May 16, 2022
Dr. Tanya Wozniak, a long-time innovaTel psychiatrist, shares a bit about her work and the importance of telehealth support to organizations.
How long have you been with innovaTel, and what drew you to joining the team?
I’ve been with innovaTel a few months before they became innovaTel, since 2014. I was drawn to innovaTel because [our founders], Jon and Lee had vast experience in the mental health fields and had been running a very successful mental health clinic. They had an inspirational mission in wanting to improve access to care, specifically access to quality care.
In my time with innovaTel, I’m continuously impressed by its emphasis on this founding principle, but I am equally impressed, as an employee, with the way they support us as providers.
Tell us a bit about your background and what led you to psychiatry. How long have you been in the field?
I had no intentions of a career in psychiatry. I actually started Medical school with a plan to do orthopedic surgery, but I did my third year rotation in Psychiatry and loved it. It’s been that ever since.
Where are you working now as part of innovaTel?
It depends on the day – I see patients at a clinic in Pennsylvania that supports the LGBTQ+ community, a CCBHC in rural Minnesota, an intensive outpatient program, and a medical directorship in a different area of Minnesota that is pursuing CCBHC certification.
What does a typical day for you look like? Describe the type of support you offer the organizations, clinicians, and patients with whom you work.
As you can see from the variety of sites, my day varies depending on the day of the week. Most days, I’m seeing patients from 8 am to 4 pm, with some administrative time built in and occasional recurring meetings.
Regarding support for the organizations, I try to be accessible to all of the locations, usually via email. This usually means medication problems or questions, refill requests, crises, etc. I make sure they know I am available throughout the day I am there but also accessible on days where I may not be working at their clinic.
Why is this type of support so valuable to organizations?
Accessibility and responsiveness is really appreciated with telemedicine, seeing as staff can’t knock on your office door between patients to ask a question or talk about a problem.
Along those same lines, for patients who know I’m not physically in the clinic they attend, I want them to feel reassured that I will still manage their needs and attend to any crisis. Even on days where I’m working elsewhere!
What are some memorable success stories of patients you’ve treated?
Polypharmacy is a common issue in our patient population, and it’s one of those problems I love to hate. I find the most success when I work with patients to gradually chip away at long medication lists, and they often feel much better. That is a more general area where I experience success.
To get more specific, one of the most unforgettable success stories I’ve had was when I was first starting to write buprenorphine for medication-assisted treatment of opioid use disorder. One of my patients told me their 4 kids experienced their first Christmas ever because this patient was no longer spending thousands of dollars on heroin each month.
What do you appreciate most about working as part of innovaTel? What keeps you here?
I feel like innovaTel advocates for my needs in so many aspects of my career and life. If there are issues with a clinic, they are, from top to bottom, eager to assist in any resolutions. As an employer, they think about problems before they begin – such as making sure we manage isolation and avoid burnout. They also really understand and support family needs, enabling us to improve work/life balance.
What excites you about Quartet and innovaTel coming together to deliver speed to quality care?
I hope that coming together will result in exponential growth in access to quality care across the country. I’m also looking forward to seeing how technology changes in the coming years and believe this union will be a forerunner in the future of mental health treatment.
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