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News | May 22, 2023

The Power of Resiliency, and Why It's Essential for Walter Reed Staff

By Vernishia R. Vaughn-Lucas, WRNMMC Command Communications

A resilient staff is crucial for any organization's success. Walter Reed National Military Medical Center's Health Outreach Program Manager, Sonja Simzak, is on a mission to ensure every staff member has the proper education to take advantage of the resiliency services offered at Walter Reed.

A little more than 60 days ago, Simzak reported to Walter Reed for work with Staff Resiliency Services, and with her team, organized Resiliency Week 2023, aimed to promote mental, emotional, and physical well-being among Walter Reed staff.

"Walter Reed's Resiliency Week is my first big event," Simzak said. "We're fortunate to have a dedicated resiliency service team, which isn't available at other military medical treatment facilities."

Sharing her excitement "to be here and for the future of the Walter Reed organization," Simzak says that she believes during a time when a cultural shift was happening following the MHS GENESIS launch almost two months ago, Resiliency Week was a perfect opportunity for Walter Reed's staff resiliency team, to get out front to "educate and support the mental, emotional, physical needs and well-being of the staff."

Resiliency Week featured a variety of information tables and physical and relaxation activities designed to foster a culture of resilience and enhance overall well-being. As the week-long events wrap up, Simzak taps into her background in health and wellness education to share the power of a resilient staff within health care, and five reasons why investing in staff resiliency is essential for the Walter Reed team.

"It's true that a resilient staff is crucial for any organization's success," said Simzak. "Our investment in staff resiliency can and will create a more productive, positive, and thriving environment."

• Adaptability: A resilient staff can quickly adapt to changes in the workplace, including new technology like MHS GENESIS, procedures, and protocols.
• Problem-solving: Resilient employees are better equipped to handle unexpected challenges and find solutions to problems and, in turn, able to provide the best patient care.
• Reduced stress: Resilient staff members are less likely to become overwhelmed by stress and can better manage their workload, therefore reducing mishaps and errors in patient care.
• Improved productivity: A resilient staff is more motivated and engaged, leading to increased productivity and better overall performance.
• Positive work culture: A resilient staff can help foster a positive work culture by promoting open communication, teamwork, and collaboration.
• Greater job satisfaction: Employees who feel supported and valued are more likely to experience job satisfaction, leading to lower turnover rates.

The success of Resiliency Week is a testament to the dedication and commitment of individuals like Simzak, the Staff Resiliency Services team, and the entire WRNMMC team. The program's focus on fostering resilience and well-being aligns with the organization's broader efforts to support the mental and emotional health of its military, civilian, contractor, and volunteer personnel.
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