Columbia University Irving Medical Center Embraces Healthy Monday

Healthcare workers commonly experience stress and burnout and have difficulty finding time for self-care. The Healthy Monday Employee Wellness Program does just that! The Integrative Therapies Program team at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) identified an opportunity to help these healthcare workers and collaborated with The Monday Campaigns team to design a self-care program.

In 2018, a 24-week pilot study was launched. Participants included 30 nursing staff members (nurse practitioners and registered nurses) of the Division of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation working in the outpatient clinic. The Program delivered wellness content which consisted of evidence-based self-care practices, including mind-body techniques and movement and nutrition tips, that were delivered via email every Monday.

The results from our pilot study found that nurses were more open to receiving health information on Monday, the program had a positive benefit on their mood for the rest of the week, and that time and fatigue were the two most reported barriers to starting a new healthy behavior.

When your job and passion is caring for others every day, sometimes we forget to care for ourselves. Self-care emails keep our mind, body, and spirit in-check. My personal favorite is the easy and super fun dance moves! Thank you for supporting and encouraging us to stay motivated, mindful, and moving!


To further build upon these encouraging results, our wellness program was then expanded to a second group of healthcare workers inclusive of 500 staff, faculty, and trainees throughout the Department of Pediatrics. Like the initial pilot study, participants reported Monday as being a popular day to start a daily routine for exercise, nutrition, and stress management, time and fatigue were the two most reported barriers to engagement, and participants reported a positive effect on their mood for the rest of the week.

Healthy Monday has been a great addition to my week. Simply, you can relax, take deep breaths, and anticipate having a productive day/week. The positive affirmations, chair exercises, healthy recipes, and colorful presentations are all very interesting and represent our commitment to personal wellbeing.

HM, Executive Assistant, CUIMC

Based on this feedback, The Integrative Therapies Program team worked with the Healthy Monday team to modify and update the program content. The 24-week Healthy Monday Program was part of an IRB-approved prospective cohort study and was delivered to 1225 staff, faculty, and trainees across the institution, in 2 cohorts between September 2022 – October 2023.

Weeks 1-12 include videos featuring wellness experts from CUIMC. Weeks 13-24 include a practice and a supplementary article that takes a deeper dive into the recommended weekly practices. Columbia Work Life and NYPBehealthy provided additional resources correlating to each self-care tip! These resources include links to well-being coaches, audio meditations, gym membership discounts, and healthy recipes.

After the Program, participants completed an anonymous survey where they rated, in a retrospective pre-post format, four well-being outcomes, using both validated and de novo measures. Analyses found statistically significant self-reported benefits among participants for their perceived stress and the importance they placed on self-care after completing the Program. The Healthy Monday Program addressed the challenges of a stressful healthcare work environment by teaching self-care practices. This self-care model was easily accessible and can be adapted to other healthcare settings.