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Patricia Summers

Patricia Summers

What is your hometown?
Naperville, IL

What are your interests/hobbies?
Watching movies, cooking, and running

What are your favorite Chicago activities?
Eating pizza- both thin and deep dish!

Did you work full time through the program?
During the MSHC program I worked full time as a Registered Nurse. When I started the program I also had a toddler and an infant at home.

Was time commitment reasonable?
The time commitment was definitely reasonable.

Were you able to balance work and school?
I spent my Saturdays attending class and spending about 1-2 hours a night doing homework. I spent my Sundays running errands and preparing for the week. But most importantly I spent any down time I had with my family.

Professionally, what are you doing now?
I am currently working as a Nurse Case Manager for United Healthcare. Responsibilities include member assessments and engagement. My role provides members the opportunity to obtain the resources needed in order to overcome the barriers that affect their health. 
Tell us about a “Northwestern moment.” More specifically, was there a moment either in class or otherwise associated with the program where something really clicked for you?
Health Communication is vital in healthcare. But unfortunately there is a lack of training in the medical community. Medicine has always focused on the biophysical aspects of care. The MSHC program gives clinicians the tools to focus on the physical aspects of care, but to also treat the biopsychosoical aspects as well.

How has the program changed the way you view healthcare?     
Despite working in healthcare, I have really taken notice that communication issues impact every aspect of patient care. Constant change, complexity, and fragmentation mean that integration is a constant challenge.

Did you discover anything new or unexpected at Northwestern?
Northwestern strives for excellence and focuses on helping students succeed in every possible way.