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Case Study

How Parkview created a holistic response team to improve workforce well-being

15 Minute Read



The challenge

Health care staff across all levels find it challenging to prioritize their own well-being, both during and outside of an immediate crisis. The stigma associated with accessing emotional support resources, a health care culture that idolizes stoicism, and competing priorities for time leave many prone to burnout.

The organization

Parkview Health is a not-for-profit, community-based health system serving northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio. The system includes an extensive network of primary care and specialty physicians and 10 hospitals, with more than 13,000 employees.

The approach

Parkview has a robust holistic nursing program that provides an opportunity for nurses to achieve certification. They created a workforce-facing Holistic Response Team (HRT) to “take care of the people who take care of our patients.” The HRT is made up of clinical staff who are dedicated to improving their peers’ well-being.

The result

The HRT creates space and time for staff to address their emotional needs. This fosters a culture that normalizes and encourages the prioritization of well-being as an ongoing goal—not exclusively during times of crisis. In addition, Parkview has seen a positive impact on the engagement and retention of their overall nursing staff. Clinical staff who serve with the HRT report a significant reconnection to purpose and mission.


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How Parkview Health integrated holistic nursing into employee workflows to boost well-being

In 2017, Parkview Health created a Holistic Response Team to both proactively and reactively addresses challenges to staff well-being. The HRT helps staff create space and time during the workday to reflect and address their emotional needs.

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    Promote visibility into holistic nursing to secure workforce buy-in

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    Provide flexibility to motivate participation in the HRT

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    Embed holistic nursing into employee workflow

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The HRT helped Parkview develop a culture that regularly prioritizes emotional well-being and normalizes asking for help—not exclusively in times of crisis.

  • Strong feedback about HRT effectiveness: When asked if they would call the HRT for a co-worker, 99% of Parkview staff said they would because they view the HRT as beneficial. Additionally, over 98% of Parkview staff who had an HRT intervention were pleased with the intervention.
  • Effectively ramped up support services during the Covid-19 pandemic: Between January and October 2020, the HRT made 32,791 interventions across rounds and crisis calls, a 110% increase over the same period in 2019.
  • Reduced absenteeism: Both survey data and anecdotal evidence suggest that interventions from the HRT directly helped employees who would otherwise have called off from their shift without the intervention.
  • Reconnection to purpose for HRT participants: Several HRT rounders have praised the program for reconnecting them to their professional purpose. Some have said that participation on the HRT helped them to reconsider leaving the health care profession.

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