Training APEX Awards Best Practice: Bronson Healthcare’s Giving Inspiration for Tomorrow (GIFT) Program

The GIFT program aims to create a virtual community for learning, connection, and revitalization—where leaders can have protected time to care for themselves.

APEX Awards

Leaders tirelessly care for their teams, often neglecting their basic needs or prioritizing themselves last. This can result in increased risk of burnout and turnover. Bronson Healthcare created its Giving Inspiration for Tomorrow (GIFT) program in response to this challenge.

The GIFT program aims to create a virtual community for learning, connection, and revitalization—where leaders can have protected time to care for themselves. The goal is to improve a leader’s self-efficacy while increasing engagement and, ultimately, retention. By taking the time to develop themselves, the hope is for leaders to increase resilience through learning and self-care and combat the effects of burnout. The skills learned also help improve their mindset, skills, and capabilities as a leader to show up more effectively and inspire their teams.

Program Details

The initial cohort was intended to consist of 18 to 24 leaders. But due to the overwhelming number of applications and in the spirit of the overall program, Bronson Healthcare ran two cohorts simultaneously, consisting of 53 leaders. The program was open to anyone in a leadership role. Previous in-person cohorts were role or level specific. This program allows for a wide range of leadership representation and includes physician leaders, as well, which is often an under-represented group.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this program was explicitly designed for a virtual environment rather than adapting pre-existing content for virtual delivery. This was the first virtual cohort modality offered within the organization.

Using an asynchronous blended approach, GIFT comprises six 90-minute sessions over six months, with an optional 30-minute networking opportunity open to anyone craving additional connection after each session. The content of the six sessions includes the topics of:

  • Influence
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Mindfulness
  • Leading Difficult Conversations
  • Planning for Continued Growth
  • Celebrating the program’s conclusion

Each session offers leaders the tools, mindset, and community to grow together through self-discovery and meaningful conversations and become more authentic, self-aware leaders. Throughout the content delivery, opportunities to connect, share inspiration, ideas, and collaboratively problem solve are interwoven in the form of breakout rooms, large-group conversations, and chat functionality. The program features a designated Microsoft Teams Channel for collaboration in non-session weeks.

Before starting the program, each leader completed a personal questionnaire about their interests, favorite things, and aspirations as a leader. Upon the program launch, participants received a customized gift box based on their responses that contained session-specific and self-care items.


In the post-evaluation data across each conducted session, an average of 95 percent of leaders felt confident in applying what they learned. These skills include emotional intelligence, resilience, inspiration, influence, and mindfulness and contribute to the level of pride and job satisfaction leaders feel for Bronson as their employer. There is currently a 100 percent retention rate for leaders participating in the program, including a 100 percent retention rate for staying within the organization and within their current teams.

Edited by Lorri Freifeld
Lorri Freifeld is the editor/publisher of Training magazine, owned by Lakewood Media Group. She writes on a number of topics, including talent management, training technology, and leadership development. She spearheads two awards programs: the Training APEX Awards and Emerging Training Leaders. A writer/editor for the last 30 years, she has held editing positions at a variety of publications and holds a Master’s degree in journalism from New York University.