By Nick SpinelliMarch 21, 2011
TRIPLER ARMY MEDICAL CENTER, Hawaii -- The Tripler Army Medical Center Department of Psychology received a Best Practices Honor from the American Psychological Association at the annual Psychologically Healthy Workplace Awards ceremony March 12 in Washington, D.C.
TAMC's Department of Psychology was recognized for its efforts to promote resilience and well-being among its employees.
"It started off by our nomination," explained Dr. Raymond Folen, TAMC's Department of Psychology chief." One of our staff recommended us for the state award and we were one of the ten selected for the best practices part of it."
TAMC has demonstrated a commitment to its employees through its Provider Resilience Program, which has taken the form of a weekly yoga class and a process called "mindfulness training," which is a style of meditation that allows individuals to let go of concerns and focus on the present. According to Folen, it has clinically proven results in reducing stress and allowing practicioners to be more focused in their actions.
"It's a training that's been adopted in many Army facilities," Folen said. "First, it started off with just a few providers and then expanded out to the department and eventually the entire hospital."
Classes are offered through a hospital-wide employee training system using existing resources and space in the psychology department. Fliers, brochures, email and word-of-mouth ensure a steady turnout that includes psychologists, leadership, administrators, executive assistants and reception staff. However, Folen stressed that these classes are just a part of the department's efforts.
"Everybody on staff contributes to a healthy workplace in ways that are meaningful to them. Some contribute through classes, others through something as simple as injecting humor into daily dialogues. Others contribute in formal ways such as recognizing milestones and achievements. Some need offer nothing more than a kind word or an ear to listen. These are the key elements of a healthy workplace," Folen said.
According to the APA, the Best Practices Honors is a national recognition that highlights those local Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award winners with a single program or policy that contributes to a psychologically healthy work environment and meets the unique needs of the organization and its employees.
"As we head into the economic recovery, employers who understand how a positive organizational culture and a healthy workforce can promote business success will have a distinct competitive advantage," Dr. David Ballard, APA's assistant executive director for marketing and business development, said. "By promoting resilience among its employees, Tripler Army Medical Center Department of Psychology is creating a work environment where both employees and the organization thrive."
Folen said he's incredibly proud of his staff for their accomplishment, and is looking forward to what else they have planned to promote Tripler as a healthy workplace.
"It's a tremendous recognition. We're delighted and I think it really reflects a start. There's more we can do and more we will do to encourage this psychologically healthy workplace. I hope we can expand this even further, in the future," Folen said.