Hartwell named inaugural associate dean for wellness, chief wellness officer

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Jennifer L. Hartwell, MD, FACS, CNSC, has been named the inaugural associate dean for wellness at Indiana University School of Medicine and chief wellness officer for IU Health Physicians, effective July 1.

An assistant professor with the Department of Surgery and trauma and acute care staff surgeon with IU Health Physicians, Hartwell is recognized as an emerging expert on the topic of work-life balance and wellness, having given three national presentations on the issue.

Hartwell’s appointment was jointly announced by Jay L. Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, IU School of Medicine dean and executive vice president for University Clinical Affairs, and David A. Ingram, MD, MS, executive associate dean for Clinical Affairs and president, IU Health Physicians.

Hartwell assumes this new post at a time of mounting pressures for medical professionals. Several studies have shown that nearly 45 percent of physicians report at least one symptom of burnout.

In her new role, Hartwell will expand on these efforts by leading innovative, coordinated and aligned initiatives to address physical, emotional, intellectual and social wellness needs. Hartwell’s vision for the scope of this position goes far beyond developing a program focused on wellness for physicians advanced practice providers, educators, researchers and learners—she is striving for a shift in the paradigm.

“I feel called to the role of chief wellness officer because of my personal experience with early career disillusionment and the process of walking alongside some of my friends and colleagues who have found themselves struggling,” Hartwell said.

“I believe that each of us are crucial in building strong and thriving relationships, communities and systems. I am humbled to be given this opportunity to share my heart and my vision and to build on the very good work that has already been started here.

Hartwell has a bachelor’s degree in zoology from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and is a graduate of Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine. She completed her general surgery residency at University of Illinois at Chicago, along with fellowship training in trauma and surgical critical care at University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center in Memphis.

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