Staff & Provider Engagement | Supporting the Workforce

“Soul Snack LIVE!” Restores Staff Spirits

By Genevieve Navar Franklin

Shared content by the Patient and Care Partner Community of The Beryl Institute with permission from Kaiser Permanente 

One of the fundamental objectives of The Patient and Care Partner Community of The Beryl Institute is to bring greater understanding and support to patients and family caregivers. In partnership with our Global Patient and Family Advisory Board, this community is a place for patients, care partners, and Patient and Family Advisors to find resources that support the lived experiences of those receiving care as well as those caring for them. In this spirit, Patient and Care Partner Community member Genevieve Navar Franklin shares a program that brings spiritual and emotional wellness during stressful times to the staff at Kaiser Permanente Marin/Sonoma. 


“Soul Snack LIVE!” Restores Staff Spirits

If your staff could use an emotional and spiritual energy boost, you might consider serving up a “Soul Snack LIVE!” series in order to thoughtfully, deeply, and joyfully promote well-being, trust, and camaraderie throughout your healthcare organization. 

“Soul Snack LIVE!” presentations are the flourishing heart of a virtual peer-to-peer staff support program established in 2022 to promote spiritual and emotional wellness among healthcare staff at Kaiser Permanente’s Marin/Sonoma Service Area. 

Provided by its Spiritual Care Services Department, the “Snacks” are 15-minute offerings presented monthly by staff members who play many different roles across various departments and disciplines at Kaiser’s facilities. Drawing from personal experience, they share with fellow colleagues their own unique answers to the question, “How do you tend to your spiritual and emotional well-being, especially in the midst of our stressful work? 

Raymond Dougherty, Kaiser Permanente’s Marin/Sonoma Spiritual Care Director, gives the “recipe” for Soul Snacks: 

“Soul Snacks are quick and easy ways to calm our nervous system, restore our soul, and gain a new perspective on our day, so they’re self-care practices that we can do on the go. That’s the snack part of Soul Snacks. We want to have things that we can incorporate into our workflow, things that we can integrate into our daily activities, so they’re like an energy boost for our mind, body, and spirit.” 

The phenomenally successful program grew out of the pandemic, but it was rooted in the preceding years of repeatedly traumatic wildfires during which the Santa Rosa facility had to be evacuated twice and many staff members lost everything. As Chaplain Dougherty explains in a Kaiser “Live Well and Thrive” podcast episode: 

“…We really started to take seriously, ‘How can we heal this trauma as a community?’… The Dalai Lama said ‘Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.’ We really took that sentiment to heart: ‘How can we move through this… and bake it into our systems, bake it into our work culture?’” 

“Soul Snack LIVE!” topics cover a vast range of healing modalities, from meditation to music, painting to humming, self-compassion to healing laughter, relaxation to marathon running, and ever-more ways to feed the spirits of the many dedicated teams of Kaiser’s healthcare workers. 

In 2022 alone, 50 presentations covering a wide variety of mind/body/self-care resiliency practices were live-streamed to 20-40 staff participants a week and later downloaded over 480 times that same year.   

Now appearing twice a month, “Soul Snacks” continues to engage similar participation numbers with enthusiastic comments from staff such as:   

“Incredible presentation – Thank you!”  

“Lovely to see and notice these beautiful things in life.” 

“This is fascinating! I de-stressed with your presence…” 

“Thanks so much – you really helped me.” 

The result has been what Karen Hulsey, MSN, RN, Kaiser Permanente Interim Continuum Administrator at Marin/Sonoma, described as a domino effect that has created a culture shift throughout the facilities. She spoke of its impact in a Kaiser “Live Well and Thrive” podcast:  

“We’ve had physician chiefs do soul snacks; we’ve had EVS workers do soul snacks … When you hear somebody say ‘I do struggle, and the way I get through the day is by writing a poem or singing a song or visualizing something,’ you go ‘Oh, so I can be a whole person? I can be a person who is successful and who is competent and a person who struggles and has to cope with it?’ And in fact, that ripple effect of acknowledgment is going to knit me together with all of the people I work with.” 

If the “reviews” reveal anything, it’s that Soul Snacks LIVE! will be on the “menu” for staff engagement and support at Kaiser Marin/Sonoma for years to come. Some of the Soul Snack routines and recommendations have even been adopted by clinical and other teams in their meetings and practices. 


More information 

Topics that “Soul Snacks LIVE!” presenters have shared include Creative Coping, HeartMath®, Mandala Rock Painting, Forest Bathing, Humming for Life, The Daily Stoic®, Jin Shin Jyutsu, Accessing Your Calm, and many others.

Click here to listen to the “Live Well and Thrive” podcast about “Soul Snacks LIVE!”  

Are you interested in forming a Soul Snacks LIVE! program in your own facility?
Contact Chaplain Raymond Dougherty at 

Related content