It has been a privilege to spend the past 25 years taking care of children and families in varying stages of wellness and illness. I have worked in general pediatrics, and I have specialized in child maltreatment medicine. During my time in general pediatrics, I welcomed countless new babies and completed final well adolescent visits to send young adults off to their next adventure. It has been intimate and joyful to share these milestones with families. During my time in child maltreatment specialty practice, I cared for hundreds of victims of child abuse, and in doing this work, I came to deeply understand the lasting and complex impact of trauma, childhood or otherwise, on individual and societal health and wellness. These varying experiences have grown a passion for mental health and wellness inspired me to change my practice focus.
While I thoroughly enjoyed my mental health work in primary care, I knew that I wanted to do more work with my patients and their families to address their challenges than that role allowed. I had a dream to provide the resources and time to work at a deeper level with my patients. The need in our community and across the nation for pediatric psychiatric care far outweighs the supply of providers, so I chose to take a leap, go back to school, and specialize in psychiatry. Decades of work with children and teens in primary care allowed me to develop a depth of understanding of child development and wellness that created a strong foundation as I moved into psychiatry. It also allowed me to work closely with patients’ adult caregivers, who themselves may be equally dealing with their mental health difficulties. By moving my focus to psychiatry, I have been able to develop a practice model that allows me to work in a meaningful way with children, adolescents, and adults in my community to enhance access and early intervention with psychiatric services.
I chose to open Healthy Minds Central Oregon to say "yes!" to my dream of creating a practice of like-minded medical providers to address the need for comprehensive, caring, face-to-face psychiatric care of kids, teens, and adults in this community that I love. Many years of clinical practice, raising a family, and weathering the storms that life inevitably brings have all allowed me to pursue this calling to serve my community in this meaningful way. I can walk through difficult issues with my patients, establish strong connections and rapport under duress, and work collaboratively with professional colleagues to develop a plan of care for each patient. Practicing for nearly 15 years in our community allowed me to grow a wide network of professional relationships and resources. As much as my education prepared me, it is life experience in its totality that has been my greatest teacher and has brought me to this point.
Whatever you or your child are struggling with, we can explore it together and walk toward brighter days.
Healthy Minds Central Oregon aspires to be a place of compassionate, face-to-face, evidence-based, and collaborative psychiatric care for children and adults in Central Oregon.