SafeHaven™ was founded in 2020 after recognizing a greater need to provide physicians and PAs the support they need to stay well and prevent burnout. It was established when HB115 (Hope) and SB120 (Barker) successfully passed both chambers and were signed by Governor Northam. UPDATE: SafeHaven is now available for physicians, PAs, residents, nurses, and pharmacists; as well as medical, nursing, PA, and pharmacy students.
House Bill 115 and Senate Bill 120
In 2020, the Medical Society of Virginia introduced new legislation to help physicians and PAs get the emotional support they need. In response, on March 8, 2020, Governor Ralph Northam signed into effect HB115 and SB120, providing for the creation of the SafeHaven™ program.
Independence. The bill establishes in the Virginia Code legal protections for a professional program which addresses issues related to burnout by doctors of medicine or osteopathic medicine and physician assistants.
Immunity. Amendments give more professional discretion to the provider on when to report to the board a belief that a physician or PA is in danger to themselves or others. All participants of SafeHaven™ are immune from reporting unless they are a danger to themselves or others.
Privileged. Consultations under SafeHaven™ are considered privileged communications and do not pose a risk to your medical license, except in the case of extraordinary circumstances.
To read more about HB115 and how SafeHaven™ benefits clinicians, download our legislative guide:
How does SafeHaven™ address confidentiality?
SafeHaven™ is a confidential resource for healthcare practitioners seeking help to address career fatigue and other mental health issues. The law protects information, including proceedings, minutes, records and reports; and communications, written and oral, originating in SafeHaven™ as privileged. This protection means that such information or communications may not be disclosed or produced in a legal proceeding absent an order from a circuit court judge showing “good cause arising from extraordinary circumstances.”
Furthermore, the clinicians participating in the SafeHaven™ program will not be reported to the Virginia Board of Medicine unless they are not competent to practice or are a danger to themselves or others.
To support the needs of physicians and PAs struggling with stress, burnout and the effects of COVID-19, the Medical Society of Virginia (MSV) and VITAL WorkLife are partnering to offer physicians and PAs a comprehensive set of well-being resources they can use without risk to their medical license, SafeHaven™.