Linda White named among 2012 Nurses of the Year

Congratulations to Linda White, an RN at Aurora Psychiatric Hospital, on being named Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel Nurse of the Year!!

Linda began her caregiving experience as an aide in the 1970s at Glendale Nursing Home and the Comprehensive Health Care Facility in Sheboygan County.

Her peers needed to encourage her to go to Nursing School and she eventually signed up and was put on a 3 year waiting list. While on the waiting list Linda took class after class to prepare herself for clinical experiences.

Linda became a Registered Nurse in 1981. She worked on the Behavioral Health unit at Sheboygan Memorial for 5 years before taking her next job at Family Hospital in Milwaukee on the Geropsych unit. Family Hospital closed and Linda moved with the Geropsych program to Good Samaritan Hospital.

When Good Samaritan closed Linda became the Charge Nurse on the Geropsych unit at Aurora Sinai. In 2003 APH was blessed to welcome Linda and several of her peers as the Behavioral Health units at Aurora Sinai and SLMC were closed. Linda and her peers brought years of experience to our current Center of Excellence at APH.

Personally Linda is involved in her church and participates in the Women’s Retreats as the creative arts person. Linda is a fabulous cook and baker. She takes orders for her bakery and she shares them with staff and patients at APH. They are truly works of art and people feel guilty eating them.

Linda raised three daughters as a single mother, has 10 grandchildren and 2 great grandsons. She lives in Sheboygan County on her 35 acre farm where she raises chickens, horses, steers, and soon goats. Plans to build a goat house are in the works. Linda has 8 gardens going at any time during the Wisconsin growing season. And yes, she works full time.

The attention of this award is a little overwhelming for Linda as she is quite humble. She said, “Knowing I have helped someone else is important to me. Many people just want to be listened to. We all need to take the time to listen more. Just sit down and listen.”

I like to believe that Linda is someone who has discovered her gifts and unselfishly shares them with others. We are lucky and blessed to have Linda in our profession.  Congratulations, Linda!

Aurora Behavioral Health Services offers complete mental health treatment options, provided by highly trained professionals in a caring, confidential manner to meet individual and family needs.  If you or someone you know needs help, contact us — online or by phone at 1-877-666-7223 — as soon as possible.

A New Home!

Caregivers and patients in the Eating Disorder Program at Aurora Psychiatric Hospital are enjoying a new home. Still housed within the hospital, on the 28 acre wooded campus, the program has moved to a new area, designed specifically for the patients attending the eating disorder program.

The United States, as a whole, is obsessed with weight. The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) reports that, on any given day, almost half of American women are on a diet and a quarter of men are also trying to lose weight. But for five to 10 million females and an additional one million males each year, the desire to be thin will turn into a more serious eating disorder where eating is no longer about feeding a physical hunger, but becomes about satisfying a psychological need.

The Eating Disorder Services at Aurora Psychiatric Hospital approaches an individual’s eating disorder from a biological, psychosocial and psychological focus. Understanding the complexity of the illness, theAuroraPsychiatric Hospital’s program helps individuals develop the skills to take better care of themselves from a nutritional, emotional and social perspective. One of the initial steps is to address the physical needs of a patient. “When someone enters the program, they are experiencing a lot of anxiety regarding food,” explains Anne Sprenger, RD, registered dietician withAuroraPsychiatric Hospital. “A dietician meets with them at the very beginning of their treatment to initiate the process of re-feeding them. We set nutritional goals and help them develop personalized steps to work toward those goals.” The program is customized to each individual. Food allergies, and religious and cultural preferences are taken into consideration. Initially the meals are planned for them, but as individuals progress they become actively involved in understanding how to select healthy choices. “Education is a vital component of our nutritional services,” continues Anne. “We need to get our patients the correct information regarding nutrition, explain how they can take care of themselves from a nutritional perspective and give them the support they need to get back on track with eating healthy, balanced meals.” As clinically indicated, patients can participate anywhere in the full continuum of inpatient, partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient programs. An individual’s needs are taken into consideration when trying to find the most cost-effective approach to deal with an oftentimes lengthy process. All options include psychiatric treatment, group and individual therapy with a general emphasis on cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy; education groups; family involvement; relapse prevention, in addition to the nutrition program. “Despite the outward physical appearance of some eating disorder sufferers, the toll taken on the inside is far more devastating,” explains Sandra Blaies, LCSW, supervisor of Eating Disorder Services atAuroraPsychiatric Hospital. “The Eating Disorders Program offers a wide variety of complementary therapies ranging from art therapy, mindful yoga and food challenge experiences to help patients learn how to identify and express their feelings or emotions.” In addition, family involvement is an integral part of a patient’s care. Family education and support groups for the family and friends of patients provides both the education they need to support their loved one, as well as gives them a channel through which they can address their own fears and frustrations. “In our program, families and friends are considered a valuable resource in the recovery program,” addsSandy. Indications that someone may have an eating disorder range from binge eating or food restriction, to self-induced vomiting, abusing laxatives or diet pills, a preoccupation with food, calories, nutrition and/or cooking, crash dieting, denial of hunger, perfectionism, extreme weight loss or low body weight.

If you have questions about our services or suspect someone has an eating disorder, please call 414-454-6694 or visit our website. If you would like to schedule an appointment for an assessment, please call 414-773-4312.