Will Border, MD, Children’s Chief Physician Wellness Officer

A Framework for Personal Wellness

The Physician Wellness Program offerings at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta are categorized into four dimensions: physical, mental and emotional, social, and crisis management. The Physician Wellness Program Leadership Committee, chaired by Joseph K. Williams, MD, FACS, FAAP, Chief of Plastic Surgery and Medical Director of the Center for Cleft and Craniofacial Disorders at Children’s, and Lucky Jain, MD, MBA, Pediatrician in Chief and Department of Pediatrics Chair, advises on program offerings. A physician representative from each physician practice, called a wellness champion, serves as a liaison for his or her team, communicating program updates and events.

Physician Wellness Program offerings

Physical wellness

  • Doctors’ Wellness Fairs: A one-stop shop for physicians to complete their annual physical, get a flu shot and take the TB test, as well as to learn about Physician Wellness Program offerings. Body mass index (BMI) evaluations with a physical wellness expert are also available.
  • Care Clinic: Our on-site health clinics are intended to support employees who begin feeling sick while at work.
  • One-on-one fitness and nutrition consults: Visit with a fitness or nutrition expert to create a plan to improve healthy behaviors.
  • Discounts and programs: Learn about our on-site classes, discounts at local gyms, Atlanta Track Club memberships and races, and other race training programs and resources.

Mental, emotional and social wellness

  • Mindfulness programs: Utilize mindfulness programs and challenges for yourself or your team.
  • Annual yoga program: A program focused on mindfulness and relaxation.

Crisis management

  • You Matter Program (second victim syndrome): Connect with a peer supporter when an adverse or unanticipated event occurs.
  • Physician Assistance Hotline: Call our 24/7 hotline with confidential access to mental health professionals for triage, assessment, referral, counseling and support.
  • Group psychologist support: Participate in group debriefings, and garner support for your teams.
  • Schwartz Rounds: These multidisciplinary forums allow caregivers to discuss social and emotional issues that arise from patient care.

A Letter From Dr. Williams

Dear physician colleagues,

There is a Bhutanese saying that states, “To be truly happy, one must contemplate death five times a day.” Yikes! Dark and dreary? At first, yes, but the real message has to do with balance, setting priorities and appreciating the here and now.

Thanks to an app called WeCroak, I am now reminded of my impending death five times a day. The app randomly alerts me throughout the day with a reminder that we croak, followed by a simple quote for reflection. I’m certainly not here to promote mindfulness apps, of which there are many, but my recent experience has provided me some room for pause. I have found the messages to be quick and the timing uncanny. Morbid? Perhaps—but it almost always brings a smile to my face.

Of course there’s some irony that the very device that constantly connects us to work and leads to overstimulation and stress can possibly be used to provide some relief. However, my device, which is always with me, helps me make time to pause and reflect.

Along those lines, I wanted to take a moment to pause and reflect on the progress we have made since the creation of the Physician Wellness Program in 2015. Together, we’ve built a program that supports the health and well-being of our physicians. We will continue to build on this progress and provide opportunities for anyone to become involved in some way with the Physician Wellness Program here at Children’s.

The Physician Wellness Program Leadership Committee is determined to continue to create offerings that meet the unique needs of each individual. We hope you are able to embrace some of our offerings even more as we continue to grow.


Joseph K. Williams, MD, FACS, FAAP
Chief, Plastic Surgery
Medical Director, Center for Cleft and Craniofacial Disorders
Co-Chair, Physician Wellness Leadership Committee