Growing up in a Medical family, it was only natural that this would eventually be my own path in life.
I have been a Nurse for nearly 20 years, and a Nurse Practitioner for 10 of those years; board certified in Family Practice. I graduated from University of St. Francis in Joliet, Summa Cum Laude, and was active in the Honor Society, among other organizations. My career in nursing began at a University Hospital setting, in PICU; where I cared for Pediatric Cardiac Transplant, as well as Pediatric Oncology and BMT patients. While working there, I had the privilege to complete an Ethics Fellowship. It was here that my passion for Palliative Care was fueled, as I noted a “gap” in care. I organized a team – in order to develop a training program; Project HOPE (Helping Others through Palliative Education), teaching classes to nurses and staff members, as well as presenting to Medical Students and Faculty of the University. I co-wrote a grant and obtained funding to initiate a Pediatric Palliative Care program, which has since grown and remains strong. My career then took me to adult Thoracic Surgery and Oncology. From there, my practice moved out into the community – where I was the primary APN in numerous nursing facilities for 6 years. I always found that Palliative Care was needed in every area of medicine I worked.
I was approached by a former colleague to then consider a career at Angels Grace; as their Nurse Practitioner. Working with Angels Grace Hospice and Palliative Care for the past 4 years has brought me full circle – and now, I feel as though I’ve come home in my career. Palliative Care has always been, and remains, a passion for me. I see the difference it makes in my patient’s and family’s lives. We discuss goals of care, and they are supported throughout those difficult conversations and decisions. I consider it the greatest privilege to be allowed into the lives of my patients and families at such a vulnerable time. It is quite humbling, and I continually thank my patients and families for allowing me to be a part of this very special journey.