My grandfather wanted to be a physician and was working toward that goal when the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred. He enlisted with the U.S. Navy and went to fight for our country, but he had to support his growing family when he returned. A career in metallurgical engineering was waiting for him, and he was never able to attain a career in medicine. Knowing this, I made it my mission to work in medicine in his honor.
After completion of my undergraduate degree in nursing, I worked in the adult setting. Although I did love my adult patients, I have always loved children, specifically my two nieces. When I was in the operating room at Cincinnati Children’s, I found myself gravitating toward the rooms doing mostly ear, nose and throat (ENT) procedures. Eventually, I was asked to be one of the ENT coordinators of surgical procedures at the Cincinnati Children’s Liberty campus. I loved working closely with the surgeons to ensure their cases ran smoothly and they had all of the equipment and supplies they needed.
I graduated magna cum laude from Xavier University with a master’s degree in nursing. I then sought an opportunity to work as an airway nurse practitioner so that I could continue my work in the ENT setting with a focus on airway anomalies and tracheostomy tube-dependent patients. I don’t have children of my own, and I found that working with children allowed me to still be around kids.
In my practice, I understand that no two patients are alike and that each care plan needs to be individualized. Our group of airway nurse practitioners are the gurus of tracheostomy tubes, and we are experts at troubleshooting problems within this group of patients. We see a vast number of patients with airway anomalies, from mild to severe. Our surgeons perform the most airway reconstructions in the world.
I find it difficult to imagine what our families go through. They seem to have never-ending appointments, cumbersome equipment they have to transport, and many hours spent every day caring for and loving their child. I try to put myself in their shoes and imagine their day-to-day lives. I always want to look at a family and be able to empathize with them.
During my free time, I work on the inside and outside of my 120-year old home in Columbia-Tusculum. In addition, I spend time trying new restaurants, hosting dinner parties with friends, engaging in retail therapy from time-to-time, and enjoying my family.
I de-stress with exercise and have found a love for Cyclebar. I also love to travel — my favorite beach to vacation on is Hilton Head Island. My family has been going there for 36 years and counting! I have two cats (both 13 years old) who love to snuggle and keep me on my toes.