Centering Staff Wellness While Supporting Patients Experience Intimate Partner Violence

Description: This Learning Collaborative (LC) is a collaboration between Health Partners on IPV + Exploitation and the National Nursing-Led Care Consortium (NNCC). IPV, trauma, exploitation, human trafficking, and sexual assault commonly occur in communities and affect patients served by health centers, especially health centers serving residents of public housing and other special populations. These issues directly impact patient health and access to care. Experiences of secondary and vicarious trauma for health care staff are also well-documented in the literature. These topics deserve careful attention, care, and responses to improve health and safety outcomes for both health center patients and staff. To help accomplish these goals, we have partnered with the Erikson Institute to use their FAN (Facilitated Attuned Interventions) to help staff learn techniques to feel more present within themselves during patient encounters. This LC will explore strategies that all health center staff can benefit from, including those for home visitors, public health nurses, non-clinical staff, and community health workers.

The cohort will first explore wellness strategies to bolster capacity for health center staff in doing this work. A healing-centered lens will be explored as a complement to trauma-informed care efforts. Next, we will share tools that all health staff can use in their daily practices to support patients experiencing violence or abuse. We will detail the evidence-based “CUES” approach to ensure that patients receive information and resources regardless of what they share with staff. At the heart of these efforts is meaningful partnerships with community-based organizations to help facilitate bi-directional warm referrals. We will dedicate time to explore the landscape of supportive community programs and tools to help formalize partnerships and coordinate care.

Faculty will also equip participants with skills to build and strengthen connections between health centers and community-based programs, including domestic violence advocacy programs.

Learning Objectives:
Participating teams will receive support to:

  1. Identify strategies (including the FAN), policies, and practices that support the long-term success for staff experiencing vicarious and secondary traumas or burnout.

  2. Define reflective practice and name two strategies that staff could implement for their practice.

  3. Define the limits of disclosure driven practice (screening for IPV) and understand the need for Universal Education using the evidence-based CUES intervention.

  4. List three tools for health centers to define staff roles; and formalize and expand their partnerships with community-based programs, including domestic violence advocacy programs.

Learning Collaborative Session Dates/Times:
Between October and November 2022, attendees will participate in four 60-minute learning sessions. Each session held on a Wednesday from 11:00 – 12pm Pacific time and 2:00 – 3:00pm Eastern time. The learning collaborative curriculum includes the following topics:

  • Session 1: Building on Trauma Informed Care: Healing Centered Engagement and Vicarious Resilience to Support Staff and Patients through using the FAN (Facilitated Attuned Interactions) Wednesday, October 12, 2022

  • Session 2: Building Reflective Practices Nationally Wednesday, October 19, 2022

  • Session 3: Deep Dive: A Healing-Centered Engagement Intervention–CUES  Wednesday, October 26, 2022

  • Session 4: Building Community Partnerships and Supporting Survivors of IPV through Safer Planning Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Learning Collaborative Session Descriptions:

The National Nurse-Led Care Consortium (NNCC) will provide continuing education units (CEU) in collaboration with the Clinical Directors Network, Inc. ( for this Learning Collaborative. All CEUs are accredited by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). Please check with your accrediting body to see if you are eligible to receive credit from the American Academy of Family Physicians. NNCC CEU disclosure statement:

Session 1. Building on Trauma Informed Care: Healing Centered Engagement and Vicarious Resilience to Support Staff and Patients through using the FAN (Facilitated Attuned Interactions) 
This session will explore how health centers and community partners can strengthen their approaches to being present with themselves and their patients/clients as a way to reduce staff burnout and address implicit bias.  

Questions considered include: Do we stop and take time to notice how we are before and after an interaction with patients and clients? Are we set up to listen fully to the person in front of us? A healing centered approach combined with the Facilitated Attuned Interactions (FAN) is a powerful tool toward creating safer spaces for patients/clients to share their experiences with interpersonal violence and exploitation. 

Session 2: Building Reflective Practices Nationally 
This session will explore the power of the collective experiences of staff and the weight they carry as caregivers through a facilitated virtual reflective practice group. This group will demonstrate the power of a cost-effective opportunity for systems of care to consider and experience. Asking systems and staff: is there paid time for nurses, social workers, doctors, and other healthcare allied professionals in your system engaged in this practice? Are opportunities available to talk about their experiences?  
We will be creating facilitated conversations using a strength-based approach, so folks aren’t bearing the burden of whatever is going on all by themselves in this session. Reflection means stepping back from the immediate. And taking the time to wonder what the experience really means. What does it tell us? And what we know from the literature, when we take an hour-and-a-half once a week to do this, it makes a big difference in terms of the stress of staff. 

Session 3. Deep Dive: A Healing-Centered Engagement Intervention–CUES 
This session will define IPV, human trafficking and exploitation and health impacts. We will also introduce CUES, a brief healing-centered clinical intervention that staff can use to address IPV, HT/E. The CUES intervention shifts the focus from disclosure-driven screening to universal education, ensuring that all patients receive information about healthy relationships and safer planning regardless of what they choose to share. Participants will have an opportunity to practice the intervention and consider policies and protocols necessary to implement CUES in their health centers. 

Session 4: Building Community Partnerships and Supporting Survivors of IPV through Safer Planning 
This session will discuss the benefits and strategies of building and strengthening connections between health centers and community-based programs, including domestic violence advocacy programs. We will also introduce participants to a newer concept of safer planning (as opposed to safety planning) recognizing the importance of letting the survivor lead the way—that they are the expert in their own lives and experiences. Safer planning is not a product but rather a dynamic process with an emphasis on partnering with others in the community that reflect the patients we serve, including advocates, churches, and other CBOs.  

Deadline to apply: Please complete the application below by Friday, September 23, 2022 at midnight of your local time zone.

 The application deadline has been extended through Monday, Oct. 10 to offer health centers or look-alike health centers the opportunity to apply. Currently, the application is only open to these health centers.

For any questions, contact Camila Sanchez Tejada,

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