BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Sept. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- ProAssurance Corporation (NYSE: PRA) today announced the establishment of the ProAssurance Endowed Chair for Physician Wellness at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. This academic chair is the first of its kind in the United States and demonstrates ProAssurance's commitment to its role as a leading advocate for America's physicians.
The initial $1.5 million gift to the UAB School of Medicine will endow an academic chair and also will support a research team dedicated to addressing health issues that are unique to physicians as they deal with the stress and pressures associated with providing care to their patients in today's rapidly evolving healthcare environment.
As he announced the gift, ProAssurance Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stan Starnes underscored the importance of the research that will emerge. He said, "Physicians have always been subject to the high levels of stress from a variety of factors such as society's expectations for successful outcomes, the threat of litigation and the effect of their professional obligations on the quality of their lives, and their families' lives. As medicine evolves to address the changing dynamic of healthcare in America, we must find ways to address these pressures."
"UAB leadership is committed at the highest level to provide our physicians, residents, fellows and trainees the same type of world class care they provide for the citizens of Alabama and beyond every day," said UAB President Ray L. Watts. "This generous investment by ProAssurance to fund a first-of-its-kind academic chair will enable us to recruit an expert in the field of physician wellness who can implement well-designed interventions that enhance our sustainable culture of wellness and provide trainees with tools and resources to manage stress and burnout. The result will be more engaged physicians who can provide the highest-quality care to their patients."
ProAssurance also expects to provide an additional gift of $500,000 to fund various initiatives in support of physician wellness. The company's Chief Medical Officer, Hayes V. Whiteside, M.D., said such programs are a logical extension of ProAssurance's role as a trusted partner with physicians and the nation's healthcare community. He said, "Assisting physicians has always been a high priority for ProAssurance. Now more than ever, we need to ensure that today's physicians maintain their commitment to our high calling, and that future physicians are equipped to deal with the realities of their vital chosen profession."
"We are fortunate to have some of the best physicians in America right here in Birmingham as part of our School of Medicine, and it is important that we consistently work to provide them an environment that promotes wellness opportunities to help them flourish in their field," said Selwyn Vickers, M.D., Senior Vice President of Medicine and Dean of UAB's School of Medicine. "Doctors who take care of themselves are better role models for their patients and for their children, have higher patient satisfaction and safety scores, experience less stress and burn out, and live longer. We are grateful to ProAssurance for their gift, which will greatly enhance our training programs and enable them to create a sustainable culture of wellness."
In addition to the funds being committed to addressing physician wellness, ProAssurance plans to make an additional financial gift to the UAB School of Nursing to enhance the future of nursing care in Alabama. "Nurses are a crucial part of the care delivery team in our state, and their role will become increasingly important as our healthcare delivery systems expand to meet the demands that will come with the exponential growth of an aging population," said Starnes.
"Nursing is one of the most versatile — and vital — occupations in the health care workforce, and we strive to train innovative leaders who will transform health care," said Doreen Harper, Ph.D., Dean and Fay B. Ireland Endowed Chair in UAB's School of Nursing. "The ever-evolving landscape of healthcare and the changing profile of the population demand a fundamental shift in the health care system to provide patient-centered care. More nurses will be needed to deliver primary care and community care, ensure seamless care, foster interprofessional collaboration and enable all health professionals to practice to the full extent of their education, training and competencies. This shift will result in reduced errors, increased safety and the highest-quality care for patients. We are delighted and appreciative that ProAssurance is providing this support to help us shape patient-centered healthcare by preparing recognized nurse leaders who excel as clinicians, researchers, and educators in Alabama, nationally and internationally."
ProAssurance Corporation is an industry-leading specialty insurer with extensive expertise in healthcare professional liability, products liability for medical technology and life sciences, legal professional liability, and workers' compensation insurance. The company is recognized as one of the top performing insurance companies in America by virtue of our inclusion in the Ward's 50 for the past eleven years. ProAssurance Group is rated "A+" (Superior) by A.M. Best; ProAssurance and its operating subsidiaries are rated "A" (Strong) by Fitch Ratings.
For the latest on ProAssurance and its industry-leading suite of products and services, cutting edge risk management and practice enhancement programs, follow @ProAssurance on Twitter or LinkedIn. ProAssurance's YouTube channel regularly presents thought provoking, insightful videos that communicate effective practice management, patient safety and risk management strategies.
Known for its innovative and interdisciplinary approach to education at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, UAB is an internationally renowned research university and academic medical center and the state of Alabama's largest employer, with some 23,000 employees and an economic impact exceeding $5 billion annually on the state. The five pillars of UAB's mission deliver knowledge that will change your world: the education of students, who are exposed to multidisciplinary learning and a new world of diversity; research, the creation of new knowledge; patient care, the outcome of 'bench-to-bedside' translational knowledge; service to the community at home and around the globe, from free clinics in local neighborhoods to the transformational experience of the arts; and the economic development of Birmingham and Alabama. Learn more at www.uab.edu.
SOURCE ProAssurance Corporation