Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento’s Caring Science Academy Receives WCSI Lotus Recognition™


Deerfield, FL: Watson Caring Science Institute (WCSI) is pleased to announce that the latest Lotus Recognition™ has been awarded to Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento’s Caring Science Academy for its commitment to helping front-line nurses and other direct providers of patient care increase their resilience and connect back to purpose through instructor-led curriculum and experiential exercises.

The Watson Caring Science Institute created its Lotus Recognition to celebrate real-life examples of the values, philosophy, and human caring theory guides by Watson’s Caring Science and reflects the recipient organization’s caring-healing culture for team members, patients, and communities.

The Lotus Recognition awarded shines light on the 4-month Caring Science Academy program which provides a progressive education pathway that enhances the interpersonal and intrapersonal-clinical competency of staff providing direct patient care, according to Pamela Spain, Area Experience Leader, South Sacramento. It also uses a whole-person approach to professional practice development and integrates elective education and skills training in Caring Science, HeartMath, and Equity, Inclusion & Diversity.

The program was approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) to conduct research on how the course content influences resilience and creates positive transformation for participants after experiencing the impacts of being health care workers during a worldwide pandemic. The results showed significant reduction in staff burnout and secondary trauma.

South Sacramento’s Caring Science Academy was developed amidst the pandemic, following a partnership with the State of California that led to the quick addition of 54 surge beds to accommodate an influx of patients.

“Staff were working long hours and extra days, managing complex care that led to conditions such as burnout, physical exhaustion, compassion fatigue, lack of joy at work, concern for staff retention, concern for the caregivers’ mental health, and diminishing self-value and purpose due to repetitive trauma at work — all while navigating their own fear of the unknown and being isolated from peers, families, and loved ones,” Spain said.

A multidisciplinary group of health care leaders, led by South Sacramento Chief Nurse Executive and Caritas Leader® Rachel Wyatt, DNP, MHA, RN, NEA-BC (pictured above on left), were recruited to develop a curriculum that would address the challenging issues staff were struggling with. The faculty, all Caritas Coaches® and certified HeartMath trainers, include Pamela Spain (second from left); Milanelle Tranchina, RN, Staff Nurse IV, Telemetry; Malia Lavallee, RN, former Professional Development Specialist; and Charlene Johnson, RN, Perinatal Manager and EID Officer.

“Leading by example, our Caring Science Academy faculty are able to affect change and create a compassionate, caring organization that serves our patients, employees, and community as a whole,” said Wyatt. “Collectively, they created a curriculum based on Watson's Caring Science theory and the 10 Caritas Processes® to establish a learning-healing environment that is at the heart of our program.”

Admission to the Academy requires Kaiser Permanente employment for at least 6 months providing direct patient care; the submission of an online application with reflective questions about Watson's Human Caring Science; a commitment to completing four 4-hour monthly classes; completing a short course survey at the end of each class; and attending a 4-hour graduation ceremony. At the end of the program, participants are required to submit an exemplar documenting their journey before, during, after the program, along with a personal Caritas plan for the future.

“Our graduates undergo a transformational experience that builds resilience and a commitment to deliver high-quality, safe patient care that positively influences the patient’s healing care experience,” said Spain.

Program benefits include a robust opportunity for professional and intrapersonal development at no cost to Kaiser Permanente employees, opportunity to voluntarily participate in research that integrates Watson’s Caring Science, Equity, Inclusion & Diversity (first cohort only), as well as continuing education approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing for 15 CEUs or AMA 16 CMEs for medical practitioners.

The Watson Caring Science Institute (WCSI) is an international non-profit organization that advances the philosophies, theories, and practices of Human Caring/Caring Science, founded by Jean Watson, Ph.D., RN, AHN-BC, FAAN, LL (AAN), WCSI’s Founder & Director. "We're delighted to present the Lotus Recognition to South Sacramento’s Caring Science Academy," said Dr Watson, "their authentic caring practices is an exemplar for systems globally, acknowledging the full circle of knowledge on what it means to care."

For further information about Lotus Recognition contact Dianne Reid, Program Enrichment Director, at dianne@watsoncaringscience.org.

Click here to learn more about Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento.

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