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The science clearly tells us that taking care of yourself is the most essential thing you can do in order to properly care for someone else — including when it comes to caring for patients in life-or-death situations. Call it the Hippocratic Paradox: putting the patient first also means putting yourself first.

For many dedicated health care providers, this might seem not only counterintuitive, but impossible. You pursued the path you’re on to take care of others, not take better care of yourself.

But the two go hand-in-hand, and that’s why we’re so excited to kick off a partnership between the Ellison Institute and Thrive Global. As longtime friends and collaborators, we’ve seen again and again how “securing your own oxygen mask first” is essential for helping others—in any profession, and in every aspect of our lives. At Thrive, we believe the Ellison Institute’s mission of transforming the prevention and treatment of cancer couldn’t be more important. And we’re committed to supporting the Institute’s healthcare providers and researchers so they can show up every day as their best selves, move science forward, and deliver the best care possible for their patients.

That means giving them tools and resources they can use to maximize their impact. The Thrive app is one of those tools: It offers the latest science, storytelling and hundreds of actionable Microsteps to help users manage stress and significantly improve their well-being. Some of those steps are particularly well-suited to helping health care providers improve their own lives and those of their patients. One powerful example is Reset, one of the app’s most popular features, which is based on the science that we can course-correct from stress in just 60 to 90 seconds. Reset users can create their own personalized 60-second Reset by selecting images, quotes and sounds that bring them calm and joy — or choose from our ready-made Reset guides on topics like stretching, gratitude and mindfulness. Providers who are caring for patients may not have time for a 20-minute meditation or walk. But they can take 60 seconds to Reset, recharge, and return to their work with less stress.

Together, we hosted a dedicated webinar for Ellison Institute employees. It was a conversation about how healthcare professionals in stressful situations can prioritize their well-being to better serve their patients and how scientific researchers can bring their best selves to the lab and make innovation happen. And Joey Hubbard, Thrive’s chief training officer, led a session on Thriving Mind, our mental health and resilience program. It’s all about helping people identify their individual signs of stress so they can take action to manage it.

We’re also big believers in the importance of role models — including those we work alongside. The Thrive app includes inspiring stories of Ellison Institute employees and how they are taking small steps and seeing big results. For example, Matt Abney, senior director of special projects, shares how small habits and rituals—like reading a book at lunch instead of working through lunch—help him recharge. For Ken Okajima, supervising system administrator, deep breathing and stretching throughout the day help him maintain energy and focus, while Jillian Infusino, education and outreach specialist, shares the advice that helps her keep things in perspective: “Take care of yourself, pace yourself, and let the little things go.”

In 2016, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy sounded the alarm about two looming crises. One was the opioid epidemic, and the other was burnout in the medical profession. “As I think about the emotional well-being for our country, I am particularly interested in how to cultivate emotional well-being for healthcare providers,” he said. “If healthcare providers aren’t well, it’s hard for them to heal the people for whom they are caring.”

We’re committed to supporting healthcare providers and researchers so they can do their important work. And we’re hopeful this is just the beginning.

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  • Arianna Huffington

    Founder & CEO of Thrive Global

    Arianna Huffington is the founder and CEO of Thrive Global, the founder of The Huffington Post, and the author of 15 books, including Thrive and The Sleep Revolution. In 2016, she launched Thrive Global, a behavior change technology company with the mission of improving productivity and health outcomes.

    She has been named to Time Magazine's list of the world’s 100 most influential people and the Forbes Most Powerful Women list. Originally from Greece, she moved to England when she was 16 and graduated from Cambridge University with an M.A. in economics. At 21, she became president of the famed debating society, the Cambridge Union.

    Her last two books, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder and The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night At A Time, both became instant international bestsellers.

  •  Dr. David B. Agus is a professor of medicine and engineering at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine and Viterbi School of Engineering and the founding director of USC’s Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine. He is one of the world’s leading physicians and the cofounder of several pioneering personalized medicine companies. Over the past twenty-five years he’s received acclaim for his innovations in medicine and contributions to new technologies and therapeutics that change how all of us maintain optimal health and treat cancer. As a contributor to CBS News, he comments on important health topics regularly on television. Dr. Agus specializes in treating patients with advanced cancer. His clinical responsibilities include the development of clinical trials for new drugs and treatments for cancer, supported by the National Cancer Institute and other private foundations (he has no financial ties to drug companies). He serves in leadership roles at the World Economic Forum, among other prestigious organizations. After earning his Bachelor of Arts in Molecular Biology from Princeton University and medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, he completed his medical residency training at Johns Hopkins Hospital, a research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, and an Oncology fellowship at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He is a 2017 recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.