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A Clinician’s Perspective: Work and Life in Chicago

We recently spoke with Dr. Mindy Moore, Ph.D. and TeamHealth Licensed Clinical Psychologist at California Gardens Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center about working with TeamHealth and the community where she lives in and serves in Chicago.

Tell us about the facility where you work?

Dr. Moore:  I am currently placed at California Gardens Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on the western edge of Chicago’s Southside. California Gardens is a 297-bed facility comprised of post-acute rehabilitation and long-term care programs. As part of the Symphony Post-Acute Network, residents are able to benefit from the services of specialized nursing and medical care, exceptional physical, occupational and speech therapists as well as social service staff trained in psychiatric rehabilitation. Our residents’ age range from nineteen-years-old through nearly 100-years-old. As part of TeamHealth, I provide comprehensive psychological services to residents who are coping with physical and mental health challenges in their lives and their recovery.

What do you enjoy most about your position as a Licensed Clinical Psychologist at TeamHealth?

Dr. Moore:  One of the things that means the most to me in working at California Gardens is being the staff member that has time to sit down, listen to and connect with residents and families who are dealing with a wide range of issues in their lives, well beyond what brought them into our facility. My position is somewhat unique, as I am placed only in California Gardens, due to the high census. This allows me four days a week to provide individual, family and group therapy, as well as to support the staff with behavior plans and strategies for providing care. I also have a background in neuropsychological assessment that has opened up opportunities to travel once or twice a week within the greater Chicago area to provide assessment to facilities who are seeking some clarity and support regarding their residents’ social, emotional and cognitive functioning.

Tell us about the community you serve? What do you love most about it?

Dr. Moore:  The greater Chicago area is a very diverse region. The community where my facility is based is located in an area that is in high need of support programs and services. We serve many individuals who are experiencing challenges in meeting some of their most basic needs, those who are struggling with addiction and recovery, and some who have outlived their local family. It is truly fulfilling to be a psychologist that provides unconditional positive regard to those who might not get it elsewhere in their lives.

Tell us about your training, educational background and professional interests.

Dr. Moore:  I actually started out as a social worker for ten years in pediatric palliative care, until I decided to pursue my Ph.D. in psychology. I completed my degree in 2014, after completing an internship that included working with FDA clinical drug trials for individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). I developed several specialties along the way, including working with individuals with chronic health issues, ASD and developmental disabilities. My position at TeamHealth has helped me discover a passion for working with adults of all ages, populations living with dementia and rehabilitation psychology as a whole.

Tell us about your team at California Gardens Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. What’s the team culture or dynamic?

Dr. Moore:  I have a fantastic group of TeamHealth providers in my building, including our physician who also serves as medical director for our facility, nurse practitioner and psychiatrist. I think the four of us provide a multi-disciplinary approach that allows us to provide the highest standard of care to the residents we serve. There is a TeamHealth staff member in the building nearly every day of the week, and we have developed a great rapport with each other and with the facility staff. The front-line and administrative facility staff do not hesitate to refer individuals who they feel can benefit from psychological and psychiatric services and are often eager to learn more about the psychological side of their residents’ recoveries. The other behavioral health providers within the Chicago market at TeamHealth round out my team, as we have built a framework for communication and reaching out to each other regularly despite our large geographic spread.

What kinds of opportunities can a clinician on your team expect at California Gardens and TeamHealth?

Dr. Moore:  There is a huge opportunity for growth of the Chicago market for psychologists and other providers. Chicago is home to multiple networks of post-rehab and skilled nursing facilities that contain 20 to 40 facilities each. Each area of the city and suburbs has its own culture and programs designed to serve these populations. Our group of clinicians are as diverse as the area, and we are able to build on each other’s strengths to illustrate to the community how TeamHealth can be an asset.

When you aren’t practicing at California Gardens, what’s your favorite place or activity in Chicago?

Dr. Moore:  I’m a Florida native and moved to the West Loop in Chicago three years ago. I didn’t think I would love living in the city as much as I do! In my free time, I enjoy getting outside and experiencing the weather and culture of the city. Much to the surprise of my friends and family and myself!, I discovered that I absolutely love snow. Playing tourist can be a blast when you have such a wide range of things to do.  We have amazing botanical gardens, zoos, the Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, and a museum for almost any interest. The musical culture is sensational here, with some of the best jazz and dinner clubs I’ve ever experienced. My favorite activity is to get outside with my camera and capture the architecture, nature and the people. My Chicago is a collection of diverse neighborhoods to explore on foot or via public transportation.

Interested in providing the highest quality integrated behavioral and primary healthcare? Explore nationwide opportunities in post-acute care and behavioral health. Chicago not the right fit for you? TeamHealth has opportunities available nationwide!