Bringing Hope to the Neuro ICU Care Team

Woman leads discussion in a classroom

Angela Leclerc conducts quarterly conference.

NeuroCOPE: Bringing Hope to the Neuro ICU Care Team

APP Program Manager Angela LeClerc and her team at Maine Medical Center are addressing the lack of information on post-ICU patient recovery in the neurology intensive care unit (Neuro ICU) to promote a better understanding of recovery outcomes and decrease moral fatigue and nurse burnout.

The Challenge

Maine Medical Center (MMC) neuro ICU care team members often lack information regarding the recovery and experiences of their patients after discharge, leading to a disconnect between acute neurologic injury and long-term outcomes. This also takes a psychological toll on the care team.

“As a health care team, we are so excited when our patients “graduate” and transfer out of the ICU. We know we have made a difference in our patients’ and their families’ lives. We then wonder, ‘how do our patients do after the ICU?’ Not knowing final outcomes for our patients and families leaves uncertainty and we often wish we knew how our patients recovered.”

– Angela LeClerc, MSPA, PA-C

The Solution

Angela LeClerc, MSPA, PA-C, APP Program Manager, and her team are introducing an innovative solution—NeuroCOPE conferences. These gatherings, part of a quarterly series, provide a platform for care team members to hear patient and caregiver stories, reducing the effect of moral fatigue and burnout.

The NeuroCOPE series, supported by the Innovation in Interprofessional Education Fund from MaineHealth Innovation and Medical Education, includes patients and caregivers sharing their experiences during acute care and other care transitions. The NeuroCOPE team presented at the Neurocritical Care Society (NCS) Annual Meeting in 2023 and is garnering interest from institutions eager to implement their approach.

Angela Leclerc and Mary Sorcher

L to R: Angela Leclerc, MSPA, PA-C, Program Manager CC APP Program, Program Director CC APP Residency, Mary Sorcher, Scientific Manager I

“Angie’s study was met with such enthusiasm that dozens of our care team members are asking to take part. Angie’s study brings hope to the critical care department and nurses; the excitement spilled beyond the Neuro ICU, and staff in other ICUs wanting to have the opportunity to be part of Angie’s study too.”

– Christine Lord, Clinical Research Coordinator

Next Steps

The leadership team is currently developing a toolkit and website for widespread adoption of NeuroCOPE, further enhancing care team professional fulfillment and patient outcomes.

Collaborators

  • Angela Leclerc, MSPA, PA-C, Program Manager CC APP Program, Program Director CC APP Residency
  • Mary Sorcher, Scientific Manager I
  • Christine Lord, Clinical Research Nurse Coordinator
  • Meghan Searight, Critical Care Research Study Specialist
  • Alison Daley, MPH
  • Sara Hanken, MPT
  • Stephanie Chan, MD, MMP Neuro and Spine Neurosurgery
  • Jennifer Cote, Lead Occupational Therapist
  • Sara Penrod, Clinical Specialist Rehab
  • David Seder, MD, Chief Critical Care