Behavioural Health Action Network Services Study

Hurricane Katrina did more than destroy thousands of homes.

It disrupted the lives of people throughout the Gulf region. One group of people still recovering from the storm’s impact are service providers. For example, the city of New Orleans has on ongoing struggle to recruit teachers, nurses, doctors, police officers, and other service providers. It struggles as well to keep employees on the job rather than pursue opportunities elsewhere.

Service providers are essential to the city’s future. They attend to the community members while rebuilding its infrastructure. These are big jobs. The providers’ personal tragedies during the disaster add to the challenge of maintaining an optimistic engagement with their work.

The Centre for Organizational Research & Development (COR&D) at Acadia University participated in a project to understand these providers’ unique challenges. This information helped to develop an effective response. Working with the Behavioral Health Action Network of New Orleans, along with researchers from Tulane University and the University of California, Dr. Michael P. Leiter and the staff of COR&D lead the survey design and implementation.

In June 2008, COR&D implemented a survey process that provided each of the participating organizations with a profile of their employees’ responses. The profile described workplace factors that promoted work engagement or aggravate job burnout. This information guided the design of interventions to enhance the quality of worklife. The project gauged their impact in subsequent surveys.

The project would not have been possible without the financial support of [REACH-NOLA].  REACH-NOLA stands for Rapid Evaluation and Action for Community Health in New Orleans, Louisiana. REACH-NOLA is a community-based participatory planning, action, and research partnership dedicated to improving community health and access to quality healthcare services in post-Katrina New Orleans.

More information on the Behavioral Health Action Network.