In early 2021, CEOs from leading hospitals and health systems across the U.S. convened virtually to examine standards of safety and trust for healthcare team members at every level of their organizations. Their goal was to collectively take action to protect the well-being of these essential team members and ensure that they have the systems, tools, technologies, and resources they need and deserve to feel safe at work. These discussions resulted in a Declaration of Principles for the physical and emotional safety and just treatment of all who work in healthcare. Their work kicks off a national movement and action plan to turn these Principles into meaningful change.

We invite healthcare CEOs across the country to catalyze the work by joining the Coalition Founders to renew and expand the definition of safety for a better, more inclusive future of caring.

The Heart of Safety: Protecting Our Healthcare Workforce

Declaration of Principles

We witnessed selfless acts of courage, care, and compassion from our nation’s healthcare team members during the COVID-19 pandemic. Safety is at the heart of protecting our healthcare workforce, which means being safe from physical and emotional harm and free from all forms of inequity and racial injustice. Workplace violence, burnout, and disparities existed long before the outbreak of COVID-19. The pandemic has, however, exacerbated the factors contributing to workplace violence, created an environment of unprecedented stress, and exposed the impact of systemic inequities and racial injustice on the well-being of healthcare team members.

We believe a renewed and expanded definition of safety is needed to restore trust, recruit and retain individuals to the healing professions, enable care to be provided with the greatest skill and humanity, and ensure the well-being of every person working in healthcare. We commit to:

Safeguarding Psychological and Emotional Safety:
  • Investing in processes and technologies that reduce emotional and cognitive burdens on team members and restore human connection to the healthcare experience.
  • Creating practices and policies that advance open communication between team members and leaders so people feel safe to speak up, bringing their full selves to work.
  • Providing resources to assess and support team members’ emotional, social, and spiritual health, and alleviating the stigma and deterrents to seek support.
Promoting Health Justice:
  • Declaring equity and anti-racism core components of safety, requiring explicit organizational and health equity-focused policies and practices to advance diversity, inclusion, and belonging.
Ensuring Physical Safety:
  • Implementing a zero-harm program for care team members to eliminate workplace violence, both physical and verbal, whether from team members, patients, families, or community members.
  • Ensuring that all healthcare organizations can procure and provide evidence-based personal protective equipment, technology, tools, and processes that healthcare team members need to do their jobs safely and care for patients.

Our ability to build trust and provide the care patients require and deserve is dependent on the physical and emotional safety and the just treatment of all those who provide or support patient care. We commit ourselves to this new definition of safety to ensure that no healthcare team member will have to sacrifice their personal safety, health, identity, or well-being to do their jobs and care for patients.

Signed by the CEO Coalition Founders

Tomislav Mihaljevic, MD​

CEO and President
Cleveland Clinic

Robert Garrett, FACHE CEO headshot
Robert Garrett, FACHE

Hackensack Meridian Health

Andrea Walsh, JD

President and CEO

Wright Lassiter, MHA

Former President and CEO
Henry Ford Health System

Marc Harrison, MD

Former President and CEO
Intermountain Healthcare

Anne Klibanski, MD

President and CEO
Mass General Brigham

Rod Hochman, MD

President & CEO

Laura Kaiser, FACHE

President and CEO
SSM Health

Johnese Spisso, MPA

UCLA Hospital System

Susan Ehrlich, MD, MPP

Zuckerberg San Francisco General

Founding Partners

In Collaboration With

Brent D. Lang

Former Chairman and CEO

Bridget Duffy, MD

Former Chief Medical Officer

Kedar Mate
Kedar Mate, MD

President and CEO
Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)

In Collaboration With

Kedar Mate
Kedar Mate, MD

President and CEO
Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)

CEO Coalition Signatories

Janice Nevin, MD, MPH

President & CEO

Stephen A. Purves, FACHE

President and CEO
Valleywise Health

Catherine Jacobson

President & CEO
Froedtert Health

Jill Hoggard Green, PhD, RN

President & CEO
The Queen’s Health Systems

Deborah Visconi

President & CEO
Bergen New Bridge Medical Center

Thomas Jackiewicz

President University of Chicago Medical Center

Deborah Hayes

President and CEO Christ Hospital Health Network

Roxanna Gapstur, PhD

President and CEO WellSpan Health

Leaders like you are essential to catalyzing this movement and protecting the physical and emotional well-being and just treatment of nurses, physicians, and all healthcare team members. We invite the CEOs of hospitals and healthcare systems across the nation to sign the Declaration and to involve their teams in ongoing work to make a meaningful difference.

Complete this form to learn more about the CEO Coalition

We will follow up with a conversation about how your organization can support the efforts to renew and expand the definition of safety and help protect healthcare team members.