1-15-17  Short Biography about Mark

For the last 7 years as a Family Nurse Practitioner, I was the project lead of a community-based free clinic for low-income, uninsured patients. I was the solo full-time provider, with about 20 volunteer providers from the community. During 2014-2015, I participated in the Duke-Johnson & Johnson Nurse Practitioner Leadership Fellowship, and I attempted complex multivariate analysis of Adverse Childhood Experiences scores and charity-care Emergency Department utilization among our clinic patients.

I was inspired to research ACEs during my 2 years as a medical director of a child advocacy center, where I was a child abuse medical examiner and expert witness (and a SANE nurse).

When you start to dig in and ask questions, you realize that there is much pain and often the physical health concerns are only a tiny tip-of-the-iceberg of a person’s real sources of pain. At a Nebraska Nurse Practitioner conference (I am on the education and legislative committees for the Nebraska NPs) this year an FNP friend told me, “go back and get your psych post-Masters! You get more time with patients in the clinic, better pay, and you can address their real issues.” I was convinced and learned about EKU from one of my nurse practitioner students.

In September 2016, I started working full time at a State-funded mental health clinic. I see patients Monday through Friday in the outpatient clinic and I admit patients to the Crisis Stabilization Unit, which is a 10-bed attached detox and mental health stabilization unit. We do all of the suicide and mental health assessments for the local public schools also. In Nebraska, NPs have full practice authority and do not need a collaborating physician. However, to manage psychiatric patients, the State Board prefers that FNPs obtain a psychiatric certification. So, I work under the direct supervision of a psychiatrist while I work on obtaining a PMHNP certificate.

For my own mental health, I play music at church every Sunday (especially the banjo), and I signed up to run a barefoot marathon this year. I have a wonderful wife who is an FNP in primary care (we met at the Duke Fellowship for NP leaders), two teenage children, and a menagerie of rescue animals from my time as a volunteer at a no-kill animal shelter. I love studying stuff about fitness and nutrition (low-carb, Paleo, Crossfit, stuff like that).