EmWELL Update July 2022


In the six months since its inception, EmWELL has established a sustainable infrastructure across the Woodruff Health Sciences Center (WHSC) while working on assessment/alignment of ongoing local initiatives and leveraging opportunities for national collaborations.


The Office of Well-Being (EmWELL) continues work on its initial goals of assessment/alignment of well-being activities across WHSC, creation of a sustainable infrastructure to support the efforts and identification of measurement tools to evaluate well-being in our teams. We are also developing collaborative relationships outside Emory to further the impact.

In June 2022, Krystyna Rastorguieva, MPH, joined EmWELL as the Director of Special Projects and brings experience from her previous roles in primary care, where she focused on lifestyle medicine, and perioperative services at Emory Healthcare. She has been instrumental in helping us stand up a sustainable infrastructure that involves an Advisory Council with representatives from across WHSC. Four Committees (Clinical Care, Education, Innovation and Discovery, and Advocacy) support the Advisory Council to encompass the workaround well-being, and approximately 120 individuals are involved in some part of the effort to advance the work. Meetings have started this summer, and the Advisory Council and its supporting Committees will be instrumental in the assessment/alignment of ongoing activities across WHSC as an initial project.

We have continued reviewing several instruments for well-being measurement across our populations and have been discussing these with internal and external colleagues. These efforts include our official membership with the Professional Well-Being Academic Consortium (PWAC), a nation-wide collaboration among leading hospitals, schools and health systems striving to best measure well-being to keep it relevant. One goal from this collaboration is to combine the use of validated surveys to benchmark across populations with a metric that assesses well-being in real time for potential immediate interventions.

To support our efforts at Emory, we have also been working to expand our network of individuals in the well-being arena. We completed the week-long Chief Wellness Officer course with Stanford University and have continued connections with the international attendees we met there. We were also fortunate to participate in a small group discussion with the U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, when he recently came to Atlanta to promote his advisory on Health Worker Burnout.


After its establishment 6 months ago, EmWELL, the WHSC Office of Well-Being, continues its work to develop and support strategies for addressing well-being across the Health Sciences Center, including Emory Healthcare. We see progress in EmWELL's initial priorities of assessment/alignment of local activities throughout the Schools, Centers, and health care operating units of WHSC; creating a sustainable infrastructure to support the important types of well-being work; and identifying methods of measurement to ensure adequate trending of well-being across time and after interventions.

Understanding the well-being activities already happening in various areas of Emory is critical for alignment, which allows us to move progress faster and farther through coordination of efforts. We have listened to many of our colleagues about their interests, projects and objectives related to well-being. We are excited to further these connections and we remain impressed with their efforts and commitment. Additionally, we have engaged students from the Rollins School of Public Health (RSPH) as summer graduate student hires to continue work on the meaning of well-being from the viewpoint of our staff, faculty members, learners, and leadership.

In collaboration with these RSPH students, EmWELL conducted 17 Well-Being Focus Groups during the first series of listening sessions. The data are now being analyzed, and more listening sessions are planned.To join the focus group please review the schedule, or complete this brief survey online.

EmWELL is working on documenting all current groups, interventions, programs, and research related to well-being. We invite you to contribute to the inventory by adding well-being initiatives you lead or participate in here. We recognize that significant effort has already been put forward to support our employees at Emory Healthcare and Emory University by several groups. We also acknowledge the need and the opportunity to elevate and deepen these efforts for increased meaningful impact. We seek to address not only individual but also team and organizational well-being, and we look at three fundamental areas of opportunity– personal resiliency, the nature and efficiency of work, and culture.

The Office of Well-Being infrastructure continues to develop in line with plans. Krystyna Rastoguieva, a graduate of the Rollins MPH program herself, joined EmWELL in June 2022 as the Director of Special Projects. She will support day-to-day activities of the Office and brings tremendous experience and expertise from her prior role at Emory, where she co-founded the Emory Lifestyle Medicine & Wellness Program, including the Emory Healthy Kitchen Collaborative. Krystyna is a wellness champion, an emBRACE peer supporter, and an advisor for the Emory Lifestyle Medicine Interest Group (ELMIG).

Additionally, we are in the final stages of populating the EmWELL Advisory Council and its supporting Committees. This provides an opportunity to engage the breadth and talent of individuals within WHSC, and we expect approximately 120 members of our community to participate in various roles. The Advisory Council will provide guidance around priorities and strategies for EmWELL. Its initial meeting occurred on June 29, 2022, with tremendous engagement from its members. Dr. Jonanthan S. Lewin and Dane Peterson joined the meeting and shared their remarks acknowledging the importance of the workaround well-being.

Emwell Council leaders

The Advisory Council includes representatives from the individual WHSC entities and focuses on specific work types, each devoted to a Committee led by co-Chairs. To respect the various missions of an academic medical center, there are Committees for Clinical Care, Education, Innovation and Discovery, and Advocacy. Each of these groups is composed of interdisciplinary members who can view and represent well-being through a dedicated perspective, which can then be integrated into the whole strategy.

Outside of our local efforts, we recognize the importance of connecting with our external community. We particularly want to effectively “tell the story” of our work at Emory and likewise listen to what we can learn from others, especially through methods related to measurement of well-being. In June, we spent a week in California with 45 other health care professionals from across the world at the Chief Wellness Officer course through Stanford University. This group will serve as an opportunity for long-term collaborations.

At WHSC, we are fortunate to have tremendous interest in our efforts. Along with other health system leaders in Atlanta, we met with the U.S. Surgeon General after his recent release of his advisory on Health Worker Burnout and talk about our goals. We have spoken with many groups, including the WHSC Woodruff Leadership Academy, and we look forward to continuing to create new opportunities for all of us. The number of individuals who have reached out to learn about the work has been impressive, and we thank you for your commitment.

Emwell chair people

U.S. Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, MD, with Co-Chief Well-Being Officers, Chad Ritenour and Tim Cunningham