The First Wave

IT'S TIME TO CARE FOR THOSE WHO CARE FOR US

Healthcare workers are human and they’re hurting. The COVID-19 pandemic has widened inequities in health and has left healthcare workers overworked, stressed out, and exhausted.

Let’s build a more equitable healthcare system that destigmatizes access to mental health support for healthcare workers.

“It’s an awful feeling to wonder every single time I walk into a room with a patient, ‘Is this it? Is this the time when I’m going to get sick and going to be the one in bed?’ Especially when the patient is a nurse.”

- Kellie Wunsch, ICU Nurse

Healthcare Workers Are Human

Skyline
Skyline
Skyline

ADVOCATE

Advocate Image

Before Congress goes on recess for the holiday break, send a note to your representatives as they consider timely and important mental health protections and support for healthcare professionals in the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act.
 
Support the Lorna Breen Heroes Foundation’s work to pass the first-ever legislation to support the mental health and wellbeing of our healthcare workforce. If signed into law, The Lorna Breen Act would help to reduce and prevent suicide, burnout, and mental and behavioral health conditions among health care professionals.

 

Advocate

 

“When you are struggling to take a breath, every second feels like eternity. Every minute seems forever. That is the look I see multiple times a day. But people don’t see that.”  

- Dr. Nathalie Dougé, Internist

Spacer

Skyline
Skyline
Skyline

SHOW YOUR GRATITUDE

SHOW YOUR GRATITUDE

Donate to #FirstRespondersFirst to fund programs that take a whole human approach to supporting our frontline healthcare workers by addressing their basic needs, mental health and systemic changes to improve their day-to-day experience. Your donation will provide critical mental health support and resources to frontline healthcare workers who continue to face the parallel pandemic of trauma and burnout.

An average donation of $25 can provide invaluable mental health support for a healthcare worker in desperate need of help.

 

Share a heartfelt note

20 MB Max File Size. Allowed types: gif jpg jpeg png pdf avi mov mp3 ogg wav mp4.

1. GRANT OF RIGHTS. For one dollar ($1) and other good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which are hereby acknowledged, You hereby grant to Participant Media, LLC and its licensees, designees and assigns (collectively, “Participant”) a nonexclusive license to use the materials uploaded to this form, which may include, without limitation, audio messages, video messages, audiovisual content, photographs, handwritten notes, and original music (collectively, the “Materials”) in accordance with the terms of this Agreement. The license granted hereunder includes the perpetual, worldwide right to photograph, edit, telecast, rerun, reproduce, use, syndicate, license, print, distribute and otherwise exploit the Materials, or any portion thereof, as incorporated in any version of Participant’s social impact campaign in connection with the documentary motion picture entitled The First Wave (the “Campaign”), in whole or in part, in any manner and in any media, whether now known or hereafter devised, including without limitation in and in connection with advertisements, promotions, publicity and other material relating to the Campaign.

2. NO OBLIGATION TO USE. Participant shall have the sole right to determine the manner in which the Materials shall be used pursuant to this Agreement, and Participant shall not be obligated to use the Materials as part of the Campaign or otherwise, or to broadcast or otherwise exhibit or exploit the Campaign.

3. REPRESENTATIONS AND WARRANTIES. You represent and warrant to Participant that You have the full legal right, power and authority to grant to Participant the license provided for herein, that it owns or controls the complete exhibition and other rightsto the Materials including, but not limited to any and all copyrights, trademarks and rights in the likenesses of any people (if any) depicted in the Material for the purposes contemplated in this Agreement and that neither the Materials nor the exercise of the rights granted herein shall infringe upon or violate the right of privacy or right of publicity of, or constitute a libel or slander against, or violate any common law or any other right of, any person or entity.

4. INDEMNIFICATION. You shall indemnify, defend and hold harmless Participant, its parent and affiliated companies, its and their licensees, successors and assigns, and each of its and their officers, agents and employees from all claims, damages, liabilities, costs, losses, and expenses, including, without limitation, reasonable attorneys' fees, arising out of or related to Participant’s exercise of the rights granted herein.

5. REMEDIES. You agree that its exclusive remedy for any breach of any provision hereunder shall be an arbitration for damages and in no event shall You be entitled to rescind this Agreement or to seek injunctive or any other equitable relief.

6. ARBITRATION. Any dispute relating to this Agreement shall be settled pursuant to binding arbitration initiated and conducted according to either the JAMS Streamlined (for claims under $250,000) or the JAMS Comprehensive (for claims over $250,000) Arbitration Rules and Procedures, at the Los Angeles office of JAMS, or its successor, in effect at the time of the request for arbitration is made. The arbitration shall be conducted in Los Angeles County before a single neutral arbitrator. The prevailing party in any such action shall be entitled to collect reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.

7. MISCELLANEOUS. This license and the rights hereunder may be freely assigned by Participant. This Agreement contains the entire understanding of the parties in connection with subject matter hereof and supersedes and replaces all prior negotiations, proposed agreements, and agreements, written and oral, relating thereto, and cannot be changed or terminated except by written instrument signed by both parties. You acknowledge that the rights granted herein shall inure to the benefit of Participant and Participant’s successors, licensees, and assigns, and such rights are freely assignable by Participant. Any waiver of any term of this Agreement in a particular instance shall not be a waiver of such term for the future. The invalidity or unenforceability of any term of this Agreement shall in no way affect the validity or enforceability of the remainder of this Agreement.

8. GOVERNING LAW. This Agreement shall be governed by the laws of the State of California.

By checking this box, I acknowledge that I have read through the above release and consent to all of its terms

By clicking submit, I agree to the terms of Participant and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

First Wave baby

 

Tell us a story about a healthcare worker who made a difference in your life, inspired you, or simply taught you something.

Each “Heartfelt Note,” whether it’s a voice message, video, or note to thank a healthcare worker, will be compiled and shared with healthcare workers this holiday season.

Call our Gratitude Hotline at 1-800-250-5745 to leave a message of appreciation for healthcare workers or listen to others.

Share a heartfelt note

20 MB Max File Size. Allowed types: gif jpg jpeg png pdf avi mov mp3 ogg wav mp4.

1. GRANT OF RIGHTS. For one dollar ($1) and other good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which are hereby acknowledged, You hereby grant to Participant Media, LLC and its licensees, designees and assigns (collectively, “Participant”) a nonexclusive license to use the materials uploaded to this form, which may include, without limitation, audio messages, video messages, audiovisual content, photographs, handwritten notes, and original music (collectively, the “Materials”) in accordance with the terms of this Agreement. The license granted hereunder includes the perpetual, worldwide right to photograph, edit, telecast, rerun, reproduce, use, syndicate, license, print, distribute and otherwise exploit the Materials, or any portion thereof, as incorporated in any version of Participant’s social impact campaign in connection with the documentary motion picture entitled The First Wave (the “Campaign”), in whole or in part, in any manner and in any media, whether now known or hereafter devised, including without limitation in and in connection with advertisements, promotions, publicity and other material relating to the Campaign.

2. NO OBLIGATION TO USE. Participant shall have the sole right to determine the manner in which the Materials shall be used pursuant to this Agreement, and Participant shall not be obligated to use the Materials as part of the Campaign or otherwise, or to broadcast or otherwise exhibit or exploit the Campaign.

3. REPRESENTATIONS AND WARRANTIES. You represent and warrant to Participant that You have the full legal right, power and authority to grant to Participant the license provided for herein, that it owns or controls the complete exhibition and other rightsto the Materials including, but not limited to any and all copyrights, trademarks and rights in the likenesses of any people (if any) depicted in the Material for the purposes contemplated in this Agreement and that neither the Materials nor the exercise of the rights granted herein shall infringe upon or violate the right of privacy or right of publicity of, or constitute a libel or slander against, or violate any common law or any other right of, any person or entity.

4. INDEMNIFICATION. You shall indemnify, defend and hold harmless Participant, its parent and affiliated companies, its and their licensees, successors and assigns, and each of its and their officers, agents and employees from all claims, damages, liabilities, costs, losses, and expenses, including, without limitation, reasonable attorneys' fees, arising out of or related to Participant’s exercise of the rights granted herein.

5. REMEDIES. You agree that its exclusive remedy for any breach of any provision hereunder shall be an arbitration for damages and in no event shall You be entitled to rescind this Agreement or to seek injunctive or any other equitable relief.

6. ARBITRATION. Any dispute relating to this Agreement shall be settled pursuant to binding arbitration initiated and conducted according to either the JAMS Streamlined (for claims under $250,000) or the JAMS Comprehensive (for claims over $250,000) Arbitration Rules and Procedures, at the Los Angeles office of JAMS, or its successor, in effect at the time of the request for arbitration is made. The arbitration shall be conducted in Los Angeles County before a single neutral arbitrator. The prevailing party in any such action shall be entitled to collect reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.

7. MISCELLANEOUS. This license and the rights hereunder may be freely assigned by Participant. This Agreement contains the entire understanding of the parties in connection with subject matter hereof and supersedes and replaces all prior negotiations, proposed agreements, and agreements, written and oral, relating thereto, and cannot be changed or terminated except by written instrument signed by both parties. You acknowledge that the rights granted herein shall inure to the benefit of Participant and Participant’s successors, licensees, and assigns, and such rights are freely assignable by Participant. Any waiver of any term of this Agreement in a particular instance shall not be a waiver of such term for the future. The invalidity or unenforceability of any term of this Agreement shall in no way affect the validity or enforceability of the remainder of this Agreement.

8. GOVERNING LAW. This Agreement shall be governed by the laws of the State of California.

By checking this box, I acknowledge that I have read through the above release and consent to all of its terms

By clicking submit, I agree to the terms of Participant and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

Skyline
Skyline
Skyline

GET INFORMED

Get Informed

#FirstRespondersFirst, an initiative of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Thrive Global, and the CAA Foundation, takes a whole human approach to addressing the needs of frontline workers in order to support their ability to serve on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. #FirstRespondersFirst’s fundraising call to action helps provide essential supplies, protective equipment, accommodations, child care, food, and critical mental health support and resources to this demographically and socially diverse workforce, ranging from minimum-wage hourly workers in home-care settings to social workers, nurses, physicians, and beyond, through its implementing collaborators. #FirstRespondersFirst is a fund of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that meets all 20 Better Business Bureau charity standards and carries the GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency.

Donations to #FirstRespondersFirst will directly support healthcare workers’ mental health and wellbeing through the provision of mental health resources, creation of wellbeing programs, and support of systems-level change through the ALL IN: WellBeing First for Healthcare campaign newly-established by #FirstRespondersFirst. Your contribution will help support systems-level change by providing financial resources to healthcare organizations to implement healthcare workforce wellbeing solutions, particularly focusing on:

• Scaling-up of promising practices and initiatives organization-wide to support the wellbeing of the workforce

• Initiatives to modify operational processes to mitigate the known causes of burnout

• Programs that complement existing Employee Assistance Programs to broaden engagement with wellbeing and mental health support

The ability to practice medicine is regulated by each state. State medical boards are agencies that evaluate medical doctors in order to ensure that only qualified physicians are licensed to practice medicine. 

Medical boards also review complaints, refer physicians for evaluation when necessary, and discipline them when found guilty of medical malpractice. They also have the ability to suspend or revoke the medical license of physicians deemed to be incompetent or unable to practice medicine.

After physicians are licensed, they must periodically re-register to maintain their license. This process includes demonstrating they have met standards of medical ethics, continued their education, and in some states, they also must reveal any relevant medical history including addiction and any mental or physical illness that the state believes might interfere with their ability to practice medicine.

This requirement can present a huge barrier for physicians suffering from mental health concerns who would otherwise seek support. In the states where initial or renewal medical licensure applications have questions about mental health, 40% of physicians say they would be reluctant to obtain mental health treatment because of concerns about licensure repercussions.

Dr. Lorna Breen was a beloved emergency room physician in New York City. During the peak of the first wave of the pandemic, Dr. Breen treated confirmed COVID-19 patients, contracted the virus herself, and then returned to work right away. Her patients were always her priority. 

But the scene she returned to after being sick was even worse than the one she left. Patients were dying in the hallways, staff was pulling 12-hour shifts with insufficient PPE, oxygen, and hospital beds. Dr. Breen was overwhelmed and exhausted. She was afraid to seek help because she feared losing the career she spent her life building. Afraid of being ostracised by the medical community, on April 26, 2020, Dr. Lorna died by suicide.

In the months following Dr. Breen’s death, her sister and brother-in-law, Jennifer Breen Feist and Corey Feist heard from hundreds of health care professionals who had suffered in silence struggling with mental health challenges or burnout. In response, the Feists founded the Dr. Lorna Breen Heroes’ Foundation whose mission is to reduce burnout of health care professionals and safeguard their well-being and job satisfaction. The foundation envisions a world where seeking mental health services is universally viewed as a sign of strength for health care professionals.

Pandemic Action Network drives collective action to end the COVID-19 crisis and to ensure the world is prepared for the next pandemic. The Network is a robust partnership of over 140 global multi-sector organizations aligned in a belief that every effort made in the fight against COVID-19 should leave a long-term legacy. One where humanity is better prepared to deal with outbreaks and prevent a deadly and costly pandemic from happening again.

In November 2021, PAN released findings from a survey of U.S. doctors and nurses on the challenges that continue to burden them well over a year into the pandemic, and what is required to be better prepared for this crisis and future pandemic threats.Conducted by Klick Health, the survey of 532 doctors and nurses in the U.S. addresses what is needed to be better prepared for this crisis and the next.

If you or someone you know needs support, below are a couple of resources that we’ve come across:

The National Mental Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

Harriet’s Apothecary is an intergenerational community of Black, queer, feminist healers and community organizers that center healing, wellness and resilience without relying on the medical industrial complex. With a vision of a world where Black, Indigenous, and People of color have the power, healing and safety to lead the lives they desire, Harriet’s Apothecary hosts workshops and wellness spaces rooted in community healing.

Skyline
Skyline
Skyline

WATCH

Watch

With exclusive access inside one of New York’s hardest hit hospital systems during the terrifying first four months of the pandemic, Oscar-nominated and Emmy Award-winning director Matthew Heineman’s THE FIRST WAVE spotlights the everyday heroes at the epicenter of COVID-19 as they come together to fight one of the greatest threats the world has ever encountered.

BUY TICKETS

OUR PARTNERS

IN THE NEWS

First Wave Variety Story Image

How Matthew Heineman’s COVID Doc ‘First Wave’ Evolved During an ‘Exhausting and Terrifying’ Production

The First Wave Baby

‘The First Wave’ Film Review: Harrowing, Intimate Documentary Revisits the Beginning of the Pandemic

New York Skyline

‘The First Wave’: Film Review

Become A Participant

Become a Participant

Sign up to get news and updates about efforts to improve the mental health and wellbeing of our healthcare workers and more ways to take action with The First Wave campaign.

By clicking subscribe, I consent to receive email updates from Participant and agree to Participant’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy