Our friend, Dr. Lorna Breen
During the pandemic, the 2021 Executive MBA and Masters in Healthcare Leadership (EMBA/MS) Cohort, endured the tragic passing of our friend and classmate, Dr. Lorna Breen, who took her own life after suffering from COVID-19 and dealing with the emotionally taxing duty of saving the lives of others as a talented emergency department physician in New York City. To honor Lorna, to memorialize her life’s work, and to make an impact on the complex issue of mental health, we have created the Dr. Lorna Breen Healthcare Legacy Fund.
Why Focus on Mental Health?
Even before COVID-19, the prevalence of mental illness among adults was increasing. In 2018, 19% of adults experienced a mental illness, an increase of 1.5 million people over the prior year. Suicidal ideation among adults is increasing. The time is now to shift a focus to this growing problem, for both healthcare workers and the public.
How Your Gift Helps
The Dr. Lorna Breen Healthcare Legacy Fund allows the EMBA/MS program to present a monetary award to one student annually who exemplifies extraordinary contributions to the class through camaraderie, collaboration, caring spirit, and leadership. The awardee will be granted an opportunity to collaborate with the administration and staff to design initiatives within the EMBA/MS program to expand mental health support for healthcare workers, students and the community.
The Legacy Fund In Action
Last year's fellow, Madalina Sucala, brought together experts from Columbia University, the New York State Psychiatric Institute, and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai for a compelling panel focused on the important topic of Resilience Building in Healthcare Settings. The event also included a co-creation activity where participants came together to product problem statements related to receiving mental health care in healthcare systems which will be used during the next EMBA/MS cohort's human-centered design course.
We've only just begun making an impact on the complex issues surrounding mental health. Your support helps keep awareness and innovation efforts alive in Lorna's memory for years to come.