Image of YeagerThe STAR Program at The Ohio State University College of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health was one of three programs that received a Corman IMPACT Award from the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare in Boston. 

The Corman IMPACT Award celebrates healthcare members who are making a transformational impact by creating programs or initiatives that promote compassionate, collaborative care within their organizations or systems. 

STAR’s BEST (Brief Emotional Support Team) program is always “on call” and available to provide support to staff and faculty after exposure to a potentially traumatic event. BEST assists professionals through specialized training before traumatic exposure happens, and provides direct, temporary emotional support to professionals when needed. 

The program uses evidence-based training and therapy that is customized to assist first responders and healthcare professionals to respond effectively in a crisis while also engaging in skills that build resilience to cope with chronic exposure to stress.

Compassionate Care Education

STAR also provides education on compassionate care for physicians, residents, nurses and physical therapists, and those who care for our cancer patients.

What is compassionate care? While it’s difficult to define, it is the sympathetic awareness of someone’s distress combined with a desire to alleviate it. It’s more than just trying to relieve someone’s suffering; it’s making a true connection to let them know they’re important and that we care about them.

“The idea is to understand that the cancer population has difficulties when they face their diagnoses,” says Kenneth Yeager, PhD, professor of Psychiatry at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. “By teaching compassionate care to our team, they are better able to connect with and have more empathy for patients being treated at the Wexner Medical Center.”

Dr. Yeager is the recipient of the David E. Schuller, MD Professorship for Patient Compassion at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. This chair is funded by the Robert D. Walter Family Foundation and provides training to caregivers on the importance of compassionate patient care.