A Military Veteran’s Advice on Leadership in Healthcare? Build Leader Resiliency to Reduce Burnout


The future of healthcare leadership is a conversation that’s becoming increasingly crucial. The healthcare industry faces unprecedented challenges in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a time when leadership needs to be reimagined, particularly in an industry where burnout and compassion fatigue are rife among front-line workers. Estimates indicate 60% of healthcare workers reported burnout during the height of the pandemic. This fatigue continues to cause healthcare workers to leave the field, creating a gap in an industry whose needs are growing, not shrinking.

Considering these staggering figures, how can leadership in healthcare evolve to combat these challenges, foster resilience, and adapt to the changing landscape of this crucial sector?

In the latest episode of Holistic Leadership, The Future of Work & Education in Healthcare, hosted by Travis Hearne, we dive into this pertinent discussion with Dr. Kathleen Flarity, a veteran healthcare and military leader with more than four decades of service.

In this episode, the conversation revolves around three main areas:

  • The link between healthcare provider resiliency and leader resiliency and how fostering these can mitigate the risks of burnout and compassion fatigue
  • The balance between individual responsibility and organizational responsibility in healthcare leadership, particularly in the context of addressing systemic burnout
  • The evolution of Dr. Flarity’s mission and calling for leaders in the healthcare space, informed by her unique experiences in both healthcare and the military

Dr. Kathleen Flarity is a highly decorated military veteran, an esteemed academic, and a pioneer in healthcare. Her esteemed career includes serving as Deputy Director of the University of Colorado Anschutz Center for Combat Medicine and Battlefield Research and the role of Air Force Brigadier General. Beyond her military service, Dr. Flarity has published over 16 book chapters and 32 journal articles, including 15 peer-reviewed research manuscripts. She has significantly contributed to the healthcare field as an associate clinical professor of emergency medicine at the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus and the President of the Aerospace Nursing and Allied Health Professional Society. She is also the president and founder of Flarity Consulting LLC, specializing in leadership consulting and re-engineering clinical processes. Her unique insights and experiences make her an authoritative voice in the evolving discussion around healthcare leadership.

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