My ultimate goal in my nursing career was to become a nurse practitioner, and I did so after being a registered nurse for 20 years. My drive to care for patients with orthopedic conditions stemmed from personal injuries when I was in high school.
I came to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 2009 and created my position as a nurse practitioner on the Brachial Plexus and Hand and Upper Extremity teams. The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that provides movement and feeling to the affected upper extremity. My specialty practice is in brachial plexus injuries (a stretch injury to the nerves which provide function to the shoulder, arm or hand) and thoracic outlet syndrome (compression of nerves and sometimes veins in the shoulder and upper chest region). I care for individuals from birth through early adulthood with upper extremity conditions.
Our practice at the Brachial Plexus Center involves a multidisciplinary team — a fulltime occupational therapist, a social worker and a nurse practitioner. It also includes four brachial plexus specialists, physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, and an outcomes coordinator. We follow our brachial plexus patients very closely throughout their childhood by monitoring their development and function in the affected extremity and providing the most comprehensive care possible. The goal is to provide patients with improved function in their affected extremity.
I treat all of my patients as if they were my own child. I explain the condition or injury in a manner that the patient and family understand. I treat everyone equally and provide thorough care.
In 2016, I received the HOPE Award for the outstanding work and care I provided in orthopaedics. I was inducted into the YWCA Rising Star program in 2013 for my research publication and patient care. The Rising Star program is a Cincinnati-wide program that recognizes and develops future young female leaders around the city.
At the Brachial Plexus Center, we are developing a better understanding and care algorithm for thoracic outlet conditions. For brachial plexus research, we are focusing on creating a consensus on what interventions are successful and the most effective timing for these interventions.
Nationally, I work with a group called Plexus Nexus, whose goal is to standardize patient care and create early provider education for individuals treating and referring patients with brachial plexus injuries. We are also developing general care guidelines for treating brachial plexus injuries, developing a better understanding of these injuries, and studying how these injuries impact the growth and development of the upper extremities.
I like to spend my free time with family in the great outdoors. We enjoy hiking, camping and kayaking together. I also like watching my kids participate in soccer. My family owns chickens and goats and I enjoy working on our "farm" tending to our animals.