi: [00:07:43] So Katherine, now I want to hear your side. Marc is giving you a call saying, “Katherine, let’s have a coffee. You are meeting for coffee and he tells you listen. I want to start Art Resilience lab for medical care team. What, what is your first response?
[00:07:57] Katherine Reed: [00:07:57] My first response was what took you so long to find me?
[00:08:04] I was thrilled to meet Marc. I have been an art therapist for about 17 years and had been managing the creative arts therapy program at children’s for about 15 years. And art therapy is such a powerful tool for children and families, but also for adults. And I had been working at children’s on request for many, many, many units who were experiencing trauma, for instance, the cancer unit was experiencing many losses and they would call and say, please come and do some art therapy with us, mainly because they needed help to build resilience, but they did not want therapy. Right? They don’t want to sit and talk to a psychologist, but they knew that making art might soothe some of their worries and we would go and we would provide, Oh, and we would provide, Oh, making art.
[00:09:06] And it would feel like magic. But it’s not magic. It’s actually something that can be well-studied. And so what Marc was offering us was a chance to really study these effects that we were watching happen with people in health care professions that seemed like magic.
[00:09:25] Nir Hindi: [00:09:25] So maybe just to make sure that I understand, and our listeners, what is the difference between the art we see in museums to art therapy?
[00:09:34] Katherine Reed: [00:09:34] It’s a great question. So. Art therapy is really about relationship and. Not just the relationship between the therapist and the, and the client, but actually the relationship we hold with ourselves. Art gives us a chance when we sit and create to reflect upon who we are and to go inward and really connect with our subconscious.
[00:09:59] So when we do that in a group, there’s this incredible synchronicity that can happen where you’re connecting with your own vulnerability right next to someone who’s doing the same thing. And suddenly you’re able to talk about things that you usually don’t talk about because you’re already in the state of vulnerability of quiet reflection and it’s, it’s like a fast track to your unconscious.
[00:10:25] And so you’re able to connect in ways that don’t always happen on a verbal basis. If that makes sense.
[00:10:32] Nir Hindi: [00:10:32] I just see how people, you know, often we tend to run from ourself dealing with ourself. I think it’s one of the difficult mission that we can take. So I want to ask you about the benefits general of art therapy and you already mentioned maybe I would say to connect with others in one. Get into our, or tap into our subconscious. What are the art therapy benefits that you will highlight?
[00:10:56] Katherine Reed: [00:10:56] I think it can also be very relaxing.
[00:10:58] I think many adults have decided that they’re not artists, so there’s always a lot of work at the beginning to help people reconnect to the part of themselves that feels the joy and just making a Marc right? Or making. Um, transforming a material into something new, taking a piece of clay and watching it become something else.
[00:11:20] So that’s a very childlike joy that if we can reconnect with, if we remember being in preschool or kindergarten and how joyful it would be to see the Marc that we made or to watch the thing that we’ve created become something new. That’s, that’s a pure joy that’s historical and. Happening for eons even before the museums.
[00:11:43] Nir Hindi: [00:11:43] Yeah. I th I think it was Picasso that said, Oh, everyone is a child the challenge is how to stay a child. Um, so why do you think art or how actually, maybe the question should be, how are would build the resilience.
[00:11:58] Katherine Reed: [00:11:58] Well, I think making art, it bypasses our natural filters when we’re talking. So if you go to therapy and you might feel a lot of, and you might talk about your fears or your sadness, because it’s very hard to talk about.
[00:12:12] It’s a very different experience from sitting down on a canvas with with paint, and suddenly those feelings come, whether you ask them to or not. Yeah. So it, it bypasses our verbal filters and therefore what happens is we’re tapping into. Our internal strength that’s already there and the more we trust it and the more we allow it to come, we are actually building resilience.
[00:12:38] Metaphorically because we’re trusting ourselves. So it can be very scary to sit in front of a white canvas and say, now what do I do? Yeah. So even processing through that fear offers yourself a chance to trust, take risks, and then expose yourself and connect to vulnerability. So I think in all those ways, resilience starts to build automatically.
[00:13:01] Great, because I think resilience is very much trust in yourself as well.
[00:13:04]Nir Hindi: [00:13:04] I would touch it in a second again, because I just read the world economic forum, future of jobs, 2025 and one of the main characteristic that they see that need this resilience, but the job environment doesn’t dedicate the time like you’re doing now with the lab . And I go, I want to go back Marc to you because you used the word epidemic for the psychological distress and burnout syndrome that we experiencing in your world, the medical world, but we definitely can see it in many other industries.
[00:13:39] And I want to ask you two questions, first of all, why you define it as an epidemic?
[00:13:45] Marc Moss: [00:13:45] Um, well, I did that before the COVID pandemic, so it’s not related to that, but it we’ll talk about that in a second. I don’t think people understood the prevalence of these problems. And that’s why I use the word epidemic.
[00:13:59] When you would have asked people, how many, how many nurses are, are, are dealing with these issues in the intensive care unit? Um, you might’ve said a few, but based on our research, if you look at symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder or anxiety or depression or burnout syndrome and you put an or statement in between those close to 80% of current ICU nurses.
[00:14:24] And we’ve studied thousands of them have one of those symptoms. That’s an epidemic. When you start saying that over half of people are very common issue that needs to be addressed that way. And to highlight the COVID 19 pandemic. I think the whole world’s stressed out now and that’s just exacerbated some of these problems.
[00:14:50] Um, and as you said Nir, and I agree with you, I mean, Katherine, I work in a healthcare setting, so that’s what we focus on. But I think these issues that we’re talking about transcend health care and are involved in a lot of other professions and other aspects of our life. I think the whole, as I said, the whole world stressed out right now.
[00:15:11] Nir Hindi: [00:15:11] it’s kind of bring me to another question that I’ll be happy to hear your thoughts, because we hear the, these terms is stress and burn-out and, you know, a depression but there is a kind of a social image around that and how we can tackle the social image that we have in, in, by the way, one of the things, you know, I, that I do in my classes around entrepreneurship is that I have.
[00:15:37] A whole class dedicated to depression, stress and fear among entrepreneurs because normally the media glorify entrepreneurs and everyone thinks that entrepreneurs are superheroes without knowing the psychological prices that they, they need to pay. And what I try to do in my small world is to actually show that it’s a natural feeling to have.
[00:15:59] And I want to ask both of you how we can tackle the social image that it’s part of our life to be burned or to be depressed, but we can do something about it.
[00:16:09] Marc Moss: [00:16:09] Yeah. So let me just, um, back up for a second and let people know what we mean by burnout syndrome, because it’s a term that’s commonly used and many people kind of shrug their shoulders about it.
[00:16:21] Really what it is is. people don’t start a job with it, it’s a work-related problem or issue. And it’s really where your expectation of what you thought the job was and what the job actually is, is different. So you’re like, I thought I was going to go to. nursing school and really focused on taking care of patients.
[00:16:41] But you realize I’m sitting in front of the computer all day, charting things. It’s, that’s not what I thought I was going to do it, et cetera. So it’s this discrepancy between what you thought you’d be doing and what you’re actually doing that way. When you talk about social image, um, I think you’re talking about stigma.
[00:16:59] Exactly. And I think there’s a mental health stigma. And I would define that in again with two quick stories. The first is where my younger son went to high school. There was, uh, an unfortunate student that was walking across the street that got hit by a car. Um, and how to be admitted to the intensive care unit.
[00:17:23] And it was on a life support system and the school in a very good way. really rallied behind this child and their family and had fundraising events and bake sales to raise money and raise awareness. This child was critically ill at the same time there’s another child around the same age. Who was suffering from severe mental illness and couldn’t leave the basement of their house.
[00:17:50] They were so anxious and stressed out and when their parents went era, his parents went and talked to the school. They didn’t want to talk about it. They didn’t want to deal with the mental health issue. And it made me realize that. You can tell someone you have cancer and someone’s like, wow, you’re brave.
[00:18:09] You’re fighting the cancer. That’s awesome. And you tell someone, you have anxiety or depression were like a
[00:18:17] Nir Hindi: [00:18:17] weak,
[00:18:18] Marc Moss: [00:18:18] right? You’re weak. You’re not strong, or get over yourself, just come on, you get over yourself, you know, you can to disease. So I think there’s, there’s that stigma. And I think the other thing is that we view these issues.
[00:18:33] As being mental health issues and they sort of are, but they’re also occupational health issues. No, this is part of our job. I mean, watching people die and talking to families about end of life issues, it’s stressful. Um, I’m not sure how you’re supposed to handle that on a day by day basis. So if you start thinking about it as an occupational issue, if someone worked in a coal mine, and they got lung disease from working in the coal mine, you wouldn’t say, Oh, there’s something wrong with you.
[00:19:04] You’d say, wow, that that’s due to your job. I think we have to think about this as an occupational problem, not a mental health issue, and that will help take away the stigma.
[00:19:14] Nir Hindi: [00:19:14] Yeah. I think it’s a great point to understand it’s an occupational issue. I think kind of set it in a different light and allow maybe companies to treat it because you see more and more companies going into the wellness of their employees.
[00:19:30] Marc Moss: [00:19:30] These symptoms. Of being burned out and maybe having post-traumatic stress disorder in general, it happens in your best employees. We’ve studied this. And if you look at nurses, it’s much more common to have these symptoms in nurses that went into nursing for the reason they wanted to help people, as opposed to it’s a good job, the money you can work shifts.
[00:19:58] It’s the, it’s your best employees. It’s the people you want to be taken care of you. it’s a sign of strength.
[00:20:05] Nir Hindi: [00:20:05] Yeah. before we continue, let’s take a short break.
[00:20:13] So we are back with Katherine and Marc. What I want to do now is actually chat with you about CORAL, the Colorado Art resiliences lab. Katherine how this program actually works. Can you share with us, what is your role as the therapist in this program. How long is this program? How many participants we have?
[00:20:35] What, what actually they doing?
[00:20:37] Katherine Reed: [00:20:37] So, yes, absolutely. We are now finishing up our first cohort, which means our first group of healthcare professionals. Are finishing up 12 weeks of resilience workshops. And so those are weekly workshops in four different areas. It may be an art, in music, in dance movement, or in writing.
[00:21:00] So once a nurse or a healthcare professional signs up for our study they are assigned to one of those groups by preference. So they are able to choose and most get their first choice, sometimes their second choice. And they come for 12 weeks. And I, as an art therapist facilitate the art group and we move through three phases.
[00:21:24] So the 12 weeks are composed of the first phase, which is really about building, an environment of safety and a place where people can bring their true selves, their are authentic selves, where they can talk about the hard parts of their job and use the art to help them get there. The second phase is really about exploring those challenges that Marc has.
[00:21:47] So well-described exploring how maybe they’re not living up to this image that society has of them as a hero, they’re a nurse. So they are saving lives every day. But what it feels like is maybe they’re stuck emotionally on the life that they didn’t save and maybe they think it’s their fault and they’re, and it’s coming up over and over again in their drawings and they realize maybe I need to talk about this.
[00:22:13] In the third phase, we’ve worked through all of those very challenging experiences. And then we decide, what are we going to make together? All of us and how do we want to then collaborate on our experience and our shared challenges so that we can then help other people who are not in this workshop, understand how it helps.
[00:22:38] So it’s 12 weeks and, um, after every workshop on a weekly basis, they also fill out a survey. And so then that data is being tabulated and it will turn into evidence.
[00:22:50] Nir Hindi: [00:22:50] So yeah, that’s, that will be the research part that later you will publish. I want to ask you, you mentioned four disciplines. What is the logic to have those disciplines, how each, each disciplines kind of contributes?
[00:23:04] Katherine Reed: [00:23:04] Well, you know, each one is very different. So when you’re in the dance group, you’re actually using your body as your tool of expression. So talk about vulnerability, right? You can’t really hide because it’s your whole body that’s moving.
[00:23:18] Um, each modality offers a different way in. That’s the way I see it a different way into your subconscious, a different way into yourself, and then a different way to communicate socially in the music group, people are using their voice, they’re singing, they’re using instruments. And then they’re using words to write songs in the writing group.
[00:23:40] Obviously, there are many, many words being written, so there’s a quiet time where they’re reflecting together and then they share their words with each other. So each one taps into a different, um, Part of the brain actually, but they’re all. Helping us experience our creative self. So if you look at the world as being either a creator or a victim, which I think is a really interesting perspective, and we felt maybe the victim of our circumstances at work, this offers people the chance to create something out of that feeling and shift the way we’re processing it into having some control.
[00:24:19] So each modality, it gives us a bit of control that then process and move through those feelings.
[00:24:25] Nir Hindi: [00:24:25] I have a question can you elaborate a bit more about this creator and victim? I mean, is it something like, from their perspective, their personal perspective,
[00:24:35] Katherine Reed: [00:24:35] you know, that’s actually my personal philosophy.
[00:24:37] I think it’s definitely common in the creative arts therapy fields. That even if you don’t see yourself as a victim, you might feel like things are happening to you. And you don’t have, um, the ability to affect change in your life. So many of these nurses feel stuck because they’re working 12-hour shifts.
[00:24:58] Sleeping in between and not having a lot of time to reflect or to process the trauma they’re experiencing. So the trauma builds and it builds and it builds and it’s getting kind of stuffed inside the body. And so that’s how PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder. That’s how it happens. Right. It happens in our soldiers, but it happens also in our nurses and our doctors.
[00:25:20] And I think it’s been an invisible epidemic like Marc was saying. Um, so by creating something, it’s giving you a different way to experience that trauma and a different way to look at it, almost looking in the mirror and saying, you don’t have control over me. I’m going to actually use you to make meaning out of my experience.
[00:25:44] And so then the art provides that vehicle to make meaning.
[00:25:48] Nir Hindi: [00:25:48] So I have two questions for you, Katherine. One of the things that I’ve noticed I try to bring out is a way of thinking into the world of entrepreneurship and technology because many of the things that I believe art can contribute one of their image or their existence that I often get:
[00:26:06] “I don’t know how to draw out is not for me. I’m not creative”. Well, how do you tackle this? I see you smiling. Our listeners cannot see, but maybe they can hear your smile.
[00:26:18] Katherine Reed: [00:26:18] It’s true. That’s the big, that’s the first job I have with every adult, because every one of us had someone in school or maybe in our family, but mostly in school who told us that’s not good enough.
[00:26:32] You didn’t do it right. You painted your sky purple instead of blue. You did it wrong. And I used to be an art teacher, and I know what kind of scar that leaves on a child who’s creating from their soul. And so, so much of art therapy is about really repairing that wound that happened to the child to remind each individual, actually, you never did it wrong, right?
[00:26:56] You never did it wrong. You just were told that and you are enough and you know what? The sky can be purple. And actually that your purple sky is what makes you original. What makes you special. So I think it’s just reconnecting with that wound and we all had it, except for those who were told, Oh, you did it exactly.
[00:27:14] Right. And those kids are often the kids who become the artists because they were doing it right.
[00:27:18] Nir Hindi: [00:27:18] So what would you recommend for the adults that listening to this podcast and want to go back to the kid and actually connect with their creator? What they should do? Oh,
[00:27:29] Katherine Reed: [00:27:29] there’s so many ways to do it, but one way is just to buy yourself a blank journal and just start scribbling, start writing, start doing anything that you feel the urge to do.
[00:27:42] If it’s calling you try it. It’s a canvas is calling you. Try it. If the guitar is calling, you find someone who knows how to do it and teach your fingers. How. Because once our hands know how to do it, the whole body follows. Right. And if you’re dancing and you want to take a dance class, but you’re scared that you’re not good enough.
[00:28:03] Try it. See what happens. You might be surprised.
[00:28:07] Nir Hindi: [00:28:07] So it leads me to the next question. And you mentioned nurses and often art is being associated with emotions. Emotions are often associated with the female gender and you see males. And I see it as well in my lectures. Art, it is not for men. I mean, how do you deal with that?
[00:28:26]if you have male it to you, join those workshops, how do you allow them to actually understand it’s part of who we are as humans? It’s not a gender-dependent, humans are creators..
[00:28:40] Katherine Reed: [00:28:40] Well, I think it all goes back to vulnerability and if our men are allowed to be vulnerable, They will be artists. I mean, look, how many male artists there have been over the years actually.
[00:28:52] And I think the ability to tap into your creator self can be almost more accessible for a man. Um, if he’s given permission or if he gives himself permission to be vulnerable because the vulnerability it’s, it’s just the other side of the coin, right? On one side, you have fear, but you turn it over and there’s vulnerability.
[00:29:14] And that’s the juicy stuff, right? When you get there, then you can make anything. If you’re being real and you’re being authentic.
[00:29:21] Nir Hindi: [00:29:21] And I think any
[00:29:22] Katherine Reed: [00:29:22] can do that.
[00:29:23] Nir Hindi: [00:29:23] It’s very interesting because during the pandemic, you know, Airbnb needed to lay off like 3000 employees and, and their CEO just published like very open, very vulnerable, a letter speaking to his employees and.
[00:29:38] his investors sharing all these concerns that he had. And I asked myself if he was so open just from the fact that he’s art graduate and he is trained as someone that put himself out there with this art . I dunno. He’s just a thought that came to my mind because Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, both of them have bachelor in fine arts, even though, Airbnb, there’s a tech company.
[00:30:02] Monk. I have a question for you now, we are about you are about, I’m already making myself part of that.
[00:30:10] Marc Moss: [00:30:10] You’re an honorary member.
[00:30:14] Nir Hindi: [00:30:14] Now that you’re about to finish the first cohort of the program. What is the responses that you get? What, what do you see? I mean, what are your thoughts?
[00:30:26] Marc Moss: [00:30:26] I’m actually going to let Katherine answer that.
[00:30:28] I think she’s a little bit more on the ground level working with the students. So let me let her answer and then maybe I’ll add something to the end if that’s okay.
[00:30:39] Nir Hindi: [00:30:39] Okay. Katherine.
[00:30:41] Katherine Reed: [00:30:41] Well, it’s pretty exciting. Actually, we’re on week 11 of our 12 weeks and my group is creating it’s collaborative book where each nurse I have, I have nurses in my group, all nurses, um, are creating their own page and they have decided together that the theme of the book is vulnerability.
[00:31:03] And so each of them is contributing their image of what vulnerability means to them, with writing and what I’m seeing and what I think is so fascinating is the imagery is encapsulating not only their identity as a nurse, but their entire scope of what they’re experiencing in the world. there’s a piece that.
[00:31:28] One nurse created with the words “I can’t breathe”. And if you followed the American story for the last year, you know, that that phrase has become very important to our consciousness and our awareness of social civil rights of black lives matter and that has been such a part of her reality that it made its way into her artwork and became, uh, a phrase that expressed for her, what it feels like to live through this time.
[00:31:58] And so I think it’s really fascinating to watch the meta meaning, as well as the the real individual meaning for each nurse, come through their art. So it’s been exciting to watch also the trust that they built with each other and that sense of community, which was a real focus for us as we went into this is because so much of burnout is born in isolation because nurses and docs were not encouraged to talk about vulnerability and how it feels and what we’re struggling with.
[00:32:30] We’re encouraged to.
[00:32:31] Nir Hindi: [00:32:31] Yeah, I think it’s a society issue. It’s not an occupation all over here. It’s something that you see across disciplines. Marc, I wonder. What is the vision for you with the lab three years from now where it will be?
[00:32:46] Marc Moss: [00:32:46] Yeah, I, I think that to add to what Katherine said the reason the national endowment of the arts put together this research labs, which we competed for in got was they realized that to change culture.
[00:33:01]and integrate these types of programs, more universally, they needed evidence. Um, so it’s awesome to hear Katherine talk about her anecdotal experiences. It makes us all feel that we’re doing something great, but it’s hard to go to talk to Congress or the legislature and say, “we need more money” based on anecdotal experience.
[00:33:28] So what I, what we hope and it’s what makes us such a great project it’s is emerging of the science and the art field together, and what we’re going to produce out of this as evidence that this hopefully works and I’m confident it will. And then that will allow the national endowment for the arts to. Get more funding and convince people.
[00:33:52] They should do things like this. It’s a real easy case Nir, when you think about the consequences of what we’re seeing in the healthcare professional professions, there are three major issues. Number one, we’re people too. And our mental health is important. And 400 doctors each year in the United States kill themselves.
[00:34:16] That’s not okay. So that’s number one is that we need to take care of the mental health and the healthcare providers. The second that really pushed the issue is people started to realize that if your healthcare provider, your nurse, your doctor, your respiratory therapist is burned out you don’t get as good care.
[00:34:37] And then people started to realize that this is something that we have to address because me as a patient, I want to get the best care I can. And if my, my doctor’s burned out, I’m not getting that. So we need to address that. And then the third part for the administrator in the, in the audience turnover due to burnout is costly.
[00:35:00] It costs hospitals, millions of dollars in turnover. So if you can implement programs like this, get people to enjoy their job, better address the vulnerability issues and feel part of a community more. They’re not going to leave their job. You’re going to save money. So it’s an easy case, but we need to create the evidence.
[00:35:23] To prove the case so that the national Dom, the arts can then, um, show that this really works and get people to do this. I think
[00:35:33] Nir Hindi: [00:35:33] you already took my last question. If, if, if a business manager listened to you why he or she should start actually their own resilience lab and you already addressed it.
[00:35:45]Marc, Katherine, I want to say big thanks for taking the time and chatting with us and the listeners. Any last thoughts, comments, something you want our listeners to know before we finish.
[00:35:59] Marc Moss: [00:35:59] Okay, I’ll go first. I mean, I think the important thing that you raised near as the stigma and what I really hope is that through what the work we’re doing and in light of the pandemic that we as healthcare professionals can expose the importance of mental health treatments and issues.
[00:36:23] As we said earlier, this says, this is no different than cancer or other medical problems. We have to de-stigmatize this. And I would hope that through the work we’re doing and others as healthcare professionals, we can D de-stigmatize it in our world. And then de-stigmatize it across the entire world.
[00:36:46] Nir Hindi: [00:36:46] Katherine.
[00:36:47] Katherine Reed: [00:36:47] Thank you, Marc. I would also just add that, you know, if you look throughout history at, at when culture changes and pivots and really shifts its consciousness, the artists are the drivers. And if we can empower the artists in each of us, we become agents of change. So when you become the change agents,
[00:37:06] Nir Hindi: [00:37:06] Yes this optimistic message being the change agent, I think I want to say again, thanks for the great work that you are doing.
[00:37:15] Very, very important. And thanks for taking the time to chat with us.
[00:37:19] Marc Moss: [00:37:19] Thank
[00:37:20] Katherine Reed: [00:37:20] you. Thank you. It’s been wonderful.