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Sara and Samuel J. Lessans Healthcare Symposium: Session 2 – Mental Health Support for Healthcare Professionals

June 17 @ 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Session 2 of the Sara and Samuel J. Lessans Healthcare Symposium, COVID-19 Pandemic: Mental Health Effects on Older Adults and their Health Care Providers  will focus on:

Mental Health Support for Healthcare Professionals

This session will be led by Molyn Leszcz, MD, FRCPC and Matthew Rudorfer, MD and will examine the impact of the pandemic on healthcare professionals. The session will focus on the growing number of large trials of interventions aimed at helping healthcare workers dealing with pandemic-related stress and its attendant complications (depression, PTSD, etc). We will then examine the more specific impact of the pandemic on the mental health of healthcare professionals and the ramifications of the stress caused by the pandemic and how to move forward.

Learning Objectives: (Dr. Leszcz)
• Examine the impact of pandemics as a modal traumatic stressor on physicians and health care workers (HCWs)
• Describe principles of support and implementation for our colleagues and trainees experiencing stress and trauma
• Detail learnings from group support and Leading for Wellness groups and communities of practice
• Address organizational culture & psychological safety in the workplace
• Identify PPE – personal and psychological protective equipment

Learning Objectives: (Dr. Rudorfer)
• Understand the evidence from controlled trials about the effectiveness of healthcare system responses to the pandemic in support of HCWs’ mental health
• Appreciate the role of technology in delivering and monitoring targeted interventions aimed at mitigating COVID-related stress responses of HCWs
• Evaluate the contribution of health disparities in determining the mental health impact of pandemic-associated stresses and response to treatment of individual HCWs, including racial and ethnic minorities


Molyn Leszcz, MD, FRCPC
Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai Hospital
Joseph and Wolf Lebovic Health Complex,
Sinai Health System
Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto

Matthew V. Rudorfer, MD, DLFAPA
Program Chief, Adult Interventions
Treatment and Preventive interventions Research Branch
Division of Services and intervention Research
National Institute of Mental Health
Rockville, Maryland

Health Facilities Association of Maryland LogoHFAM is authorized by the Board of Social Work Examiners in Maryland to sponsor social work continuing education learning activities and maintains full responsibility for this program. This training qualifies for 1.5 Category 1 continuing education units.



This continuing nursing education activity was approved by the Maryland Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the AMERICAN NURSES CREDENTIALING CENTER’S COMMISSION ON ACCREDITATION. Participants will receive 1.5 hours of continuing education.

Speaker Bios:

Matthew Rudorfer, M.D. is Program Chief of Adult Interventions in the Division of Services and Intervention Research at the National Institute of Mental Health. In this position Rudorfer helps oversee and provide scientific liaison to NIMH-supported clinical trials at universities across the country, aimed at studying personalized treatment of mental disorders across the life span. During his long career at NIMH, Rudorfer has led an annual national treatment research meeting, has worked as Editor-in-Chief of the peer-reviewed journal, Psychopharmacology Bulletin, and has served as Member and Chair of the FDA Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee.

A Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, this Spring he received a Meritorious Service Award from the Washington Psychiatric Society for his ongoing leadership of the Continuing Medical Education Committee. Board Certified in Psychiatry and Clinical Pharmacology, Rudorfer received his medical degree from the State University of New York – Downstate Medical Center and trained in psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis before coming to NIH. At present he maintains a small private practice in psychiatry and psychopharmacology.



Molyn Leszcz, MD, FRCPC is a Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai Hospital, Joseph and Wolf Lebovic Health Complex, Sinai Health System at the University of Toronto. Leszcz’s academic and clinical work has focused on broadening the application of psychotherapy within psychiatry. Leszcz lectures broadly and has published in the group therapy literature regarding integrative and interpersonal approaches in group psychotherapy; group psychotherapy for patients with schizophrenia; evidence-based approaches to group therapy and modified interpersonal group psychotherapy for patients with substance abuse; group psychotherapy applications for geriatric depression; and for the medically ill. He co-authored with Irvin Yalom, the 5th edition of the Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy (2005), also translated into German, Hebrew, Greek, Polish, Czech, Mandarin, Spanish, Russian and Portuguese editions.

Leszcz has been awarded Fellowship in the Canadian Group Psychotherapy Association and was recognized as a Distinguished Fellow of the American Group Psychotherapy Association. Leszcz is on the Board of Directors of the National Registry of Certified Group Therapists and he co-chaired the AGPA Science to Services Task Force leading to the 2008 publication of Clinical Practice Guidelines for Group Psychotherapy for which he was awarded the 2009 Anne Alonso Award for Outstanding Contributions to Psychodynamic Group Therapy.  Leszcz has been the recipient of a number of teaching awards at the University of Toronto.

Thank you to the following sponsors: