My dad was diagnosed with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, a dementia that strips people of their ability to live in the world with alarming speed. Before my eyes, over the course of just four years, a man I loved, my emotional rock, and one of the best human beings I have ever known lost the ability to speak clearly, needed diapers, and fell more times than he should have, even fracturing a clavicle. My mother became severely depressed and lashed out at the world. Despite my training in medicine, I was woefully unprepared to advocate in the right ways nor understand what was really needed to help my parents. It was heartbreaking for us and represents only one story of many out there. I also saw the same happening in the hospitals and Emergency Rooms I was working in. Patients with dementia being restrained and overmedicated only to return home never the same again. These are forgotten people in our healthcare system. They gave their lives as parents, breadwinners, and so much more only to have life sunset like this. It is a problem we will all likely face in one way or another. It’s from this place that I want to make life better for patients and families. Our company is focused on improving geriatric quality of life by working towards comfort, as much safe independence as possible, and as clear a mind as possible. Not only do we focus on the patient but we are deeply committed to the caregivers and loved ones involved in a patient’s lives. Our job can’t be done well without these partners being in a good spiritual, emotional, and present space. The job our company is tasked with is deeply meaningful, rewarding, and humbling.
As Vice President of the Assisted Living Service Line, my primary job is to ensure that our teams are delivering on our promise to keep a patient’s functional and cognitive health as high as possible in our partnered communities. In addition, their emotional health as well as the wellness of caregivers and families is paramount to our work. Using technology, a multidisciplinary team, and solid understanding that prevention of falls, infections, aggression, and over medication allows us to deliver high quality care. I also focus on maintaining easy access for family and caregivers to our team so we can truly accompany our patients.
With over 10 years of experience in psychiatry, previously, I was the director for consultative and emergency psychiatric services at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine and most recently in the same role at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. I obtained a medical degree at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill & completed residency in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
Beyond work, time with my 2 boys and a good PBS show is more than enough.
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