Amy Locke, MD, FAAFP, professor of Family and Preventive Medicine, has been named Chief Wellness Officer (CWO) for University of Utah Health. The appointment, effective November 1, 2020, was announced by Michael L. Good, Senior Vice President of Health Sciences and CEO of U of U Health.
"The leadership and clinical experience Dr. Locke demonstrates at U of U Health make her the right person to take on this important leadership role," Good says. "Since she joined our faculty in 2015, her work has been focused on preventive medicine and nutrition with the goal of bringing the best of conventional and integrative medicine together to prevent and treat illness."
Locke's clinical interests include nutrition, preventive medicine, and care of children and adolescents, families, and individuals of all ages. She believes optimal health and well-being start with a strong foundation in health promotion.
"University of Utah Health was one of the first institutions in the nation to create a Chief Wellness Officer," Locke points out. "It is still one of the only medical centers that uses this position to comprehensively look at the well-being of patients, faculty and staff, and community. I am honored to have the opportunity to continue to grow the impact of this position in the coming years as the U continues to lead in cutting-edge approaches to health and medicine."
The Chief Wellness Officer leads the design, direction, and implementation of wellness/well-being programs. These programs champion wellness across campus and our community by empowering patients, faculty, staff, and trainees to live a healthy life. Dr. Locke states, "The ultimate goals of this position are two-pronged: support the professional fulfillment of our faculty and staff, alongside a well-being service line that promotes personal wellness of our patients, employees, trainees, and community."
The first goal, as outlined by Locke, is professional fulfillment of personal needs that help the U provide outstanding comprehensive patient care, conduct nationally recognized education and research programs, and serve the community. "To excel, U of U Health must consider professional well-being in all that we do," Locke says. "Professional well-being includes a culture of wellness, efficiency of practice (whether clinical, education, research or other), and personal resilience to maximize professional fulfillment and further the missions of U of U Health."
The second goal of the new Chief Wellness Officer is to promote physical and mental well-being among populations, including patients, employees, and communities. "University of Utah Health has long been a leader in innovative approaches to medicine and health," Locke says. "By supporting prevention, we can reduce health care costs, improve quality of life, expand the use of a diverse health care team, and help communities access the care they need. As medicine moves towards preventive approaches and value-based care, U of U Health is poised to continue as a national leader in shaping the future of health care."
Tom Miller, MD, Chief Medical Officer at U of U Health, says, "Dr. Amy Locke and her team's efforts in promoting wellness through frequent and multiple communication channels have been roundly applauded by clinical staff and physicians during the pandemic. She illustrates the great importance and benefit of having a robust approach to maintaining a mentally safe and healthy workplace. I look forward to working with Dr. Locke as we continue to navigate through these stressful times and beyond while providing outstanding care to an increased number of patients."
Locke will also serve as Executive Director of the U of U Health Resiliency Center, designed to foster wellness and resilience for all employees. The center plays an active role during the coronavirus pandemic providing resources, support services, and a variety of techniques and methods for coping with stress while regularly checking on employees needing assistance. She has been serving as co-director of the Resiliency Center and co-director of the Childcare Workgroup, which provides resources and support services for families and children during COVID-19.
Locke succeeds Robin Marcus, PT, PhD, FAPTA who is stepping aside after serving as Chief Wellness Officer for the last six years. During her tenure Marcus helped establish the Resiliency Center, the L. S. Skaggs Patient Wellness Center, U of U Health's CDC recognized Diabetes Prevention Program, and the Larry H. and Gail Miller Family Foundation's Driving Out Diabetes Initiative that includes The Wellness Bus, a community outreach health screening and education program. Marcus, professor of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training, will focus on research projects investigating lifestyle interventions within communities. Marcus was U of U Health's inaugural CWO and built the position into one that improved health on campus and throughout the community it serves. She continues to serve on the leadership team of the Driving Out Diabetes Initiative and as the Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs in the College of Health.