Come join us as our panelists discuss best practices for assessing and addressing wellbeing at every level in healthcare. As we manage the stigma against mental health, we will share experiences and resources available to you, your team, and the system as a whole.
Jessica George (Moderator)
Trauma Psychologist, Psychosocial Director for Trauma & Emergency Services
Matthew Hoffman, DMin, BCC
Director, Faith in Action Initiatives
Baylor Scott and White
Stacey R. Merlin, MS, MA, CCTP, BCC
Program Manager for SPARKS (Supporting PARKland Staff)
Katie Sardone, PhD, PMH-C
Owner, Behavioral Health Dallas, PLLC
Past President, Dallas Psychological Association
Jessica George is a trauma psychologist and the Psychosocial Director for Trauma and Emergency Services at Parkland Health. Dr. George’s first job as a licensed psychologist was as the first Parkland psychologist in the Dallas County Jail in 2009. She was promoted to Trauma Psychologist on the main campus in 2011, leading the trauma psychosocial team in providing services for trauma patients and their families. In 2020, she expanded her services to include the Emergency Department. As a founding steering committee member for Parkland’s peer support program, SPARKS, she is focused on developing staff support and wellness initiatives across the institution. Dr. George’s clinical expertise and interest lies in determining effective strategies for supporting patients, families, visitors, and staff through stress and trauma. Dr. George is passionate about making Parkland the most trauma-informed environment possible.
As a Board Certified Chaplain, Matthew Hoffman serves as the Director of Baylor Scott and White’s Faith in Action Initiatives. In this role, beyond giving oversight to the system’s humanitarian aid and medical missions arm, he oversees the staff spiritual care support program, “Sacred Vocation.” Through his oversight of the Sacred Vocation Program, he has taken thousands of staff members, over the last 10 years through its small group experience, aiding their exploration and understanding of compassion fatigue and vocational burnout while fostering increased meaning and purpose through a pursuit of self-care. He has recently completed his doctoral studies focusing on the spirituality of work and wellbeing of healthcare professionals through his dissertation entitled, “Pandemic Theology: Exploring the Spirituality that Emerged from Those Who Worked on COVID Units.” Dr. Hoffman is committed to a pursuit of helping make healthcare a healthy context for healing professionals to thrive within.
Stacey Merlin has been in healthcare for 30 years and has dedicated 14 years at Parkland Health in Dallas, Texas. She started as an inspirational spiritual leader (Chaplain) and transitioned to her role as program manager for SPARKS (Supporting PARKland Staff). She dedicated her time to supporting the workforce that cares for our patient population.
Her focus on the health and well-being of the workforce led to Stacey receiving the “Shero Award” in 2018 from the Dallas County Hospital Police Department and a Parkland nominee for Employee of the Year in 2020 by the Dallas-For Worth Hospital Council.
Stacey is a certified clinical trauma professional with the International Associate of Trauma Professionals and a member of Temple Emanuel in Dallas, where she serves on the Shine the Light on Mental Health Advisory Board and is also an active member in the Caring Line.
Stacey’s chaplaincy has created a passion for staff support and trauma-informed care. The amount of stress experienced by healthcare workers became overwhelming during the pandemic and has continued with a rise in workplace violence, which has engaged her dedication and commitment to supporting the Parkland workforce.
Stacey has been married 41 years to her husband Ricky, the biggest Atlanta Braves baseball team fan. She has a wonderful daughter, Stephanie, a feline behaviorist, in Orlando, Florida. Stacey loves to spend time with her husband and dog, Rockafella, but it is her little brother, JD, better known as “MoonBeam,” that gives her the greatest joy!
Dr. Katie Sardone is a Clinical and Consulting Psychologist and the founder of Behavioral Health Dallas, PLLC. She specializes in providing psychotherapy to individuals and couples and consultation services to medical practices. Dr. Sardone supervises psychology students at UT Southwestern Medical Center in the Psychiatry Department and routinely teaches, trains, and coaches physicians at various medical centers. Dr. Sardone is the Past President of the Dallas Psychological Association.
Dr. Sardone received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, an APA-accredited program, where she received advanced training in health psychology intervention, psychological assessment, psychotherapy and medical resident education. Dr. Sardone completed her APA-accredited internship at Baylor University Medical Center’s Women’s Health Department where she specialized in providing individualized care for women in antepartum, postpartum, and outpatient clinics, as well as mothers of infants in the NICU. Following her formal training, Dr. Sardone completed an APA-accredited Postdoctoral fellowship at Children’s Medical Center Dallas where she specialized in providing intervention with infants, children, parents and families managing medical, developmental and emotional disorders. Following fellowship, Dr. Sardone held a faculty appointment at UT Southwestern in the Family Medicine and Psychiatry departments focused on medical resident education, program development and behavioral health consultation. She has also earned a certificate in the specialty of Perinatal Mental Health from Postpartum Support International.