Tell us about yourself!
Hello, I am Melissa (she/her), and I am a Registered Nurse at the Anna Westin House for Adults (AWH) located in St. Paul, Minnesota. I’ve been at AWH for almost three years and currently work straight overnights, which I love. Before nursing, I was a medical assistant and worked in a maternity care center and an OBGYN clinic! I also do some volunteer EMS work for a small town close to where I grew up.
Describe the path that led you to The Emily Program.
I’ve always had a passion for healthcare but not always in the direction of typical medicine; due to some poor personal experiences, I have tended to resonate with a more holistic approach. I knew I wanted to change the patient experience but didn’t know what path or field I wanted because I had interests in several areas of healthcare (emergency medicine, pediatrics, labor, delivery/women’s care, and finally, MENTAL HEALTH!). Part of what I love about nursing is the ability to move around to different specialties and passions. I decided to follow my interest in mental health as there is still such a large stigma and I didn’t personally know many people who wanted to take this on professionally.
What led me to TEP is my interest in substance use disorders (SUDs)/recovery support and the incredible crossover and similarities between SUDs and eating disorders (EDs). I had a friend who was working for TEP, and although I really didn’t know much about EDs, I knew she loved the culture of the company, so I decided to interview and here we are.