Less than a month ago, Migrant Clinicians Network (MCN) captured a national spotlight after being announced as a recipient of a sizable donation from author and philanthropist, MacKenzie Scott. In response to the showing of generosity, MCN utilized a thank you borrowing language that has long defined their official stance of gratitude. In an email blast to constituents, Karen Mountain, MCN’s Chief Executive officer, explained that the gift “is an investment in creating a heritage of hope for the future—and not only for women but for an entire society free to invest in what is critical that ensures the world continues to nurture the dreamers who were born to care.”
The phrase “Born to Care” is a long-time legacy of the organization, which began to provide support services to frontline clinicians specializing in work with migrant and mobile populations. In recent years, frontline clinicians have encountered numerous structural barriers that have hampered their ability to address the needs of their clients. Such obstacles, including racism, funding deficits, bureaucracy, and inadequate systems of care, have created harm to the healers—and being “born to care” is not an inoculation against moral injury.
Beyond being founded by a group of people born to care, MCN remains staffed by people of similar persuasion. From administrative assistants to senior leaders, the overarching goal of creating health justice motivates us to address these barriers with on-the-ground programs to support the immigrant, migrant, and asylum-seeking populations directly. As always, the heart of the efforts concentrates on clinicians. In the two years since the COVID-19 pandemic first arrived globally, MCN has provided training to close to 4,000 individuals, including extensive education and technical assistance collaborations with nearly 700 organizations.
MCN’s Witness to Witness (W2W) program has been a large part of the effort to reach out to clinicians. Among its many perspectives, W2W does strive to disseminate information about moral injury. The failure to do what they know needs to be done creates moral injury in providers and becomes fertile ground for the national epidemic of provider burnout. In the last year, Dr. Kaethe Weingarten, the Founder and Director of W2W, has increased the resources available for those identified as being at risk of moral injury, including providing Zoom-hosted talks on self-care to more than 800 frontline clinicians, facilitating several new cycles of peer support groups and learning collaboratives with trained W2W volunteers, and creating informative handouts, such as January’s “Some Comforting Ideas,” which Dr. Weingarten developed when half of a webinar group of healthcare workers was unable to think of a single self-soothing option.
More than a quarter into 2022, it is clear that the work is far from over. Supporters can expect the blog to remain updated, the mailing list to stay engaged, and handouts to continue merging helpful tidbits of information with Dr. Weingarten’s razor-sharp observations developed over five decades of clinical experience. Ever mindful of the need to be nimble and responsive, W2W will be unveiling new resources shortly, including additional webinars, learning collaboratives, and perhaps most excitingly of all, a fresh new podcast to inform, entertain, and speak to others who were also born to care.