Following the departure of Psychiatric Mental Health Nurses Linda Hallowell and Debbie Gootee in July, a new Nurse Practitioner, Lisa Uhl, started work on Sept. 27.
Since then, Uhl has been serving as the primary prescriber of psychiatric medication at the Washington College Health Center.
“After an exhaustive search of qualified providers in the state of Maryland, Lisa was chosen because she is a qualified, licensed Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner that can work collaboratively with our medical and counseling team,” said Lisa Marx, director of Health Services.
According to her profile on the Comprehensive Clinical Care website, Uhl is a Board Certified Family Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, dually certified in both Adult Internal Medicine and Family Psychiatry. She has over 20 years of professional experience, with a Masters degree in Adult Medicine from the University of Maryland and a Family Psychiatry degree from Johns Hopkins University.
Uhl said she became certified in psychiatry after 12 years as a nurse in areas such as coronary and intensive care units.
“I had been a nurse for a long time and decided it was time to move up to the next level to be able to do what the doctors did, which was diagnose and treat. I felt that I was ready for the added responsibility and was ready to divulge deeper into the anatomy/physiology and pathophysiology of the body systems,” she said.
According to her Comprehensive Clinical Care profile, some of Uhl’s specialties within mental health treatment are “medication management, DNA/genetic testing, ADHD, depression, anxiety, panic, insomnia, disruptive behaviors, and medical marijuana.”
“My duties at WC are to assess, diagnose, and treat students with a wide variety of mental health needs,” Uhl said.
“She has been busy evaluating new patients and providing follow-up care to our students who require medication management,” Marx said.
Marx said that during the time when there was no mental health practitioner at WC, “Some students got their medications from their providers that they see over the summer, and we were able to provide some to our students that we had originally prescribed.”
So far, Uhl has enjoyed her time working at WC. “I drive from Baltimore, so I was worried about the long drive, but I love the College, the environment, and the Health Center staff has been very welcoming and that all has made the drive worth it,” she said.
In her spare time, Uhl excercises every day and tries to maintain a healthy diet.
“I hope to instill some of these healthy lifestyle behaviors into the students which can in turn improved mental health as well as physical health,” she said.
Uhl is on campus on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Students can make an appointment with her by calling the Health Center at 410-778-7261.
“We will continue to evaluate the need for psychiatric medication management services on campus and the resources available to meet those needs. For the time being, we are grateful to have someone able and willing to come to campus who can provide these services,” Marx said.