Creating Systems to Promote Wellbeing with Dr. Nigel Girgrah

Destigmatizing mental health issues can’t happen overnight, but Dr. Nigel Girgrah, Chief Wellness Officer at Ochsner Health, says the charge has to start with leaders. In this episode, Nigel shares examples of how when leaders showed vulnerability; people on their teams did the same. In his own organization, Nigel is working towards getting systems in place that promote well-being in a proactive manner so people have help long before a crisis occurs. As the conversation unfolds, you’ll learn the benefits of investing in wellbeing and how to take steps toward destigmatizing mental health.

Guest Info

Nigel Girgrah MD, PhD, Chief Wellness Officer and Medical Director, Liver Transplant Program - Ochsner Health System 

Dr. Girgrah is the Chief Wellness Officer at Ochsner Health. He leads the efforts of the  Office of Professional Well-Being (OPW) at Ochsner Health which is charged with improving the professional fulfillment of their employed physicians and APPs (Advance Practice Providers) focusing on enhanced practice efficiency and personal and team resilience and building an organizational culture that promotes provider well-being.

Dr. Girgrah received both his medical degree and Ph.D. from the University of Toronto.  He has specialist certification in both gastroenterology and internal medicine with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He is a practicing transplant hepatologist and also serves at the Medical Director of Liver Transplantation at Ochsner Health.


About Ochsner Health

Ochsner Health is an integrated healthcare system with a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate. Celebrating 80 years in 2022, it leads nationally in cancer care, cardiology, neurosciences, liver and heart transplants and pediatrics, among other areas. Ochsner is consistently named both the top hospital and top children’s hospital in Louisiana by U.S. News & World Report. The not-for-profit organization is inspiring healthier lives and stronger communities. Its focus is on preventing diseases and providing patient-centered care that is accessible, affordable, convenient and effective. Ochsner Health pioneers new treatments, deploys emerging technologies and performs groundbreaking research, including over 700 clinical studies. It has more than 34,000 employees and over 4,500 employed and affiliated physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties. It operates 40 hospitals and more than 300 health and urgent care centers across Louisiana, Mississippi and the Gulf South; and its cutting-edge Connected Health digital medicine program is caring for patients beyond its walls. In 2021, Ochsner Health treated more than 1 million people from every state and 75 countries. As Louisiana’s top healthcare educator, Ochsner Health and its partners educate thousands of healthcare professionals annually.

 Guest Resources

Oschsner Health: Visit this website to learn more about Oschner Health.

The Office of Professional Well Being: Visit this website to learn more about how Ochsner is addressing and improving the well-being of their workforce and employees by determining the causes of burnout.


Show Notes

Key takeaways from this episode:

- Put systems in place that allow people to work on their well-being and resilience
- There’s no better way to bring a team together than by leading with vulnerability and honesty
- Invest in wellbeing, the returns will add to your competitive edge tremendously

What to listen for:

[02:09] The tragedy that spurred Nigel to intentionally look at burnout
[06:33] The four dimensions of your energy tank
[11:41] Leadership behavioral norms to promote wellbeing
[14:52] De-stigmatizing mental health
[23:31] Vulnerability with boundaries
[26:31] Nigel’s self-limiting story
[30:22] Quick questions with Nigel
[34:40] Nigel’s challenge to other leaders for making a more human workplace


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