Heroes of Healthcare
Heroes of Healthcare

Episode · 11 months ago

Mental Health: Caring for the Medical Community

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Mental health issues — burnout, depression, anxiety, and suicide — are multiplying in the medical community. And the stresses of COVID have only exacerbated what was already a worrisome trend.

In this episode, Dr. Kellie Stecher, Co-Founder & President of Patient Care Heroes, shares what she has been doing to bring much-needed mental health resources and care to the heroes who care for us.

What we talked about:

  • The effects of the pandemic on her OB/GYN practice
  • Supporting the mental health of the medical community
  • Advocating for gender equity issues and a safe reporting structure for harassment and bullying

Heroes of Healthcare is hosted by Ted Weyn.

To hear this interview and more like it, subscribe to Heroes of Healthcare on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

You're listening to heroes of healthcare, the podcast that highlights bold, selfless professionals in the healthcare industry focused on transforming lives in their communities. Let's get into the show. Welcome to the heroes of healthcare podcast. I'm your host, Ted Wayne. I'm joined today by Dr Kelly Stecker. Kelly Stecker is an Obgyn at M healthfare view women center in a Deena, Minnesota. She's CO founder and president of Patient Care Heroes, obviously a topic that's near and dear to our hearts here at this show, and chief of reproductive medicine and healthcare equity for aims. Her focus is on advocacy and policy change centering around physicians the medical community, improving the culture of medicine and making patient care safer. We're excited to talk with Dr Stecker today as she just launched an organization, Patient Care Heroes, reflecting a community of leaders and innovators who are willing to go an extra mile and put service ahead of their personal needs. This organization was created with love and compassion as a way to provide assistance to families and loved ones of Physicians, nurses, medical assistants, dentists, ems and others who have died from covid nineteen or by other means in the line of duty. The country has suffered a collective trauma and there is a need to grieve together. This organization will create a hub where that can occur. The main focus at this time is to create a platform where the medical community can obtain access to bury your free mental health resources, create awareness around position suicide and advocate for legislative changes to protect the community. It's our pleasure to have a fellow individual who wants to celebrate the heroes of healthcare join our show today. Welcome, Dr Stecker. Thanks so much for having me. So we got lots to talk about today. I know we chatted before, so it's going to be a fun episode to get into and learn a little bit more about you and this crazy pandemic world that we've been into the last year or yeah, lead little now, a little over a year, and then talk about your passion project. So, if you don't mind, let's just kick things off with the audience and let us get to know you a little bit better and tell us a little bit about your background, where you hail from, and a little bit about Dr Stecker today. So I grew up in Wisconsin, so I was a badger and a packer fan. That was kind of like a big, you know, cultural thing, because when I moved to Minnesota, my husband is a definitely a vikings fan, so that was a little bit of a issue. And there I have I have a sister and brother, which our great grew up with them. My sister also moved to the twin cities, which is where I currently live, so I'm very fortunate to have her in my life. I went to medical collegere Wisconsin, which was an awesome program I can't say enough good things about them. And then Michigan State grant our parts medicultucation partners for my obgion residency. We moved back to the twin cities because we wanted to have more of a support team for my kids right and so we have a eight and six year old and you know, this year has been an outlier, but normally we are blessed with being able to see family on a regular basis, which includes my sister and her husband and my inlaws. So normally, in a normal, non pandemic world, it's really it's really great to see people from there. I started in private practice for a number of years, recently went into the academic world and now work at m health fair view, mostly based in a Dina, Minnesota, and so I deliver babies out of Southdale. And so this year has presented new challenges for all of us and all along I've definitely been involved in different advocacy projects and talking to women and especially about their struggles as an Obigian, and they're concerns with workplace violence and domestic violence and all that. So I've been involved in those projects forever. However, with covid really blossom the need for more organization around mental health resources and so, seeing a void...

...in the medical community, that's where I started working on my passion project, which is patient care heroes. So that's that's kind of how things have been gone this year. So you're up in the twin cities and how long have you been there now? So we have been here for about eight years now. Okay, and when you were in med school, did you always know you wanted to go into Obgyn or was that a path that came to later? That's a great question. Actually, I was pretty convinced I was going to be a pediatricrdiologist which is very specific, I realize, but I did some research with the Healthier Partnership Wisconsin and worked on getting ads into schools, and so I really felt passionate about preventative care preditive healthcare. However, when I was doing my pediatric cardiology internships, I realize that I love ultrasound and I love doing fetal echoes, and so I realized that my favorite parts of pediatric cardiology were actually related to obstetrics and not pediatric cardiology, and so that kind of lend itself to trying everything out and when I did my first delivery, that was it. I knew that I wanted to be a obgui on. Okay, it's not always, but my white volunteers in a Nique at the hospital near us here and she loves it too. And I've got a good friend WHO's an Obgi in and he said he wanted to practice happy medicine. You know, you always think for the most part it's always happy, and it's not always happy, but for the most part it's kind of a joyous moment in people's lives. So yeah, I mean we definitely have more than our fair share of good and so I have a couple friends who are doing pediatric oncology and I think they are the most amazing people. I just don't think I could. I could do it. I think I would have been burned out by now. And somehow they go to work and are positive and happy and excited and they do things that are so hard and I can't even imagine. And so I do feel fortunate that my specialty Lens at solve to more happy moments. Yeah, well, we all need to have our different strengths and gifts and everything, and that's what makes it that's what makes the world go around. So it's been an interesting year for a lot of people and I don't think anybody, as I say, had a pandemic plan in their lives and so we did. So how's it been for you with your practice? What have you seen? What has been interesting? I'd love to hear your opinion about vaccine with pregnant women and some of that and what you're hearing. I'm hearing that it's okay, yes, go forward, but I would love for you to share with the audience and stuff what the expert says, not what I hear. Well, actually, thank you for bringing this up because I still hear all the time from my patients, well, my sister's physician, so that she shouldn't get the vaccine, and it makes me a little crazy hearing the mixed messages from different physicians, because really you should be having these conversations with your physician who knows your medical history. However, I am all for vaccinations. It is true that the Mrna vaccine has been around a shorter period of time, but if you even go on the CDC website you can look at the technology and the technology has been around for ten years and so, yes, covid is a novel virus and yes, we haven't had these things around as long. However, it's a great technology, it's a safe technology. It does not cause infertility, which is one of the things that I've heard through the grape vine. So on facebook there was like a meme or something about covid vaccines causing infertility, and then the next day we had a rash of people calling into the office saying, oh my Gosh, I got the vaccine, I'm going to be infertile, and so I think that a lot of that misinformation has been really hard to combat. But I am all for it. I'm a big advocate for it and if people want to do their own research on it, I think that's great too. But if you go to the American College of Obgian, if you go to the society from maternal fetal medicine and you look at their information on the covid vaccine and you can read their statements, O Beguian should be pro vaccination because the risk of having severe covid and pregnancy oh ways the risk to getting the vaccine, and that's really the bottom line is. We want to...

...make sure that people are having healthy pregnancies. We want to make sure that we're decreasing their risk of preterm labor and delivery, which severe covid can do, and we don't want that and it's really the right thing to do is to advocate studies, obviously, on this. What's also encouraging is we are seeing data that annabodies are going to be crossing the placenta to help protect the baby right and so we know that it's going to be a while before people can get these newborns vaccinated. It's really encouraging seeing that things that we hypothesize were probably going to be the case are true. So I'm very happy about that right? Great, yes, so appreciate that. And you know, of course, everybody's different. So I appreciate your saying you check with your check with your own personal physician, but you know, the normal disclaimer statement. But that's great. No, but it's actually true. You need to. Well, you know, everyone's got different allergies. I mean everyone's got a thing. So Yep, for sure. So talk about the last year. How did impact your practice? How to impact what you were doing, what you were working on? How did things change as we entered into the last March when everything started to become real? So I think that covid has really been a stress test for the medical community, you know, just like you think about stress tests on the heart. It's really, really taxed us to our full potential and I know that some communities were hit harder than others. And we of course adapted right. We had a pivot, just like everybody else, and initially we did a lot of our visits. We tell a health and we had not ever done that before. So that was definitely something we needed to adapt to. I had a hard time with that because I take care of, you know, pregnant patients and I take care post part on patients and my worry was also missing, like mental health issues, right. So a lot of the ways we diagnose people with anxiety, depression, things like that, we have to be there in person or to see their faces or to communicate with them, see their body language. That really gives us a lot of information about how someone's doing, and so that did feel kind of disconnected from those data points. However, we pivoted, we worked it. Things seem to be going well and now that we're on the other side of it we can take a deep breath with that. However, my concern is, did we learn anything from these issues? Right, and so I want to make sure that we're cataloging how we handled this for future endeavors, because I don't think anyone needs to go through some of these stressors again. I know the medical community certainly doesn't need to. And when I look at how we've kind of weathered the storm, physicians and nurses and texts and all of the healthcare community has where the brunt of some of these issues in terms of almost like this moral injury and stress, right, because people thought like they were not protected to the extent that they should have been. Across the country. People were stressed about speaking out when they didn't have enough PPE. Some people were even fired, and so there's really kind of this inner turmoil people had about how this was handled. And aside from that, people become disenchanted with being in medicine right and we have different areas of the country where people were told not to wear scrubs outside of their homes because they were verbally and in some cases physically assaulted by people saying that covid was a hoax, and so it really did a huge number on the moral and the mental health of the medical community. HMM. Yeah, no, for sure, and I know that's going to that's a good segue, but I want to wait one minute because it leads us into your fashion project. You're getting right to the chaise here today. I love that. Are you seeing, though, less hesitancy? I mean, obviously we've all become more educated about this, right, we talked about that a little earlier before, and you know, and we won't speculate what this will be two years from now, and we don't know, so let's not go there. But are you finding an openness stick for patients to now start coming back in there more comfortable with it. They're saying, I want to be seen, absolutely and I think that that's so critical because we don't want to miss preventive care, right,...

...we don't want to miss cancer screenings, we don't want to prevent people from getting therapies that are going to help their quality of life, and so I really has come back over the last couple months here. Great. Well, that's good. And any downside of you seeing people who should it waited too long out of fear and you know now you having to kind of rally to get some them some help quickly because they were just afraid to come in. That's a actually a great question. So when the pandemic started, we started seeing an increase in people wanting to have home works, and so we had people that weren't seeking obstetric care in the normal fashion and they weren't wanting to deliver in a hospital out of fear. Right, and unfortunately you have people spreading misinformation, you have people who are fear mongering and, truth be told, being delivered in a hospital where we're decreasing your risk of morbidity mortality and the babies risk of morbidity mortality is still a really important thing and the hospitals have really done a great job safeguarding the upstetrics units, and so that has been a challenge, making sure that people understand we are here, we are safe, we are practicing appropriate guidelines. My group was really fortunate that we did not actually have any of our ophetritions get covid nineteen because we were so diligent in how we use PPE and we were collectively really looking out for each other, and so a lot of the obgyans spent their time trying to make sure that their patients were safe, and so that's been a huge issue. However, thankfully we're not seeing that as much now that we've transitioned. Yeah, well, and, like we said earlier, education, you know, we're all we're all a little smarter than we were a year ago now in for a period of time, and I know because my niece had a child in last May and her anxiety all came around from the fact that they were saying her husband wasn't going to be able to be with her during the delivery. Did you guys go through a period of doing that or know that was always the spouse could be there or the city, you know, the significant other could be there with them. Thankfully we always had the significant other present. I think that that would have been a huge added stress for people who are already stressed, as you, you know, obviously heard. I know that New York, New York City, went through a very short time period where they had that policy and that quickly got reverse. I think the governor reverse that, but we in Minnesota we did not have any of those issues. Thankful. Well, she's in New York, so that makes sense. That's why she asked that. New York was the yeah, that was the part. Yes, okay, good. So obviously let's jump into your passion project. So, besides being a mom of two and and a practicing doctor, you've decided to take on a cause that's you're very passionate about, and that cause is called patient care heroes. And for the listeners, if they want, they can start to learn more and we'll put this on our website and all, but it's patient care Heroescom and that's why we love having Dr Stecker here, because we are the heroes of healthcare and she's got patient care heroes. We had to have our fellow healthcare hero representative on the call. But why did you tell us a little bit more about how this has come about. What what gave you this idea to go ahead and do this and what community are you trying to serve? So, when I was talking to people from around the country, I really saw that we had this void and mental health resources for the medical community, and it all really stems from, you know, from not feeling appreciated in the community, from having this extra stress, this moral injury that we talked about, the rates of depression, anxiety, where people were feeling isolated, and so I realize we needed to do something to help this medical community and really to reach out for everybody who takes care of patients. Right. So this is not focused solely on physicians or nurses. It's anyone who's taking care of patients, and with this we want to make sure that people have access to barrier free, free mental health...

...resources, and the reason why that's important to me is when you look at different licensing applications, especially the physician licensing agreements. We have to apply for licenses every year, and some of them really do appear to be in conflict with the ADA, which is the American Disability Act, and they do talk about have you ever had a mental illness? Have you ever sought therapy or care for mental illness? And the hard thing is each state is governed differently with this by each different medical board, and I wanted to make sure that people were not limiting their access because of fear for retaliation against their license, and so that's why I wanted to make sure that we were anonymous. We could help them, we could provide them resources. Aside from that, I just have have seen this developing mental health crisis in the medical community for years, looking at equity issues and burn out and all of that kind of ones itself to depression anxiety, and looking at women who leave medicine. One in eight women will leave medicine orgo part time before their six years out of residency, and so all of that kind of funneled together for covid and then it was kind of like the match on the gas right. I mean it really kind of propelled everything and made everything worse, and so we need to make sure that we're taking care of the people who take care of us. And with that, we also wanted to create a platform where we can have advocacy for these things right, and so we're going to be working with different organizations nationally to make sure that legislation is addended to help protect the medical community as well. I mean that's amazing. Should sounds like and I want to I want to pull this apart a little bit because I think this is so important. So you recognize the need in the market. You never recognize the need for some advocacy. You recognize the need for a place to go we can feel safe to get help if you need help. So Patient Care Heroes, is it an advocacy group? Is it a support mechanism platform? Break it apart from me, because it sounds like you're trying to do a little bit of both, and part of it sounds like, well, we want to lobby, which which is awesome, right, because that's what you're trying to say, which is hey, these questions, these questions are are I don't know, the word is illegal, but these questions aren't right because they allow the boards to form a bias which may not be accurate or may not be something which should be held against them as we're pursuing help and so on. So I hear that advocacy part and getting some legislation changed and or rules change, but then I also know there's a heart for let's create a platform where people can seek and find help where they may not have felt comfortable or not no where to turn in the past. So we are going to do a little bit of all of that right and so we are going to have a branch where we're going to have a political action committee. We're going to call it the voices of Patient Care Heroes, and we have been in contact with a another amazing group out of Kaiser. So there is a gal named Dr Jennifer Weiss, who started speak up, or Tho, who you know, really has a passion for Gender Equity Issues and to help safeguard women, just as as I have tried to work on for the last several years. And so we are going to have a branch of patient care heroes that can really be an advocate for change that's going to help them medical community watch into the next couple years, because if we don't fix some of these issues, we're going to have problems. And so making sure that there's like a national application process for physicians, making sure that there's a safe reporting structure for harassment and bullying. That's kind of on one side of it. The platform itself a patient care heroes is one, making sure that we're providing mental health resources for people, humanizing the people who have worked so hard for our communities. So we want to tell their stories, we want to celebrate them, we want to make sure that they are valued. Right, and this goes beyond covid. This is a foreverthing, in my opinion, because people have sacrificed their...

...lives and healthcare as long as since the beginning of time. Really. In the twin cities we had one of the nurses at a Lina that unfortunately was killed by a gunment right, and so that was not covid related. However, we want to make sure that she is supported and her stories are told and we're celebrating her life. And then, with that, we want to make sure that we're wrapping our arms around the community and giving them resources, if they need that, for mental health or financial or grants for kids who might need something. And so we want to make sure that we're providing for this community as well in that way. Yeah, and I think you hand right. You told me so that you know, obviously, but the all permissions and things that are giving necessary those stories you're going to try to post on the website and let people come and hear about these stories and we're celebrate those people who have done heroes duty, as we like to call it, right or they've been, I say, Superhero superheroes without superpowers, you know. So they're just getting it done day in and day out. That will be part of the platform as well current and we're putting that on our like instagram and different other social media now and you can go on there and you can actually submit stories now that we can post and it's just someone who has gone above and beyond right, if you want to tell we had a mom some mid a story for her daughter recently and that was pretty amazing, and so we want to make sure that people have a voice at all their stories. Great. So let's talk a little bit more about the advocacy. So and help me understand and forgive my naive today, but is this legislative changes, in other words, are you guys pursuing legal changes, changes to the law, or is it mostly policy change, like, are you going to a state and saying hey, you know, to the State Board and saying hey, we think you have to change the following things? And here's why we'd like you to change. The following thing. Here's why. How much of it becomes legislative and how much of it is policy? That's a great question. So I have tried to make policy changes on a local level for quite a long time with some of these issues and with gender equity issues and safeguarding people who've been discriminated against or bull leader things. I had gone to the AMC, which is the medical college govern dance right, and said can we do these things, and they said, well, we don't have the power to mandate this locally, and so that's what inspired me to say, Yep, you know what, I'm going to start networking with different politicians and congress members and we're going to take it to Congress. And so there's a bill that Tim Kaine introduced this summer and it's called the breen bill and it's named after Dr Laura Breen, who is one of the physicians that committed suicide in New York, and her family started a foundation and so they have helped, you know, become a motor for some of this change and her brother's a phenomenal individuals saw him talk yesterday. We'll be meeting later this week and so we're going to team up with them, as well as other organizations nationally, the American Medical Women's Association, while Being Trust Yellow Ribbon suicide prevention all these organizations. We have a goal in mind and that's basically to prevent burnout, depression, anxiety and suicide ultimately, of our medical community. And so the goal is to make sure that this legislation is one past too. If we can make critical addendums to this that are going to have more tangible, realistic effects, I think that's really important as well, and so there are things that we would like to add to the bill to make sure that it has as much impact as possible. So we're trying to use our platform to create changes that are going to impact everybody. Wow, sure, and I'm sure it's not necessarily and easier our faster path, because getting legislation put through is no small task and yeah, and takes tons of time and effort and energy. But is the idea. If we can get the legislation push through, then the policies have to change. Yeah, because we want to mandate different things to the state's right. So if we have been trying to advocate...

...for physician application or licensing applications to change. For however long we've had NAMI and the APA writing letters to the state boards and that has never changed, then we need to go beyond that. We need to take it to a higher level so that we can mandate these changes, because if we can't get help, you know, the easy, simple, the simpler way, then I'm happy with working with people in Congress to try to make real changes that are going to possibly impact everybody right because if you can't get it done on a federal level, then you're now, now you're down to the state by state basis, which is a Herculean lift because you got to do it fifty times exactly. Yep. Well, so it sounds like you guys. And when did you start this? So I know, like I said, it's a passion project, but when did when did this start for you guys, because it sounds like you've made a lot of progress in a short period of time. I think. I know. When you and I spoke a few months back, you were like, well, the websites mat up yet and and all that sort of stuff, and overnight it felt like it was up and you were ready to go. So I know you don't waste any time, but so how long have you started and how's the progress? Obviously the progress has been good. Yeah, I mean technically I think it was middle of January, so January thirteen of the sea ear as, when we came together. Of course I had been active and advocacy work before that and so I had a lot of the connections put together, which was fortunate, and I took an active role in many other things associated with Covin. So I had colleagues that were willing to hell but patient care heroes. Was January of this year. Okay. So that's amazing because the amount of progress, as people will see, that you've made and even just hearing you talk about it, you're on the fat the fast track with it. Does the fact that you've got the website and the name and things like that, do you find that that's helping legitimize it when you're talking to people, versus it being Dr Stecker's idea? Yeah, I mean that is helpful, absolutely, and I have been fortunate to meet people from different organizations that I become involved with and have got leadership roles with, and so that has, I think, legitimized me a little bit as well. And so having a new leadership role with Amoa and be on a board for Mental Health Advocacy. That's all really helped me kind of get into this space so that when people talk to me they don't think I'm just like a random person coming at them for four things that I need. Well, it's amazing, right, just to have the website does do that. Because, yeah, because, I mean, we all have things that were passionate about, but but to create a movement is a whole different effort and energy that takes, that takes behind it. Show cast a little vision for the listeners in terms of what would you like to see this be. What are some of your short term goals for the platform? What would success look like, you know, if you said, Hey, by you know, this time next year or in six months, we'd love to really have this or see this moving. What are some of the the goals that you'll be shooting for with the organization? Where do you think it's going? You know, short term, I really want to just educate people on the issues. I think that even physicians aren't aware of physicians suicide issues and we really got rocked in our community with a couple different suicides and just talking to one of my colleagues this morning about it. He knew one of the women who had committed suicide and he actually was unaware of the significant rates that that we had, and I think making sure that the community is aware of what's going on and, you know, really educating people who have power to make change. And that's why I think it's really important for politicians to be aware of what goes on in the medical community, because it's not just the healthcare system, is not just the business of medicine, it's not that it's were people that are running the show here and we need to make sure that we're protecting those people. And so I think that educating people is my one of my big goals. The number two goal for the short term is...

...making sure people know we exist and that they're not alone, because I don't want someone to get to that place where they feel like suicide is their off option, that that's what they need to do because they just can't go on anymore. I want to make sure that that person has a number and resources and a community that they can reach out to and they need help. So those are my my short term goals, because I don't want someone to feel alone in those moments and that's it makes me sad just even think that someone could be in that situation. Aside from that, obviously growing our resources right because we are able to offer resources to the medical community. I want to make sure that we can continue to do so, and so we're going to need to continue to work with different national organizations and sponsorships with that we grow and then can have more impact on making legislative changes as well. So really trying to grow this to provide the resources needed for our community is important for me and I know all the people that I'm working on this project with. But long term, I would love to look at like more wellness stuff too, right. I mean if you're looking at yes, we're triaging. This's we want to look at physicians, suicide, anxiety and depression, but why don't we look at overall physical wellness as well as emotional mental wellness for people? And I would love to team up with like weight watchers or other organizations that can help us get resources to the medical community as well, because a lot of people cannot afford to take care of themselves the way that they should be. Yeah, well, I've have to get you connected with Dr Jonathan Rip out a Mount Sin. I don't know if you had a chance to listen to that episode then. When? Not In a February, but he's the chief wellness officer. When he launched, I think he said he was the second or third chief wellness officer in the whole country. And you know now there's many, many more, and how many of these big healthcare systems are continuing to see the value of preventing Dr Burn out and well the benefits of that? So I'll to get you connected. I think he would love your your guys cause and everything that you're trying to do. So let's talk about a little bit mental health in terms of you know, we've I've heard some different things and I always want to be careful about my numbers or putting numbers out there because they're never, I don't necessarily always have them substantiated and you know there's always different opinions, but there's a lot written about that. We're going to we're about to enter into an unprecedented period of time of, you know, mental illness and mental fatigue and a lot of need. That's going to hit a system that's already under staffed and under resourced. What are you seeing and what are you projecting that some of that is going to be like coming out of the pandemic? Yeah, I mean I kind of look at it like a snowball rolling downhill, you know, and so we're kind of it's building momentum, it's getting bigger. I think that people who are kind of barely hanging on through the pandemic are now starting to reach the end of their coping mechanisms, and so we're definitely seeing more anxiety and depression. We're seeing people struggle with feeling isolated and disconnected, and a lot of that has to do with, you know, of course, what we had to do, which is isolate during a pandemic. And my worry is when you get to a certain point you don't seek resources or help or communicate, you you kind of get into the dark place and then ultimately we worry about suicide. So we definitely see more people struggling with those things at this point. You know, it's again same thing. One of the other things we've heard is, and are wondering whether you're seeing this too, is physicians or or really healthcare workers not wanting to admit that they're not feeling good or the kind of I'm okay, and the mental even just the social or the stigma of I've got a mental illness or I'm not. I'm feeling depressed, but I don't want to tell anybody, so I just keep saying I'm okay. And again I go back to just Mount Syani and they, you know, one of the things they've found is by using the word resiliency training, they're getting people to open up more. Have you guys seen any of those sorts of things or you guys taking any some of the different approaches to get some of the you know, the stigmas are the stigmas. You know that they're there whether we like them or not. So how do we work around those?...

Yeah, I think resiliency training is a really good buzz word for us, especially physicians, because I think unfortunately a lot of us are resistant to seeking care because it's kind of like the people who give care shouldn't need to have care. Were fine, like, of course we're fine. We're the ones that are prescribing medication and we're taking care of people, and you get to a point where all of a sudden you're like, Oh, I'm not fine, but there's embarrassment like you're not tough enough, you're not you don't have the mental stamina, you can't fight this off, like and I think that that's really true. And I know a lot of my friends in the military because I work with some military people. They almost have the same thing, like it's almost like the sin to acknowledge that you need help. And I think if we can break that stick, won't by using, if it is, buzz words that are not depression and it's more okay, resiliency training or wellness or whatever, then we need to do that. But bottom line is physicians still appear to be pretty resistant to wellness or resiliency or any of that stuff, because I think that people are so overwhelmed with everything that's going on in their life, whether it's kids and work and covid and everything else, they can't even think to add one more thing. If it's good for them, it still does not fit on the priority list. unfunctnately, yeah, with what's the expression, shoemaker son has no shoes, right, you know, the scients just so busy practicing that we forget to take care of ourselves. So, Yep, I'm sure we're dealing with that. For sure show. As we're kind of coming around the to our time, what do you guys doing for funding? Are You bootstrapping this yourself? Are you? Do you have some donations? Do you have donors? What's the thought there? What's the fundraising ideas and, you know, how do you accelerate this? So we have been really fortunate enough to be connected with the organizations that are donating time and resources, and so if you need help, you can get on our site. We can connect you up directly with some of these individuals, which has been fabulous. We are obviously looking for more sponsorships because we just are partnering with the Rex of Pharmaceuticals that have a really cool AI technology to work with substance abuse and depression, so that people who are resistant to talking to an individual one on one in accounseling can, at two am, go on these resources and get how without needing to commit to, you know, having the conversation with another human which for some people is really important right, and so we're partnering with them. But of course none of the stuff is free and so we do need sponsorships and whoever wants to be involved. We always love resources and different things that people want to volunteer at their time as well. So we're just kind of doing a grass roots movement or piecing things together so what we can get people the things that they need. So again, we'll put the website on our website when the podcast goes live. And for those who want to learn more information, I know, Kelly, your advid linkedin poster, so people can follow you on Linkedin and continue to learn more and social media you're become quite proficient at, but also they can obviously learn more by going to patient care heroescom. You're the other thing too. I just kind of struck me as thinking that being in the twin cities, and I we've heard this with some of our other guests, but you know, in the midst of this whole pandemic, we also have a racial divide going on and you guys are living right in the in the middle of it. With the George Floyd situation. I always want to be careful sometimes to date the podcasts, but I believe the trial is starting today. Sometimes we get we don't post the PODCAST for thirty days, but obviously today is a bit of a milestone day in that process. How have you seen or felt some of that has been an added stress point to some of the people that you guys are working with, or has it been? You know, I think that to a large extent it has open people's eyes to the reality that we are not perfect and we have a long way to go with some of these issues and I think that it has actually benefited us, especially in...

...the twin cities, to make us more aware that we need to be advocates for everyone. And you know, I think as someone who grew up in Wisconsin and moved to Minnesota, I was unaware of some of the health care disparities. I got. It was in denial that in Minnesota we had as much as we did. My kind of thought, all it was those other states right, it was the other people, it was the other institutions, and so it really changed my perspective and open my eyes to needing to be on the lookout for these things and to help wherever I can, and I think that we've done a really good job trying to advocate for vaccinations and to have an equitable distribution and we're going to improve in this area going forward. But it definitely has added stress because we want to make sure that everyone's safe and, of course for my colleagues that are working around where George Floyd was murdered and the hospitals in that area. Of course it's been stressful. Of course there's been a lot of issues down there because of the conflicts and we want to make sure that everyone stays safe and that's been an extra burden for some of them as well. Yeah, well, hopefully we can continue to have I read an article and I think it's so true. We've lost the art of civil discourse. We can't disagree civilly anymore. It's all become hostile towards each other. So one of my prayers is that we can continue to come back to a place of civil discourse where Ted and Dr Strecker can talk and not agree but be okay with that, right, you know. I mean that's a that's a it's unfortunately, unfortunately, we feel like it's I feel like at times it's become a bit of a lost art. Yeah, I mean I'm so when I think about how when I was in high school watching debates, it was totally a different life. I mean it feels like we are in a time warp, like sixty years have gone by, but it really has not been that long. It's really unfortunate because everyone empowers everybody else, like your perspective educates me on what I need to know and vice versa, and so I think if we can figure out a way to get back to that, that's really important too. Yeah, for sure. As we wrap up, I got two last things. One, how can our listeners help? You know, go into the website, registering, volunteering, donating, what else? If you want to share stories, that's really helpful to because we want to make sure that we're recognizing people who have been heroes in their community. So if you want to share stories of a loved one or friend, we had like that as well. So we close every episode with the famous question, which is who's your hero? So my hero is Justice Ruth Bader Gensburg, and it's because she really was a strong women's rights advocate and she really helped us get to where we're at in terms of being involved in all of the areas we are and I really appreciate that and I know that we all want to carry on her tradition to make sure that women are in leadership and can help make good changes going forward. Yeah, she really is a Modern Day woman advocacy. I know for many years looking back, our che kids and our children's kids will look back at history and I'm sure she will continue to remain an and rightfully so, in her iconic role of all the work that she did and what she represented. So I think that's a great choice, if I do say if you don't mind me share and that's a great one. Well, Dr Steckard, thanks so much for your time. Thank you for all the work you're doing. I know it's a it's a pat it's a passion job. These things usually are for the patient care Heroescom that you're working with. We appreciate your heart, we appreciate all your service. That is also needs to be said, and we just thank you for being one of the many heroes of healthcare and joining us on the podcast. Thanks so much for having me. I appreciate that you've been listening the heroes of healthcare for more. Subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player or visit us at heroes of healthcare podcastcom.

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