LECOM’s “The Expert Is In” Lecture Series: A Brief Interview with Dr. Danielle Hansen

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Thursday, November 6th, 2014 at 10:00 AM
LECOM’s “The Expert Is In” Lecture Series: A Brief Interview with Dr. Danielle Hansen by Mike Iverson

This coming Tuesday marks another installment of LECOM’s “The Expert Is In”lecture series, with this installment featuring Dr. Danielle Hansen. The lectures offer an opportunity for healthcare providers to interact with patients on the larger scale of a sort of community forum. Dr. Hansen specializes in geriatric medicine, and is an Erie Reader 40 Under 40 2014 alum. I recently had the opportunity to ask her a few questions about her work in the community, and what topics she plans to cover at the upcoming lecture. Hansen delves into details about the Millcreek Community Hospital’s recent certification as a primary stroke care center, as well as the challenges and rewards of being a healthcare professional

Michael Iverson: According to your profile on maerie.org., you work as an Internal Medicine and Geriatric Medicine Specialist with MAE, you are VP of Acute Care Services at Millcreek Community Hospital, Associate Director of the LECOM Institute for Successful aging, and a clinical assistant professor of internal medicine at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. What drove you to achieve this amount of success in our local medical community?

Dr. Danielle Hansen: I’ve always seen a big opportunity to make an impact in Erie. There’s an aging population, and there are a lot of resources in the community, but there’s always room for expansion. I saw the opportunity to work with a diverse group of people and in a diverse practice setting as well. I can see patients in the office, in the hospital, in the rehab unit…and I think it’s good for patients to have that sort of continuity with the same care provider in all those different settings.

MI: It certainly sounds like you’re keeping busy.

DH: And I really enjoy that. It keeps me interested. I get to learn more and continue to grow as a care provider. 

MI: It’s definitely important to keep yourself engaged, no matter what your field of expertise is. You mentioned Erie’s aging population before. What challenges does that present to your work as life expectancies continue to increase?

DH: With the increasing volume of geriatric patients comes a wider variety of medical conditions to deal with. There’s also a changing landscape from a socioeconomic standpoint, as well as from reimbursement and legislative standpoints, so there’s a lot of unknowns in the future of healthcare, too. We’re trying to provide the best care for our patients, but we always have to work within the constraints of the healthcare system, and that’s often challenging in its own way.

MI: That’s certainly understandable, and it’s always good to hear that we have a medical community that’s doing its best to provide its patients with quality care. So, challenges aside, what are the greatest rewards you find in doing this sort of work? 

DH: Like everybody who goes into medicine, you want to make an impact, to help people get better, and I certainly see that in my geriatric patients. Oftentimes, we’re not able to cure diseases, but we are able to make quality of life better. So I find great satisfaction when I can accomplish something that may seem minor, but has such a significant impact on the way people live their lives.

MI: So what sort of impact are you trying to make with “The Expert Is In”lecture series? What topics or concerns do you plan to address in your lecture on the 11th?

DH: I’ve been asked to talk about stroke, so I’m going to be talking about the importance of early recognition of stroke symptoms, early access to healthcare, and what a certified primary stroke center is. Millcreek Community Hospital recently became a certified primary stroke center, so we’re very pleased to be offering a comprehensive stroke program to our patients. I’ll be talking about the different aspects of care, and the continuum that we have that makes us unique in the community. 

MI: It sounds like you’ll have a lot to offer on the 11th, and it’s refreshing to see such concerted efforts from healthcare professionals to keep their community informed. Thanks for your time, and I’ll be looking forward to the lecture. 

If you’re interested in catching Dr. Hansen’s lecture, it will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday November 11 at LECOM’s Medical Fitness and Wellness Center, 5401 Peach St. The lecture is free and open. For more information on the event, feel free to contact the Wellness Center at 868-7800

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