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Downregulating the Nervous System as a Pathway to Wellbeing – Steve Forti

December 4, 2023
Episode 78
Duration: 42:18

Steven Forti, RN, served 23 years in the Army Special Forces, where his specialties included Special Forces Weapons Sergeant and Special Forces Intel Sergeant. He is a Level 1 Sniper and attended Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab at DIA as well as the Special Operations Planners Course in Norfolk, VA. Mr. Forti earned a BS in Nursing from Quinnipiac University, completed a Critical Care Residency at Yale New Haven Hospital Systems, and holds a BS from Southern Connecticut State University. He has eight years of critical care and trauma nursing experience. In March of 2020 he was asked to join the team at the Hospital for Special Surgery as the chief of staff for crisis management, as they transformed the entire hospital into a COVID-19 treatment center to do their part in the fight to save lives during the height of the pandemic. As the crisis ebbed, he was asked to join the leadership team there as the Chief Wellness and Resiliency Officer.

In this episode of Caring Greatly, Mr. Forti shares the science of autonomic downregulation as a focal point for individual wellbeing. While he is an advocate for system change, he believes that those in the healing profession also have a moral obligation to care for their personal wellbeing, given the critical nature of the work they do and the proven links between wellbeing and patient care outcomes. At Hospital for Special Surgery, Mr. Forti created a program that teaches the science behind autonomic downregulation as well as simple practices such as sleep, breathwork, alcohol-abstention, gratitude and nutrition that support heart-rate variability (HRV), a key measure of wellbeing. To date, more than 700 clinicians have completed the training.

Links related to Mr. Forti’s podcast episode:


The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Vocera, now part of Stryker.

Steven Forti, RN