Healthcare Coaching Associates was formed in 2015 by Gideon Strich, MD and Christine Blakley in response to what they saw as a critical failure in the healthcare system. Dr. Strich worked for 25 years as a hospital based diagnostic and interventional radiologist in a level 2 trauma center, a position associated with a lot of time and performance stress, before suffering career ending burnout at the age of 59. Prior to that time, he had served as chairman of the hospital physician well-being committee, dealing with physicians with substance abuse issues and, more frequently, behavioural issues that impeded their ability to effectively practice in the hospital environment. It wasn’t until he recovered from his burnout episode that he began to seriously research what had happened to him, and he realized that burnout was a hidden epidemic that threatens individual physician’s careers and the healthcare delivery system as a whole. He became a certified professional coach to help physicians and to proactively change the healthcare system to improve the environment for both providers and patients.
Christine Blakley began her career as a nurse, but quickly discovered her strongest ability was on the hospital administration side. Her ability to see the big picture of how doctors, nurses, patients and payors interacted in the hospital setting led to her career as a case management coordinator. In her position she has seen how lack of communication between the various parties involved in patient care has resulted in inappropriate utilization and negative financial and personal consequences for all those involved.
Together, Gideon and Christine decided that the mission of preventing physician burnout and nurse burnout, and improving communication within the healthcare team is critical to providing quality patient care. For that reason, they decided that, within their time and financial constraints, they would make this information, and the basic tools to implement their goals, free to medical and nursing education programs and not for profit medical organizations. These efforts are supported financially by the fees from one-on-one coaching and group coaching sessions.