Katherine is a psychiatric nurse practitioner with over thirty years of patient-care experience in a variety of settings, including behavioral health. Her specific areas of interest are mood disorders, especially challenging to treat depression and anxiety disorders.
Katherine has always had a lifelong fascination with how the mind and the brain work as well as how individuals recover from loss, disappointment, stress, and anxiety. Having worked for many years in nursing and critical care, she found her most satisfying aspect of nursing was facilitating and supporting patients to navigate their health crisis. This led her to seek additional training as an outpatient mental health nurse. She eventually pursued her advanced practice nursing degree with a specialty as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP).
Her patient care is focused on collaboration and looking at a patient’s overall health holistically. As the patient is the expert on what they are experiencing and the impact it is having on their life, she sees her role as veraciously understanding that experience and offering the best, evidence-based treatment that respectfully incorporates their culture, values, strengths, and beliefs into the treatment plan. Her goal is to help patients’ brains work better and adopt changes to enhance their brain health, which leads to a better quality of life.
Due to the complexity of the brain and individual differences, Katherine recognizes there is no one treatment that works for every patient. For patients, when medication and talk therapy alone is not enough to lift them from depressive symptoms, Katherine is pleased to have another treatment option to consider that is evidence-based. She sees Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) as a treatment option that does not adversely affect memory, cognition or attention, and has few side effects.
Katherine joins Mindful Health Solutions in the winter of 2019.
Katherine enjoys traveling, theater, live music and being in nature- especially the beach! She loves vivid sunsets from her backyard and all coastal activities. She delights in spending time with her family and close friends. While indulging in the great cuisine Orange County offers, her youngest daughter is a nutrition major and the two enjoy making new, healthy recipes together. She has a small business selling jewelry and donates her profits to philanthropic causes such St. Baldrick, which helps fund childhood cancer research. The next organization she plans to support is the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI), which is close to her heart.
Katherine received her associate degree in nursing from Chaffey Community College and her Bachelor of Science in nursing from the University of Phoenix, Southern California Campus. She graduated with honors.
She began her nursing career in critical care, primarily for cardiac critical care patients. She was able to explore other nursing roles and found her favorite role was in cardiac rehabilitation, where she was able to develop a longer, therapeutic relationship with patients and begin nurturing her utilization of mental health nursing skills in motivating and supporting patients. She case-managed cardiac rehabilitation patients, providing extensive therapeutic support and screening for depression.
Wanting to develop her mental health nursing skills further, she took additional assignments in outpatient behavioral health. She went back to school and earned her Master of Science in Nursing with a Nurse Practitioner Credential in the Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program at California State University in Long Beach, CA.
Her Behavioral Health clinical experience includes time at the OC Health Care Agency, where she evaluated, diagnosed and developed treatment plans for adults with psychiatric/mental health disorders and provided patients with medication benefits, risks, side effects, alternatives and risks for medications. She also trained at the St. Joseph Hospital’s Outpatient Behavioral Health Unit and the Depression & Bipolar Institute in Orange, CA, where she developed treatment plans for adults with mental health disorders including dual diagnosis of substance use. She continued to hone her skills at the Children’s Hospital of Orange Mental Health Inpatient Center, where she built treatment plans including medication management for pediatric and adolescent patients with psychiatric/mental health conditions.