Taking time away from “normal” life by “retreating,” even short distances away, offers unique antidotes to the effects of burnout and new opportunities for reflection and solidarity.
Sustaining Lives of Meaning and Purpose in the Healthcare Industry
This retreat brings together experts in nursing, theology, philosophy, education and psychology to lead a cohort of twenty-five healthcare workers in sustained reflection about vocation, meaning, and purpose in their lives.
Who Should Attend
- Healthcare professionals at all stages of their careers who are seeking to affirm or find meaning and purpose in their work; intergenerational mentoring and solidarity will be a key component of the program.
- Healthcare professionals who work in primary care, critical/acute care, palliative care, hospice, and work with victims of trauma would especially benefit from this opportunity.
- Boston College alumni are especially encouraged to participate, in order to reconnect with the formative education they received on campus.
- Reflect on your own callings to healthcare
- Consider the meanings, values and challenges of those vocations in conversation with others in the field
- Examine various aspects of the profession that lead to stress, burnout and moral injury
- Gain intellectual and personal resources to support your continued work in the field
- Identify best practices for self-care and dealing with the burdens of the healthcare industry and professions
- Reanimate your vocational commitments.
Structure & Cost
- The program features structured group reflection and conversation with experts from BC’s programs in nursing, theology, philosophy, education, and more, along with personal reflection time and informal social interaction during meals and a reception.
Sponsored by the Lynch School of Education & Human Development, the Connell School of Nursing, the Provost Office's Initiatives for Formative Education and University Mission & Ministry
The Importance of Retreat
Healthcare professionals live out their vocations as healers and patient advocates in a uniquely stressful context. Increasing pressures across the healthcare industry to speed patient interactions and increase administrative work have joined the inherent stressors of caring for sick and dying patients to produce new levels of burnout among physicians and nurses.
The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified these stressors while adding additional layers of concern about physical safety and self-care. As a result, burnout among healthcare professionals in this country is widely described as a public health crisis that not only affects the mental health of the workers themselves but also degrades the quality and effectiveness of the care delivered across the entire system. The goal of this 24-hour retreat is to help participants better care for themselves so they can better care for others.
Associate Professor of the Practice and Director of the International Studies Program, Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences
Erik Owens, Ph.D., is director of the International Studies Program and associate professor of the practice in theology at Boston College. Bridging the fields of religious ethics, political philosophy, and education, his work explores a variety of intersections between religion and public life, with particular attention to issues of citizenship in global contexts, the common good in diverse societies, formative education, and compassionate healthcare.
Assistant Professor of the Practice, Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences
A Boston College philosophy professor, Kerry Cronin is also associate director of the Morrissey College's Perspectives Program, a multi-year core program that offers courses for students who want to develop integrated answers to life's enduring questions. Inspired by the Jesuit tradition of providing a humanist context for professional and scientific education, Perspectives courses seek to educate the whole person and help students develop skills in critical thinking and practical living. Cronin is also a Fellow at BC's Center for Student Formation.
Associate Dean of Strategic Initiatives & External Relations and Associate Professor, Lynch School of Education & Human Development
David Goodman is passionate about developing creative spaces for bringing together fields that seek to address human identity, suffering, and potential. Whether through conference building, interdisciplinary scholarship, curriculum development, or in his courses, Goodman commits himself to impacting the very language we employ while making sense of and responding to the Other. As an Associate Professor of the Practice in both the Counseling, Developmental, and Educational Psychology department and Morrissey's Philosophy department, Goodman consistently attempts to bridge worlds and invite dialogue.
Michael P. Walsh Professor of Bioethics, School of Theology & Ministry at Boston College
Andrea Vicini, S.J., M.D., Ph.D., S.T.D. is the Michael P. Walsh Professor of Bioethics in the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College. A Jesuit priest, moral theologian, and medical doctor (pediatrician), his interests and expertise include: fundamental moral theology, bioethics, biotechnologies, reproductive technologies, end of life issues, medical ethics, genetics, global health, and environmental issues.
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Clinical Professor at the Connell School of Nursing at Boston Colllege
Colleen Simonelli, Ph.D., RNC, is the associate dean for undergraduate programs and a clinical professor at the Connell School of Nursing. Currently she teaches childbearing theory and clinical courses in the undergraduate and master’s programs.
Professor of Theology at the Boston College School of Theology & Ministry and Adjunct Professor at the Catholic Theological Union
Kate Jackson-Meyer, Ph.D., is currently a part-time faculty member at Boston College in the Theology Department and in the Faith, Peace, and Justice Minor. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Catholic Theological Union where she teaches an online course on bioethics and sexual ethics. Her research focuses on how contemporary moral philosophy challenges traditional theological approaches to dealing with ethical issues when life is at stake as applied to bioethics and the ethics of war and peacemaking.
Dean at the Connell School of Nursing at Boston College
Katherine E. Gregory, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, is Dean at the Connell School of Nursing. Dr. Gregory was previously the associate chief nursing officer, women’s and newborn health, research, and innovation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.