|Member Spotlight - September 2013|
September 2013 MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
Michelle teaches graduate clinical mental health counseling and school counseling students in the Master’s program at Xavier and sees clients in private practice. In addition, she works with colleagues across campus to design interprofessional educational (IPE) opportunities for our health-related programs. Michelle gives Counseling and the mental health professions a voice in many of the IPE initiatives in which she collaborates with colleagues from the School of Nursing and six additional health professions. Her goal is to educate professionals who can be successful on high functioning interprofessional teams in order to ensure patient safety and the best possible patient experience.
To be honest, being such an integral part of this endeavor has been a significant accomplishment. I am passionate about integrated healthcare and mental health, and believe that in order to provide the best patient experience we must be equally sensitive to patients’ physical and mental/emotional needs. While my ongoing involvement in shaping the educational opportunities of students in the health professions proves to be significant, my recent articles on medical trauma are quite important for reinforcing how vital it is that we focus on the mental and emotional health of patients we serve.
My biggest challenge – which I wholeheartedly embrace! – is to continue to speak and write about how integrated medicine and partnering with mental health professionals is critical to protecting not just the quantity of patients’ lives, but the quality as well. For some, this represents a shift in paradigm. My mission is to remind the medical community to not be afraid to be human with your patients, have empathy, and remember that we are treating whole people, not collections of symptoms. I think many in healthcare have come a long way in improving the patient experience, and I am excited to be part of the ongoing dialogue about how we can continue on this path.
I think the future of the patient experience rests in our ability to train highly competent members of interprofessional teams of diverse practitioners who respect each other and the unique perspectives that each brings to the care of patients. I think this will require that traditional medical professionals be open to hearing the input of "outsiders” who may have fresh perspectives on how we can continue to improve quality of care.
If I weren’t so passionate about my career, I would get formal training to be a chef. I have always been intrigued by food and I love, love, LOVE to cook and learn about food! When I’m not working or in the kitchen, I enjoy traveling and learning about new cultures and destinations.
I think it’s tough to be passionate about the patient experience and NOT be a member of The Beryl Institute. I have been very impressed by the number of resources for members and believe that my affiliation will help me be more effective in my quest to be a part of the important changes happening in healthcare.