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Reduce Employee Burnout and Optimize Organizational Thriving (REBOOT)

April 21, 2023

Workplace cultural and organizational factors are the primary drivers of healthcare burnout; however, the COVID-19 pandemic had a great effect on burnout due to the tremendous demands placed on healthcare providers and staff. The Reduce Employee Burnout and Optimize Organizational Thriving ( REBOOT ) initiative (see - intranet only) is a long-term effort to address major factors contributing to burnout and to promote wellbeing among employees in the VHA. In response to feedback from VA employees, on September 6, 2022, REBOOT announced a set of actions to implement across seven priority areas:

  • Implement Chief Clinician Wellbeing Officer (CWO): The CWO’s role would be to engage, advocate for, and foster wellbeing among clinical staff.
  • Optimize meeting practices: Encourage and incentivize the use of effective meeting practices, including the frequency and length of meetings.
  • Optimize TMS education and training: Streamline approaches for employees to gain vital education and training, such as the use of test-out options.
  • Strengthen mental health support: Increase investments in mental health resources, ensuring employees know what resources are available and how to ask for support.
  • Address inefficiencies: Empower and reward leaders and teams at all levels to identify and eliminate inefficiencies to enhance the work environment for all staff.
  • Maximize use of HR policies/flexibilities: Encourage and actively use all available HR flexibilities to boost employee wellbeing, retention, and recruitment efforts.
  • Strengthen culture of servant leadership: Increase the practice of servant leadership principles (i.e., leaders strive to serve and support others) at all levels of the VHA organization.

HSR&D supports research and evaluation of the initiatives launched under the REBOOT effort and recently added burnout as a new priority in the parent RFA (see - intranet only) for the Summer 2023 cycle. Investigators are encouraged to design research that takes advantage of REBOOT initiatives and provides strong assessment of the REBOOT implementation streams (for more details see the Research Priorities document). For updates on REBOOT’s efforts, check out a recent presentation from REBOOT leadership, which includes details on the new practices they are trying to implement across the VA healthcare system.

**Note: REBOOT’s workgroups are in different stages of implementation; please contact Michelle Hungerford ( and Keith Shiver ( for more details on the status of specific workgroups. Also, please cc Karen McNamara ( and Amelia Schlak ( so that HSR&D can track field interest in REBOOT evaluations.

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