2024 Physician Wellness Symposium

2024 Physician Wellness Symposium

Accredited for 5.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits

Friday, Sept. 6, 2024 (ISMA 175th Annual Convention weekend)


Registration: 8:30 a.m. ET
Symposium: 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. ET
Reception: 4 - 5 p.m. ET

: Embassy Suites, 6089 Clarks Creek Road, Plainfield, IN

Physicians, Wellness Officers, Hospital Administrators, and other Healthcare Wellness Leaders   

FEE (includes lunch and reception):

Physician members: $50
Physician nonmembers: $100
Nonmember other: $50
Resident/student members: $25

This registration, which closes on Sept. 3 at 11:59 p.m. ET, is for attending the symposium only. To register for the 175th Annual Convention and reserve a hotel room, register here.


Join us for an inspiring and educational discussion at our inaugural Physician Wellness Symposium. In the demanding landscape of health care, it's easy for physicians to prioritize patient care over their own mental, emotional, and physical health. This symposium is designed to empower physicians and healthcare organizations with practical tools, insights, and strategies to cultivate resilience, find balance, and rediscover the joy in their noble profession. This program will include a special session focusing on addressing physician wellness within the organization by hosting an interactive panel discussion with physician wellness leaders across the state who are actively engaged in creating supportive work environments within their institutions.


In 2020, the Indianapolis Colts and the Jim Irsay family launched "Kicking the Stigma," an initiative to raise awareness about mental health and removed the stigma often associated with mental health disorders. 

Physicians and professional athletes are both held to certain higher standards by the public (athletes) and patients (physicians). Concern about professional reputation and potential career implications can deter them from addressing their mental health issues.  Kicking the Stigma campaign is twofold: Raising awareness about the prevalence of mental health disorders in our communities and raising and distributing funds to nonprofits and other organizations to expand treatment and research in Indiana and beyond.  Kicking the Stigma Director Brett Kramer will lead the presentation.



"What Actually Makes Us Happy?  Lessons from an 85 Year Study of Life"   

Robert J. Waldinger, MD
Writer, Speaker, Professor, Physician         


Dr. Waldinger is a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, where he directs the Harvard Study of Adult Development, the longest scientific study of happiness ever conducted. Among his many works, Dr. Waldinger is the author of “The Good Life,” which examines the central role of relationships in shaping our health and well-being. Symposium attendees will receive a copy of "The Good Life," and a book signing will follow Dr. Waldinger's presentation. 



"Using the Arts and Humanities as a Tool for Self-Care and Cultural Change within Health Care"


Expressive arts, such as visual arts, movement, drama, music, and writing, foster deep personal growth and community development. Expressive art therapy allows users to laugh, let go, and relax, which helps decrease depression, anxiety, and stress.  The benefits of art extend across any medium that excites you.  In this session, led by Jeffrey M. Rothenberg, MD, you’ll learn how art can be a powerful tool for self-care and your mental health.


Jeffrey M. Rothenberg, MD, MS
Chief Medical Officer, Executive Director for Medical Education
Ascension St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital


Dr. Rothenberg is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology and an examiner for the American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology as well as a diplomate of the American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology for whom he serves as the District 5 Chairman. He has received numerous national honors and awards and is still a practicing OB-GYN.  Dr. Rothenberg is also an accomplished glass artist, working internationally in public and private collections. His educational passion is the integration of the arts and humanities into medical education, specifically as a tool for self-help and reflection and an opportunity for advancing interprofessional communication.


Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes' Foundation ...

In 2022, the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act became the first-ever bill to address mental health care options for medical professionals. This comprehensive legislation is the first of its kind to allocate specific funds towards grants for training health profession students, residents, and health care professionals in evidence-informed strategies to reduce and prevent suicide, burnout, mental health conditions, and substance use disorders.  Now that the bill is officially law, the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation works to advocate for additional funding and education surrounding the continued barriers medical professionals face in seeking mental health help. 

Dr. Simmons will discuss the Foundation’s partnership with the CDC and their National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) Impact Wellbeing™ campaign which gives hospital leaders evidence-informed solutions to:

  • Reduce healthcare worker burnout,
  • Sustain wellbeing, and
  • Build a system where healthcare workers thrive.

The Campaign focuses on challenging working conditions such as staff shortages, harassment and violence, burnout, and other poor mental health outcomes. It is critical to address the workplace policies and practices that impact wellbeing to reduce burnout and strengthen professional wellbeing.

Stefanie Simmons, MD
Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes' Foundation


Dr. Simmons is a board-certified emergency medicine physician. She was the primary advisor to NIOSH for the Impact Wellbeing guide for healthcare leaders, leads multi-state programs to improve the operational environment of care and remove barriers to mental health care, and serves as a national thought leader in healthcare worker well-being. Stefanie served as the Vice President of Patient and Clinician Experience for Envision over 7 years, serving 26,000 physicians and advanced practice providers with a focus on professional well-being, including translational research and programs designed to bring well-being best practices to clinical environments. She served as lead clinical faculty for the Clinician Experience Project Wellbeing program. She has completed additional training in medical education, research methods, coaching, and positive organizational psychology.



While the day’s full schedule is still being finalized, the following provides you with a snapshot of the activities being planned. 


Friday, Sept. 6

8:30 - 9:30 AM - Registration and Visit Exhibit Hall


9:30 - 9:35 AM - Welcome Address

  • ISMA President, David Diaz, MD


9:35 - 10:00 AM - Opening Session

  • Colts “Kicking the Stigma” Campaign with Brett Kramer


10:00 - 11:00 AM - Keynote Address

  • Robert Waldinger, MD


11:00 - 11:30 AM - Plenary Session 1

  • Jeffrey Rothenberg, MD


11:30 AM - 12:30 PM - Lunch, Networking and Visit Exhibit Hall


12:30 - 1:30 PM - Plenary Session 2

  • Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes' Foundation with Stefanie Simmons, MD


1:30 - 3:00 PM - Physician Wellness Leadership Panel Discussion

  • Creating Supportive Work Environments


3:00 - 3:45 PM - Table Talk Breakouts


3:45 - 4:00 PM - Closing Remarks


4:00 - 5:00 PM - Reception and Visit Exhibit Hall