Fostering a Culture of Care for Frontline Workers at MOM’s Organic Market


Tue, 01/11/2022 – 10:11

By Anthony Sartori, a member of MHA’s Young Mental Health Leaders Council and Founder and Director of Evolving Minds

This article was originally published by Evolving Minds Inc. and has been re-published on Mental Health America’s website with permission. Click here to read the original article.

The impact of COVID-19 and the growing weight of oppression toward marginalized communities have taken a toll on essential workers over the past two years. With more than 800,000 dead from COVID across the United States, frequent mass shootings, and more traumas, we work and live in an often unstable and chaotic world. 

With its vision of creating a culture of care, Evolving Minds launched its inaugural Connected Cultures initiative: Mindful Grocery Stores. This pilot with MOM’s Organic Market, a Mid-Atlantic grocery chain with over 20 stores and over 1,600 employees began in April 2021 at its Baltimore City Hampden location. 

Employee Mental Health and Innovative Impact

In this three-month pilot, Evolving Minds aimed to build community and cultivate human connection between in-person store team members by practicing positive psychology skills, such as mindfulness, gratitude, joy and kindness, on a daily basis. Mindful Grocery Stores is an empowering model that places employee wellness directly in the hands of the employees. It is a visionary and scalable approach, a new industry benefit that essential workers can call their own. 

Mindful Grocery Stores invests in the mental health of hourly and store team members. Evolving Minds’ community-centered model empowers store leaders, with tangible positive psychology skills designed to bring people together – to build a work community where people feel a deep sense of belonging and a connection to the organization’s mission and values. Additionally, Mindful Grocery Stores seeks to connect team members with one another across departmental silos, with meaningful relationships that last a lifetime and create a culture where people care deeply about each other and how they are really doing. 

Evolving Minds’ resilience-based curriculum is designed to reduce stress and anxiety, increase resiliency and work vigor, and deepen life satisfaction and meaning. Additionally, mindfulness, gratitude, and positive psychology skills increase employee engagement, communication, and overall teamwork. Long term, the Mindful Grocery Stores pilot is intended to show a decrease in levels of absenteeism, employee work-related burnout, and an overall retention of employees.

Evolving Minds and MOM’s are leading the way and bringing essential employee wellness tools into the work environment for all employees, including those at the store level – creating a work environment where employees are paid to practice mindfulness, joy, gratitude, and kindness skills, every day. 

Systemic Approach & Scalable Model

The most compelling feature of the model is its built-in adaptability to account for time, changing logistics, and organizational values. First, the Evolving Minds model embeds itself in the existing systems within MOM’s, starting with the Huddle space. The Huddle is a time before the store opens and after closing, when all employees gather for about 15 minutes for store updates. This is when trained managers will share the resilience skills and practice with the non-management team. Then, as the model settles into the existing structures, it begins to evolve and take on a life of its own, holding true to its roots while adapting with the changing culture.

The Mindful Grocery Stores initiative is an innovative approach through the Connected Cultures program, actively demonstrating how we can care for frontline workers and prioritize their mental health. Evolving Minds welcomes the opportunity to partner with MOM’s Organic Market to create a culture of care. 

To see more about the Mindful Grocery Stores pilot, please visit the Evolving Minds website:

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The Capital City Emergency “Level II” Trauma & Wellness Center will house a “state of the art” Outreach Community Resource Center, that will provide case management, mental health community advocacy, and oversight from the M.I. Mother’s Keeper mental health advocates. 
The Capital City Emergency “Level II” Trauma & Wellness Center will offer patrons access to immediate coverage by general surgeons as well as coverage by the specialties of orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology and critical care.
Our goal is to help people in the best way possible in an effort to preserve and to save more lives in the Nation’s Capital and beyond.

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Child Sex Assault Victim
Domestic Violence Victim
Drug Overdose
Rape/Sex Crime Victim
Suicide Watch
Trafficking Victim
Nervous Breakdown
and more…

Mental Health

At Capital City Emergency Trauma & Wellness Center patrons with mental health emergencies that include life threatening situations in which an individual is imminently threatening harm to self or others, severely disoriented or out of touch with reality, has a severe inability to function or is otherwise distraught and out of control, will have access to quality and psychiatric emergency services and referrals.

Physical Health

Whether your life threatening medical emergency involves excessive or uncontrollable bleeding, head injury. difficulty with breathing, severe pain, heart attack, vision impairments, stroke, physically collapsing, or seizure related, rest assured that our professionals will properly assess and evaluate the level of response that will be most needed to help provide stabilized care solutions and minimize complications as well as reduce early mortality.

Holistic Healthcare

We offer healthcare solutions that will support the whole person which includes their physical, psychological, emotional, social, & spiritual wellbeing. Research supports that because your mental state can affect your overall health we support and offer the inclusion of complimentary and alternative medicine(CAM) practitioners and naturopathic doctor recommendations and referrals as a part of our Outreach Community Resource Center’s care regimen and support.


Emergency care can typically result in traumatic injuries for which rehabilitation becomes an essential component of care in trying to achieve the best long-term outcomes for the patient. In addition to speeding up recovery times and helping to prevent further complications, rehabilitative care also helps to support a patient’s self-managed recovery once discharged from our facility. Our Outreach Community Resource Center works closely with our trauma center’s discharge department to assure that patrons requiring these services are linked with qualified professionals who will be accountable to the standard of care required to help the patron be successful in their recovery.

Social Services

Our “state of the art” Outreach Community Resource Center intends to promote “expansive” beneficial community enriching services, programs, case management, & linkage to “approved” partner resources and supports in all of the following intended areas and more:

Social Services

  • Clothing
  • Food Pantry
  • Housing/Shelter
  • I.D. Credentials
  • Senior Wellness Check
  • Toiletries
  • Transportation
  • Etc.

Extended Family Services

  • Child Care
  • Credit Counseling
  • Family Court Services
  • Legal Aide

Career Training

  • Apprenticeship programs
  • Computer/Graphics Training
  • Culinary Program  
  • GED Courses
  • Hospitality Training
  • Job Etiquette & Grooming
  • Resume’ Prep
  • Sales Training
  • Software/Technology workshops
  • Small Business Training

Return Citizen
Program Partner
(Bridging the Gap)

  • Case Management
  • Temporary Boarding/Housing
  • Transitional Program Registration

Prevention/Intervention Outreach,
Workshops, & Programs

  • After-school Behavioral Health Program
  • Civic Engagement / Volunteer Sign-up
  • Fatherhood Rites of Passage
  • Gun Violence Town Hall Forum
  • Life Coaching & Coping Strategies
  • Marriage Counseling Workshops
  • Medicare Informational Workshops
  • Mentorship Training
  • Parental Classes
  • Support Groups
  • Town Hall Discussions
  • Violence De-Escalation Training
  • Voter Registration

Nutritional Outreach

  • Cooking Demonstrations
  • Dietary Programs
  • Exercise Classes
  • Recipe Sharing Workshops
  • Meal Prep

Community Outreach

The Healthy DC & Me Leadership Coalition is partnering with the M.I. Mother’s Keeper Mental Health advocacy organization to provide outreach services on the community level as an aid in reducing the existent health inequities that many District citizens are facing as a direct result of the presence of debilitating social determinants and the lack of culturally appropriate care choices and realities for community members residing in marginalized and lower-income communities.

It is the vision and intentions of the M.I. Mother’s Keeper Mental Health Advocates organization to help improve the quality of living for citizens living in our Nation’s Capital and beyond by overseeing the delicate linkage to services and by maintaining higher standards of care accountability for deserving citizens of the Nation’s Capital.

For more information or to enroll as one of our service providers, please email us at: