What are you working on now?
I volunteer in a couple of phenomenal programs that our community offers. I serve on the advisory board for the HOPES program, which provides support in a variety of ways to families expecting a baby or coming home with their new baby. This program has a powerful impact by improving child and maternal health, school readiness, and economic self-sufficiency. I am so proud to be supporting them.
I also work with Prime Age to Engage, which works with medical providers to provide books and a prescription for reading to young children at their well-child visits. Research shows that children who read for 15 minutes a day from birth to age five will know many more words and be much more prepared to enter kindergarten.
Additionally, I serve on the Siouxland District Board of Health, where I advocate for policies and programs that will help the health of our community. I am working with the Iowa Department of Public Health Childhood Lead Advisory Workgroup to develop a new medical screening tool to determine children’s risk for lead exposures, as well as increasing providers’ use of this tool at all well-child visits from birth to age five.
What is your vision for the future/What would you like to see happen in Siouxland?
I would like to see Siouxland continue to develop into the best place to raise a family. I would like to see our community’s children thrive as adults with healthy, balanced, and productive lives. We should consistently work to provide affordable housing, quality education and childcare, and investment in green space. Investment in children, especially in early childhood, yields strong dividends and benefits our whole community.
What are you doing to make that happen?
My role as a pediatrician gives me a great opportunity to promote the health and well-being of children and, by extension, families. I help to ensure optimal physical functioning, maximize the ability to succeed in school, and promote emotional health. I also work with HOPES, Prime Age to Engage, Siouxland District Health Department Board of Health, and the Iowa Department of Public Health Childhood Lead Advisory Workgroup. I believe all these roles help to make Sioux City a great place for families to live.
How can people help you make that happen?
Invest in children!
What is the most important key to success?
If there is one key to success, it is hard work. However, the ability to identify personal strengths and weaknesses is also critical. Then you can work hard to address weaknesses and potential strengths.
What is one challenging life experience that taught you something you’ve been able to use to your benefit or the benefit of others?
When I was in medical school, I was incredibly anxious heading into my first set of licensing exams, which play a big role in determining how competitive you will be in obtaining a residency. Worrying affected my sleep and ability to take time away from studying. Then, on the last Sunday before the test, I went to Mass and the priest’s sermon reflected on how worrying is a worthless endeavor and ultimately involves us trying to intervene in God’s work. This perspective helps me keep my worries in check.
What quote or saying inspires you?
“Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.”
HOPES Advisory Board
Prime Age to Engage
Siouxland District Board of Health
Iowa Department of Public Health Childhood Lead Advisory Committee