Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation

Grant Details

Organization Type Medical Society Foundation Categories Physician Wellbeing
Grant Size $75,000 Year 2021 State Virginia

Speaking Tour: Protect the Well-Being of our Nation’s Physicians

Dr. Lorna Breen was a physician who died by suicide on April 26, 2020. Lorna became overwhelmed from treating confirmed COVID patients, after not fully recovering from the disease herself. Lorna had no prior mental health issues (known or suspected) and no history of depression or anxiety, leaving her career as a physician, as her main stressor and the assumed reason for her suicide. Her tragic death highlighted the previously overlooked correlation between physicians and death by suicide, and has led to the creation of Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation, which provides resources and advocacy for physicians nationwide.

One positive result of Dr Breen’s passing was the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, (HR 1667). This was enacted to reduce and prevent suicide, burnout, and mental and behavioral health conditions among health care professionals. This bill has helped to promote mental and behavioral health among those working on the frontlines of the pandemic, to support suicide and burnout prevention training in health professional training programs and to increase awareness and education about suicide and mental health concerns among health care professionals.

James Feist, executive director of the foundation, will organize and headline a speaking tour designed to protect the well-being of our nation’s physicians to facilitate conversations around these issues. This will consist of presentations at events hosted by The Physicians Foundation related to spreading awareness on the issue of physician suicide by sharing first-hand to a wide spectrum of audiences throughout the medical community current findings about the complex and layered issues that contribute to physician well-being. This will help to support the foundation’s priorities of leading awareness, building, education, and direct support to advance physician well-being.