Frances Strzempko Ahmad, PMHNP

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Fran is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) who treats patients with depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. She has over twenty years treating patients and has been working as a PMHNP for almost ten years, helping patients find relief and recovery from an array of mental and physical struggles.

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More about Frances Strzempko Ahmad, PMHNP

She was drawn to psychiatry to understand things about her own childhood. She can see now that when she was a kid, people close to her had mental health challenges, but no one talked about them, nor sought treatment. She experienced first-hand that mental health conditions don’t only affect the individual. She wanted to work in psychiatry to offer the help she didn’t have access to growing up, and to make a difference in people’s lives. She also plans to continue the important work of de-stigmatizing mental health conditions.

Fran’s view of mental health takes into consideration the brain’s biology, genetics, past experiences, and sociocultural and lifestyle factors. She is interested in treating individuals and families across the lifespan and offering support through life’s many transitions. She has an integrative approach to psychiatry that utilizes medications and other interventional modalities, if appropriate, but also values the importance of nutrition, exercise, relaxation techniques, psychotherapy, and healthy social support.

To her, the idea of any modality that helps alleviate suffering is very exciting. She feels lucky to offer Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and esketamine nasal spray as innovative, cutting-edge treatments that may help her patients find healing.

Personal Interests

Growing up on the east coast, Fran especially appreciates the mild climate of the Bay Area. She still gets excited that she can go for a walk outside every day of the year! She takes advantage of long walks and hikes in the beautiful scenic nature, as well as enjoys paddle boarding on the bay. Outside of work, she spends time with family and friends. She also tries to stay active by walking or practicing yoga daily. She has a passion for cooking because she believes eating natural food is a big part of overall health and wellness.

Education & Experience

Fran graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Massachusetts.

She spent a few years as a Registered Nurse in a variety of settings, including labor, delivery, postpartum care at Baystate Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital. She also was an Adolescent Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist at Putnam Vocational High School in Springfield, MA. As part of a faculty practice role at the University of MA Amherst, she was responsible for developing and implementing a mental health clinic within an existing school-based health clinic. She provided psychiatric mental health care to adolescents through art therapy, individual counseling, family counseling and educational groups with a focus on issues of healthy relationships, sexuality and the special needs of adolescents in foster care. She worked collaboratively with teachers, social services, and health clinic staff to address comprehensive health needs of an underserved population.

Wanting to continue her career path and focus on mental health, Fran completed her Masters of Nursing, Psychiatric Mental Health, at the University of Massachusetts.

She has a great deal of experience working as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, including working at Fred Finch Youth Center, where she was responsible for the clinical care of program participants of transitional age youth in a community setting. Fran provided psychiatric and medical evaluation, diagnostic assessment, medication evaluation and medication support. She was active in supporting and implementing recovery philosophy and providing individualized, strengths-based, culturally competent and family centered care with a high risk, culturally diverse population. She also provided in-person and telehealth general psychiatric services, consultations, psychopharmacology and psychotherapy at Silicon Valley TMS.

She continued her education and completed her PhD and Post Masters Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner training from the University of California, San Francisco. Her doctoral research examining the relational aspect of living with chronic pelvic pain from endometriosis was funded by the NIH.

Most recently, she spent nearly a decade working with patients optimizing physical and mental health by optimizing hormone health, with a focus on preventive holistic medicine, metabolic disease management, and weight loss.

Certifications & Memberships

  • Certified, American Nurses Credentialing Center

Publications

Strzempko-Ahmad Butt, F., Chesla, C. (2007). Relational Patterns of Couples Living with Chronic Pelvic Pain from Endometriosis. Qualitative Health Research, 17(5), 571-585

Kennedy, C., Strzempko-Ahmad, F., Danford, C., & Kools, S. (2002). Children’s perceptions of TV and health behavior effects. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 34(3), 289-294

Strzempko-Ahmad, F. (2001). Acupuncture. Guide to Integrative Medicine at UCSF, 2001 edition, 5

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