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The American Academy on Communication in Healthcare's Member Spotlight feature allows members of the community to know each other beyond the CVs, publications and presentations. Each month a diverse member of AACH will be chosen to write their responses to questions they select to reveal more about themselves as people.  It is the academy's hope that learning about an individual may spark connections that blossom via email, phone conversations or in-person meetings at conferences, courses and forums.  We welcome your feedback on this enterprise and nominations for future Spotlight Members.
To view the 2016 archived member spotlights, click here!
May 2017 - Edwin Meresh, MD, MPH
Edwin Meresh, MD, MPH
Loyola University Medical Center
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Maywood, IL
emeresh@lumc.edu 

Biography: Edwin Meresh is Associate Professor of Psychiatry on the faculty at Loyola University Medical Center. He received his medical degree from Stanley Medical College, Chennai, India, completed psychiatry residency at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital, NY and Psychosomatic Medicine fellowship at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago. His clinical background is in consultation psychiatry and he supervises residents and medical students during their hospital psychiatry rotation. Apart from teaching medical psychiatry, he is interested in residents and medical students exposed to patient centered care and team care. His research interest is in the area of psychosomatic syndromes. He is working on a project measuring pain in patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia and sleep apnea. 


What was your earliest ambition?
To become a doctor.

What was the best career move?
After my residency, accepted for fellowship Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago.

Who is the person you would most like to thank and why?
My mother, she has guided me very well and has encouraged me to be successful.  

How would you spend your favorite day?
Going to beach on a sunny day.

Where are you the happiest?
Spending time at home relaxing. Spending time with my family.
April 2017 - Melliza Young, MD
Melliza C. Young, MD 
Guam Regional Medical City
Lead Patient Educator
Dededo, Guam
Melliza.Young@GRMC.gu

Biography: Melliza C. Young was born and raised in the Philippines. She earned a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Santo Tomas and currently holds a Philippine physician’s license. For the past 10 years Melliza and her husband and daughter have made their home on the island of Guam, a U.S. Territory in the Western Pacific.  Melliza currently serves as the Lead Patient Educator at Guam Regional Medical City [GRMC], a 132 bed acute care hospital that opened its doors in July of 2015. She also serves as a member of GRMC’s Institutional Review Board [IRB]. Melliza oversees GRMC’s Patient Education Department.  In that role she conducts individual and group workshops on a wide variety of health issues for both in-patients and out-patients. However, the major focus of her educational efforts are on non-communicable diseases [NCDs] like diabetes, heart disease and stroke. The population served by GRMC is highly diverse and culturally rich. The number of NCD cases on Guam, and throughout Micronesia, has reached epidemic proportions. To serve the needs of this community Melliza has adopted a patient-centered, culturally-sensitive, collaborative and coordinated approach. She aims to improve her patient’s health literacy by empowering them with the knowledge and skills they need to manage their chronic conditions. Melliza has also worked with the GRMC staff, encouraging them to avoid medical jargon and use plain, easy to understand language in educational materials and in their conversations with patients and families. She has also worked with the island’s other two hospitals, Guam Memorial Hospital and Naval Hospital, to organize health literacy awareness campaigns throughout the community. The Guam Legislature recently recognized their efforts to improve patient education by adopting a Resolution commending all three hospitals during Health Literacy Awareness Month in October 2016. Melliza continues to advocate for a strong partnership between the private and public health sectors on Guam. She is an active member of the Data and Research Action Team of the Guam Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalition and she is a candidate for Stanford’s CDSMP Master Trainer, sponsored by the Guam Public Health’s Diabetes Prevention and Control Program. Looking ahead, Melliza plans on developing, and directing, a sustainable patient education program on Guam that can be replicated on other Micronesian islands. She also looks forward to completing a primary care residency training program in the U.S.  in order to better serve the communities of Guam and Micronesia as a clinician. 

What was your earliest ambition?
To be a flight stewardess and travel freely around the world.

What was the best career move?
Relocating to Guam, which opened a lot of opportunities not just for myself but also for my family.


Who is the person you would most like to thank and why?
That’s my mother, for the unconditional love she had given me and my brothers and if not for it we would not be who we are right now

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Eating chips and drinking soda while watching my favorite movie at home.


How would you spend your favorite day?
Experiencing new adventures with my husband and daughter. 
March 2017 - Scott Sharot
Scott Sharot
University of New Mexico Medical School
Teaching assistant, simulated patient, remediation specialist
Albuquerque, New Mexico 
communicationremediations@gmail.com


Biography: Scott Sharot is a professional actor who discovered twenty years ago, that he could channel his acting skills into valuable role play opportunities for training law enforcement officers and first responders in Crisis Intervention and Crisis Negotiation Training. This led to a position as a simulated patient and teaching assistant at the University of New Mexico Medical School. Then under the tutelage of Dr. Peter Barnett, he began participating in communication remediation intensives with medical students and began using role play as a tool to help doctors remanded by their supervisors to improve their inter-collegial communication difficulties. These many years later, Scott has expanded this work by starting a consulting business to help clients including teachers, salesman, restaurant staffs and anyone dealing with difficult communication issues. He is thrilled to participate in AACH activities with such a remarkable group of communicators. 

What was the best career move?

Taking the skills learned after six years of training as an actor and using them to teach communication skills.

Who is the person you would most like to thank and why?
Dr. Peter Barnett for opening my eyes to the value of this work and for mentoring me in the skills of communication remediation.

What book should every healthcare provider read?
Motivational Interviewing by William Miller

What poem, song, or passage of prose would you like mourners to hear at your funeral?
John’s “Love Song” “The words I have to say:
May well be simple but they're true
Until you give your love
There's nothing more that we can do
Love is the opening door
Love is what we came here for
No one could offer you more
Do you know what I mean
Have your eyes really seen
You say it's very hard
To leave behind the life we knew
But there's no other way
And now it's really up to you
Love is the key we must turn
Truth is the flame we must burn
Freedom the lesson we must learn
Do you know what I mean
Have your eyes really seen”

Summarize your personality in three words.
Gregarious, Generous, Energetic

How would you spend your favorite day?
Let me recount one of my absolute favorite days: I spent the morning working with the kids in the garden at The Edible School Yard in Berkeley, then went down to San Gregorio Beach for a several hour walk along the Ocean; met my wife for an amazing dinner at Chez Panis; later was thrilled to see Trevor Pinnock conduct and play harpsichord in a performance of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos; and finally enjoyed gelato from Almare Gelato during a visit with friends on their roof garden while we watched the full moon, reflected behind the Golden Gate Bridge.   
Where are you the happiest?
This question is way too hard to narrow down to a short answer. I make sure my life is chocked full of happy activities, including work.
February 2017 - Delesha Carpenter, PhD, MSPH
Delesha Carpenter, PhD, MSPH
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Assistant Professor
Asheville, NC 

Biography: Delesha Carpenter is an Assistant Professor on the Asheville campus of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Her clinical background is in respiratory therapy and she holds an MSPH and PhD in Health Behavior. Her main research interest centers on using mobile health (mHealth) technologies to improve disease self-management and patient-provider communication. She has developed a tailored video software program to improve the inhaler technique of children and adolescents with asthma. She is also in the process of developing an asthma self-management app for adolescents. Her other research interests include conflicting medication information and decreasing rural health disparities. 

What was your earliest ambition?
My earliest ambition was to be a teacher. I have the 3rd grade career day photo to prove it:)

What was the best career move?
Accepting a postdoctoral fellowship position at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Before that time, I never knew that there was a public health focus in Schools of Pharmacy. 

Who is the person you would most like to thank and why?
I’d like to thank my mother for supporting me unconditionally and encouraging me to do my best.

What book should every healthcare provider read?
Mountains Beyond Mountains by Paul Farmer

What poem, song, or passage of prose would you like mourners to hear at your funeral?
Rudy Can’t Fail by The Clash

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Live music. I spend way too much money going to concerts and music festivals.

Summarize your personality in three words.
humorous, inquisitive, creative

How would you spend your favorite day?
Hiking and kayaking near Tortuga Bay in The Galapagos 

Where are you the happiest?
Hiking in the mountains with my family.
January 2017 - Ticonna Purdle, MS, MSPH, APRN, FNP-BC, PCMH-CCE
Ticonna Purdle, MS, MSPH, APRN, FNP-BC, PCMH-CCE
UIC College of Nursing
PhD candidate
Chicago, IL 
ticonna@nursingspeaks.com

Biography: Ticonna Purdle is a Doctor of Philosophy candidate in nursing research at the University of Illinois Chicago.  She is a family nurse practitioner in an outpatient setting and has worked in the nursing profession for approximately 20 yrs. She is the founder of Nursing Speaks Incorporated, an American Heart Association CPR instructor, and a NCQA patient centered medical home content expert.  She has practiced in the long term, short term, and acute care settings; and has a passion for patient education and communication. She strives to live a happy life and provide the best care for her community, family and friends. 

What was your earliest ambition?
My earliest ambition was to be a doctor. I loved to help people and wanted to make a difference.

What was the best career move?
My best career move was becoming a registered nurse. The nursing profession is wonderful & life changing work; and has opened a lot of doors for me on my career path.

Who is the person you would most like to thank and why?
My mother, she has supported my goals and achievements and always gives me the best guidance and insight.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
My guiltiest pleasure is Chinese food! I would eat it for every meal if I could.

Summarize your personality in three words.
Loving, gentle, kind. 

How would you spend your favorite day?
I would spend my favorite day shopping! 
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