Oklahoma Children's Hospital Initiates Program to Help Staff Deal With Emotional Issues

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Children’s Hospital at OU Health will be the first facility in the Oklahoma City area to incorporate Schwartz Rounds, a program to provide support to staff members who may deal with stressful and emotional situations throughout their work day.

Schwartz Rounds are a multidisciplinary forum where caregivers discuss difficult emotional and social issues that arise in caring for patients. The program’s mission is to promote compassionate health care and strengthen the relationship between patients and caregivers.

“The healthcare environment offers both unique challenges and privileges for caregivers,” said Deborah Browning, chief nursing officer at The Children’s Hospital. “Schwarz Rounds is a comprehensive system of caregiver support that preserves and protects the human connection in healthcare.”

The Children’s Hospital will hold its first bi-monthly Schwartz Rounds forum on February 21. Care team members from all areas of the hospital will be invited to participate, including nurses, dietitians, physicians, housekeepers, chaplains, etc.

Each Schwartz Rounds session will feature a different health topic that care team members encounter through their work in a pediatric environment. A panel of presenters will share their perspectives and experiences, and participants will be encouraged to engage with the panel and share their own similar experiences. The purpose will be for staff to talk about how they feel, rather than something that specifically happened, offered in a safe, comfortable environment where they can learn from and support each other.         

Schwartz Rounds were created by the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare based at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. The Center was named after Ken Schwartz, a healthcare attorney who died of lung cancer in 1995, at the age of 40. During his illness, he wrote an article for Boston Globe Magazine describing a group of caregivers who attended to his medical and emotional needs, “making the unbearable bearable.”

The Association of American Medical Colleges conducted a survey of Schwartz Rounds participants and found that 87 percent of respondents reported Rounds led to new ideas and strategies for challenging patient situations and increased their compassion.



At The Children’s Hospital, pediatric staff blends years of training with education, research and technology to improve the lives of children throughout the region. The obstetric emergency room at The Children’s Hospital is a regional referral center for the state, and the neonatal intensive care unit provides the highest level of newborn care in Oklahoma. Children’s is also home to the only 24/7 pediatric emergency room in Oklahoma City. With a family-centered approach to healing, Children’s offers resources from pet therapy to child life specialists who help families cope with hospitalization and illness. From advanced surgical services to general pediatrics, oncology care and more, The Children’s Hospital provides cutting-edge research and treatments through hospital-based and outpatient services. To learn more, visit oumedicine.com/childrens.


OU Health — along with its academic partner, the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center — is the state’s only comprehensive academic health system of hospitals, clinics and centers of excellence. With 11,000 employees and more than 1,300 physicians and advanced practice providers, OU Health is home to Oklahoma’s largest physician network with a complete range of specialty care. OU Health serves Oklahoma and the region with the state’s only freestanding children’s hospital, the only National Cancer Institute-Designated Stephenson Cancer Center and Oklahoma’s flagship hospital, which serves as the state’s only Level 1 trauma center. OU Health is the No. 1 ranked hospital system in Oklahoma, and its oncology program at Stephenson Cancer Center and OU Medical Center ranked in the Top 50 in the nation, in the 2019-2020 rankings released by U.S. News & World Report. OU Health was also ranked by U.S. News & World Report as high performing in four specialties: Ophthalmology in partnership with Dean McGee Eye Institute, Colon Surgery, COPD and Congestive Heart Failure. OU Health’s mission is to lead healthcare in patient care, education and research. To learn more, visit oumedicine.com.