“I approach substance use similar to the way that I treat high blood pressure. In both cases, there are family traits that put people at risk for a disease. There are social and environmental factors that increase a person’s risk. It is also helpful to understand that there are effective treatments for both. The best treatments for both substance use and high blood pressure involve lifestyle modification, an understanding of the disease, and support from a team.
Treatment of substance use requires a strong team, each member having a different area of expertise. Not all team members are involved at all times, but success in treatment requires that each is available to help. My role as an Addiction Medicine doctor is to contribute knowledge, education, and experience. I rely on others who are experts in counseling, group therapy, social work, peer support, and nursing.
This is all about our client. During an intake visit, we work to understand the client’s needs and how they would like to receive help. Together, we form a team to join our client through the journey of recovery.”
“Addiction Medicine is a unique field that allows me to connect with patients, colleagues, and the community around issues that matter deeply to each of us. Being open to each person’s individual journey and balancing this with existing and emerging scientific evidence allows each of us to maximize our ability to motivate positive change. I particularly love to work with pregnant people in recovery, because the transformative powers of pregnancy create a situation of intense growth and change and an opportunity to help more than one generation of people. East Pierce Family Medicine is an ideal place to practice Addiction Medicine, because our primary care support and the “Culture of Awesome” that the residency has created allows us to provide wrap-around care and maintain excitement around teaching and learning. Come join us! “
People with substance use while pregnant face discrimination, judgement, and marginalization in addition to all the fears and anxiety that come with uncomplicated pregnancies. While working in private practice I became acutely aware of the inequities these patients experienced at a time when they need compassion, support and evidence based treatments the most. As an OB/GYN I believe I have a unique opportunity to meet women at transitional period in their life. Through the Addiction Medicine Fellowship at East Pierce I gained the skills and confidence to manage complex use disorders in pregnant and non-pregnant adults. The Fellowship has enough structure to provide comprehensive training and at the same time purposefully developed to allow Fellows to pursue specific interests.
I work in Addiction Medicine because I am inspired by the hard work and dedication of our patients. Also, to be able to participate in someone’s journey into recovery is very fulfilling. It is a privilege to witness personal transformation and growth. I work specifically at East Pierce’s START Clinic to help manage both Obstetrics and Chemical Dependency. The women that come to our clinic are extremely brave and courageous. It takes a tremendous amount of strength to carry a baby while trying to get treatment. Their stories are what gives me the energy and motivation to be an Addiction Medicine physician.
I grew up in Shorewood, Wisconsin. I completed medical school at the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine and a family medicine residency at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. My interest in caring for people with substance use disorders began prior to medical school while volunteering with a non-profit serving people experiencing poverty and homelessness. This experience exposed me to substance use in an extremely underserved population. During residency I advocated for expanded training in substance use disorders and participated in research looking at healthcare utilization prior to opioid overdose deaths. I chose East Pierce Addiction Medicine to develop my addiction medicine skills for many reasons. The team is an amazing group of people with tons of experience in addiction medicine, especially for pregnant women with substance use disorders. The training program also provides unique longitudinal opportunities in correctional medicine, working in a local OTP and for inpatient management of pregnant women with substance use disorders. I have been able to continue practicing in primary care, obstetrics, and inpatient medicine while developing my teaching skills with the affiliated family medicine residency.
I have been a part of the EPFM Addiction Medicine team since 2018. Before that I was a nurse on labor and delivery for 28 years. I enjoyed working with the mothers that had substance use disorders because I felt I could connect with them and I felt fulfilled by providing them excellent care. I was very excited when I learned about the Nurse Care Manager position as an opportunity to develop community connections and help individuals who suffer from addiction; who are marginalized and often judged.
I am honored to be part of this dedicated group of professionals.
I joined East Pierce Addiction Medicine because I wanted to be part of a team that helps an underserved population.
Nothing brings me greater joy than to see our patients succeed because of their hard work and the care that we provide.
Addiction affects the whole family, friends, and everyone close to that person. As a Social Worker, we help the person rebuild those relationships and make them stronger. When trust is lost, it can
be extremely difficult to regain, and can affect that persons recovery. During this time in their lives they need as much physical and emotional support as they can get to motivate them to do well.
An individual’s journey is not a solo journey, everyone close to that person benefits when positive changes are made. We as a team come together and support each and every individual who walks
through our doors no matter what stage they are in their addiction. We welcome anyone and everyone to come and see what we offer, we are a teaching environment with hopes of spreading our
techniques far and wide so no matter where you live you can access awesome care from an awesome bunch of people who believe in your recovery.
Working with the Addiction Medicine Fellowship has allowed me to take my passion for recovery advocacy from my personal life and intertwine it with my professional life. Our Faculty teach our Fellows that there is more to each patient than just what medication you can prescribe. Each patient is important and vastly different, so the treatment plans also need to be. Through our program fellows learn the importance of not only treating SUD but how it affects the entire family and community. I take great pride in helping our fellowship create addiction medicine specialist that make a difference.