Richard Safeer

Chief Medical Director, Employee Health and Well-being

Johns Hopkins Medicine

Richard Safeer, MD, FAAFP, FACPM, FACLM Chief Medical Director, Employee Health and Well-being Johns Hopkins Medicine Assistant Professor, General Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine Assistant Professor, Health, Behavior and Society Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Dr. Safeer is Chief Medical Director of Employee Health and Well-being at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Dr. Safeer completed his Bachelor of Science in Nutrition at Cornell University before graduating from medical school at the State University of New York at Buffalo (magna cum laude). He completed his residency in Family Medicine at Franklin Square Hospital Center, in Baltimore, Maryland. After which, he completed a Faculty Development Fellowship at the Virginia Commonwealth University of Medicine in Richmond, Virginia. He is also certified in Clinical Lipidology. He’s achieved fellowship status in the American Academy of Family Practice, the American College of Lifestyle Medicine and the American College of Preventive Medicine.

Prior to arriving at Hopkins, Dr. Safeer practiced family medicine in Northern Virginia. He was then on faculty at the George Washington University, serving as the Residency Director of Family Medicine in his last year at the institution. He was the Medical Director of an Occupational Health Center in Baltimore and Wellness Director for the Mid-Atlantic region of the parent company, just before starting at CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield in Baltimore, Maryland as the Medical Director of Preventive Medicine. He has been credited by some for bringing ‘wellness’ in to the realm of responsibilities of the managed care industry. He also led CareFirst BCBS to be among the first cohort of health plans to be accredited for Wellness by NCQA.  

Amongst his responsibilities at Hopkins, includes leading the employee health and well-being initiative, Healthy at Hopkins. He also sees patients in the Hopkins Hospital Lipidology clinic. He has published several papers in the cholesterol and wellbeing arena and has spoken nationally numerous times. He’s currently on the forefront of creating healthy workplace cultures. He recently finished serving on the Board of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, a professional organization he helped establish.

Speaker Questionnaire
What is the biggest thing you learned in 2020?

What do you feel are the two most important benefits or areas that need to be a top priority in 2021?

Can you share a story on an area of your healthcare program or employee benefits where you were able to create significant savings or stop costs from rising?

If you could automatically receive a 10-20% reduction in costs in three areas/programs, what would your dream list be?

Cancer, heart disease, and diabetes (our biggest expenses). Programs/areas: stress reduction, nutrition, and physical activity. Not only do these behaviors address the three previously mentioned health categories, but they also transcend every other health state (including mental health).

What is the most innovative program you will focus on in 2021 and/or 2022?

Bringing mindfulness in to the workplace.

How are you re-imagining corporate culture & well-being?

We apply a culture of health framework so that we can methodically support the social and environmental structure that shapes a health culture. There is a process. We don't have to guess. I've published and spoken on this framework and we use the framework at Hopkins.

What virtual care solutions did you roll out during the pandemic? How valuable were they and why?

Virtual care solutions. We did several things, but one I feel particularly enamoured by is our well-being menu. There were and are multiple challenges to our well-being under these circumstances. I think everyone would agree that our stress levels were multiplied by the situation. We also all learned how important others are to our own health. We give teams the opportunity to engage in a virtual stress reducing program. Choices include progressive muscle relaxation, breathing exercises, chair yoga and more. Not only does this serve to decrease stress, but it opens up a conversation within teams about the stress they face, solutions and that they know they are not alone. It helps to bond teams together and keep that kinship alive.

If you look at our 3 Moonshots - Costs, Culture, and Care; In one sentence, tell us what would be something positive for us to take from 2020 and bring into this new year?

Social connectedness is an unappreciated element of good health, happiness, and longevity.

Past Sponsors

1 Conference. 3 Moonshots.

Costs

Moonshot #1​

Reduce employer healthcare and benefits costs by 25% by 2025.​

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Culture

Moonshot #2​

Reimagine engagement and well-being.

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Care

Moonshot #3

Provide 40% of healthcare services virtually and through technology by 2025.​

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