Cardiothoracic Surgery PA,
Artificial Heart Coordinator
Banner University Medical Center
Provided comprehensive care of cardiac surgery patient by performing necessary interventions including: laboratory result interpretation, imaging interpretation, surgical wound care, first-assist in surgery, insertion/removal of chest tubes, intra-aortic balloon pumps, epicardial pacing wires removal, and pacemaker management. Assessment of new and post-operative patients via history & physical exam, formulation of diagnosis and implementation of treatment plan based on diagnostic studiesunder direction of multiple attending cardiothoracic surgeons.
Specialized in managing heart transplant candidate patients implanted with Left Ventricular Assist Devices (HeartMate II & III, HeartWare HVAD) & Total Artificial Hearts (Syncardia TAH 70cc and 50cc) in conjunction with a cardiothoracic surgeon. Territory covering Arizona, West Texas, & New Mexico.
Unique vital signs, physical exam findings, and electrical hardware maintenance requirements of this patient population (i.e. no palpable pulse, abnormal blood pressure, no heart sounds, driveline wound, abnormal labs, extensive history, and dependence on external power supply to maintain circulation) present a unique set of challenges in care further complicated by chronic medical conditions (e.g. warfarin anticoagulation management, cardiac arrhythmias, valvular disease, arterial disease, stroke, clotting disorders, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, kidney dysfunction, pulmonary disease and subsequent polypharmacy.)
High degree of care coordination, community outreach and patient education are cornerstones of this position. Required participation in daily multidisciplinary rounds, education for medical and non-medically trained persons.
Created and implemented an “open clinic” model to quickly assess & treat patients for acute conditions such as stroke, bleeding, hyper and hypovolemia, infection, and surgical wound treatment. Re-structured post-implant clinic follow-up schedule to proctor caregivers, and increase patient and caregiver familiarity with equipment, medications, and medical conditions. Interventions directly resulted in nearly eliminating emergency department visits, far below national average hospital readmissions, and adverse medical outcomes despite high predisposition.
Radiation Cancer Biology and Oncology
Department of Environmental & Radiological Health Sciences
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO
Research Experience for Undergraduates Program culminating in paper and presentation, “Detection of radiation-induced chromosomal inversions in human thyroid cells using a PCR approach.” Lab techniques included cell culture expansion and preservation, optimization of polymerase chain reactions, primer design, DNA purification from cultured cells, irradiation of cells, and preparation of reagents in a Biosafety Level 2 cell culture lab.
Cancer Center Laboratory Manager,
University of Texas Medical Branch
Duties included purchase, organization and inventory of equipment for new Biosafety Level 2 laboratory. Certified compliance with medical institution, state and federal regulations. Extensive safety training. Screening of job applicants and training of new employees. Employment offer extended after undergraduate work in the Radiological Health Science and Cancer Research Program in Fort Collins, CO as the director re-located to serve as director of the Sealy Center for Cancer Biology at UTMB.