Hope & Healing: The UF Health Blog

UF Health Psychiatry’s journey to Trauma-Informed Care

Official proclamation from Florida governor Ron DeSantis
Personal trauma such as violence, abuse, neglect, loss and other emotionally harmful experiences can leave lasting scars — visible and otherwise — long after the events occur. Health care providers recognize this pain and seek to assist their patients and their families through trauma-Informed care, of TIC, which promotes a culture of safety, empowerment and healing.

In recognition of the importance of TIC for our community, Gov. Ron DeSantis recently proclaimed Nov. 1 as Florida Trauma-Informed Care Day.

At UF Health, providers have been ramping up their training and awareness of TIC through a number of activities. Over the past 18 months, leaders at the UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital and the UF department of psychiatry had been researching available resources, especially those offered through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA, a branch of the US. Department of Health and Human Services.

Part of this education has included identifying and visiting peer institutions that are leading the way in TIC awareness. A team from UF Health recently visited one of these sites, The Ohio State University, and returned with a greater appreciation of the potentially positive outcomes of TIC in regards to quality of care, patient and staff satisfaction, and safety. The team members said the visit strengthened their resolve to implement TIC throughout UF Health.

The UF Health site visit team included Regina Bussing, M.D., a professor and chair of the UF College of Medicine’s department of psychiatry; Richard Holbert, M.D., a UF associate professor and medical director of the UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital; Joseph Thornton, M.D., a UF associate professor and chief of psychiatry at UF Health Shands Hospital, and Laura Rodriguez-Roman, M.D., an assistant professor in the UF College of Medicine’s department of psychiatry. Also on the team were leaders from the UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital, including Mitchell Hall, the assistant administrator, Ashley McReynolds, the acting director of nursing, and Eaton Fletcher, of the Employee Assistance Program.

In October, nearly 300 UF Health physicians, nursing leaders and UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital staff gathered for TIC training sessions led by internationally recognized TIC experts Brian Sims, M.D., and Raul Almazar, R.N., M.A. Sims and Almazar also visited the UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital, where they remarked on the large number of participating physicians and staff committed to TIC.

Leading up to the training events, targeted educational messages were provided to resident physicians, teaching faculty and staff through the office of Jacqueline Hobbs, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor and vice chair for education and residency training at the UF College of Medicine. Similar preparations were offered at the UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital.

As a result of the training and other steps, UF Health will continue to implement TIC training elsewhere in the system, including for emergency room and security staff.

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