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A safe place to talk

The Office of Clinician Support (OCS) is designed to provide a safe, alternative communication channel for anyone who does clinical work with patients. The OCS is for all hospital clinicians and trainees. The program assists clinicians with any problem they may be having, whether it be work-related or personal. Boston Children's Hospital established this program because it recognized the need for a safe, confidential environment where hospital clinicians can seek advice about work experiences or personal situations.

Hospitals are complex environments. Taking care of sick patients, especially children, can be demanding and emotionally draining. Academic pressure, hospital regulations, and differences among staff can also contribute to workplace stress.

The OCS provides clinicians and researchers with guidance on how to resolve work-life issues and a forum to openly voice concerns.

Available seven days a week, the OCS is staffed by mental health clinicians familiar with working in the hospital environment. The OCS can provide help with patient and family, work setting, and personal concerns.

Virtual visits are available.

Download our brochure to learn about OCS.

You can contact the Office of Clinician Support at 617-355-6705 or officeofcliniciansupport@childrens.harvard.edu.

The Office of Clinician Support can provide help with the following:

Patient and family concerns

  • adverse medical events
  • challenging family interactions
  • patient deaths
  • chronically ill children

Work setting concerns

  • communication problems
  • disruptive behaviors
  • personality conflicts
  • hospital system problems

Personal concerns

  • hospital stress and burnout
  • depression or anxiety
  • family issues
  • substance abuse problems

Frequently asked questions

Is it confidential?

Confidentiality of all parties is closely respected, and information is shared only in unusual circumstances. In these circumstances, such as a threat of serious harm to self or others (including staff, patients, and families), information will only be shared with those who need to be informed. Clinicians will be notified when there is a need to share information.

Will clients receive a bill?

All clinicians and trainees are seen on a timely basis for one to three sessions at no charge, with referrals to outside professionals as needed.

What about help for departments, programs, or units?

Stress reduction is an important OCS goal. Consultation is provided to program directors around a wide range of concerns, from "outside the hospital" problems to the practical management of hospital matters. OCS staff is available to participate in program orientations, unit meetings, and department retreats. They are also available to facilitate crisis meetings where urgent intervention is needed.

Does the OCS function as an ombuds office?

While not formally an ombuds office, the OCS does provide a similar safe forum in which to voice concerns, evaluate situations, organize thoughts, assess feelings, and decide what is important according to a clinician’s specific circumstances.

When is the office available?

Support is available seven days a week. During normal business hours, voicemail and email are checked regularly and messages are returned promptly. If you need help outside of business hours, please call the main OCS line (617-355-6705) which will provide instructions on whom to page.

How are appointments made?

Call Dionna Cobb, the OCS Coordinator, at 617-355-6705 or send an email to Dionna.Cobb@childrens.harvard.edu. Dionna will make arrangements for you to meet with one of the OCS staff at a convenient time, usually within 24 hours. If preferred, clinicians can contact the program’s clinicians directly:

Where is OCS located?

The OCS office is located 319 Longwood Ave., on the first floor.

Contact us

319 Longwood Ave., 1st floor
Boston, MA 02115

Phone: 617-355-6705
Email: officeofcliniciansupport@childrens.harvard.edu.

David R. DeMaso, MD, Director
Phone: 617-355-6724

Lauren Coyne, RN, MS, LICSW
Phone: 617-355-6747

Annmarie Spring, MSN, PMHNP-BC
Phone: 617-355-6705

Dionna Cobb, Coordinator
Phone: 617-355-6705