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Erie Family Health Center


Going Beyond the Standard

October 4, 2010 | Ginny

At Erie Family Health Center, our health care practices go above and beyond the standard. As we provide each individual patient with the quality care they deserve, we also look beyond the symptoms and try to find new and innovative ways to address each patient’s health care concerns and needs. Each and every day is another opportunity for Erie to discover new and better ways to care for all of its patients.

Lynette Suarez is one Erie provider that fully understands the importance of looking outside the box for other methods of treatment. Lynette is a Behavioral Therapist who devotes her time counseling Erie’s HIV/AIDS patients in the Lending Hands for Life Program, located at Erie Humboldt Park Health Center. Since coming to Erie, Lynette began employing a technique called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) into her practice. This technique is utilized as a different approach to treating the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Lynette has used this approach as an alternative method to care for her patients, many of whom are suffering from symptoms of PTSD.

EMDR is an information processing therapy that gives the brain the opportunity to reprocess a negative experience. Traumatic events can become locked in the brain with the original thoughts, smells, sounds and visuals. EMDR allows patients to replace old, negative memories that were created at the time of the event with a new and more adaptive perception that helps to change the way the experience affects the patient. “The HIV diagnosis in itself can be traumatic and this technique has been useful in diminishing the negative feelings and thoughts affiliated with the diagnosis, allowing the patient to move forward in their lives without the thought of HIV constantly being at the forefront,” says Lynette.

Lynette’s innovative and unique approach didn’t go unnoticed. The AIDS Foundation of Chicago came across Lynette’s work and asked her to submit an abstract of her experience with EMDR to the national Ryan White Grantee Conference in Washington D.C. It was accepted to be presented as a poster and Lynette and a few of her colleagues went down to Washington. There, Lynette was in for a surprise – her poster won for “Innovation in Program” in the Prevention/Care Continuum in Improving HIV Care category. “I had no idea that they would be giving out awards for posters,” says Lynette “I was really shocked when mine won!”

Lynette’s work with HIV/AIDS patients illustrates the devotion of everyone at Erie Family Health Center to creating a healthier and better life for all patients. Providers like Lynette work tirelessly to find the best methods of treatment that provide each person with the best quality care possible. Through this work, Lynette, and so many other Erie providers, creates an atmosphere of compassion, trustworthiness and healing that envelope every person that walks through Erie’s doors.

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