Local physician heads up state extended-care associationIn April, at the annual spring conference of the Wisconsin Association of Medical Directors, Hudson area physician Kristin Severson, D.O., became the president of the organization.
By: Margaret Ontl, Hudson Star-Observer
In April at the annual spring conference of the Wisconsin Association of Medical Directors, Hudson area physician Kristin Severson, D.O., became the president of the organization. The group of Wisconsin Nursing Home Medical Directors and extended care professionals is dedicated to quality care in Wisconsin extended care facilities through education, legislative dialogue and cooperation with other providers.
It is a two-year term, and Severson hopes to make a difference in a field she is passionate about.
Early on in her training as a physician, she realized pediatrics was not the area of concentration for her.
“The geriatric population is a group that is not understood,” said Severson. “There are so many things that could be done to enhance the quality of their lives. So I just focused on it.”
Severson is a Doctor of Osteopathy, which she indicates is more inclusive of the trilogy of mind, body and spirit when it comes to medical care.
“It goes hand and hand with geriatric care,” said Severson, who is a board certified internist and has added certifications in geriatric medicine. Severson graduated from Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her residency/internship at Northeast Regional Medical Center. Both are in Kirksville, Mo.
It was her fellowship in geriatric medicine at Aurora Sinai in Milwaukee that set her course of practice.
“Function and quality of life (for seniors) are my missions,” said Severson, who chose Hudson because she has family in the area and because they were open to the concept of her geriatric goals. “I have great support from the clinic.”
As to her goals for her term as president, Severson is hoping to create an environment of support for the certified medical directors of long-term care facilities.
“I accepted the position because there is such a lack of knowledge in long-term care medicine,” said Severson. “We are hoping we can provide support to CMDs and others in the field that we can better care for our elders.”
Along with maximizing function in later years, Severson believes that physicians should start the end of life prognosis earlier.
“A family conference, a team approach is helpful,” said Severson. “As president I want our organization to do all we can to support the local attending physicians. To let them know it is okay to say no to additional testing and procedures. I want them to know it is okay to focus on the quality of life.”
Severson is a certified medical director herself. You can meet her next week at the YMCA during a senior health fair.
National Senior Health & Fitness Day Fair
Seniors, age 55 and older, are welcome to attend National Senior Health & Fitness Day on Wednesday, May 25, from 8:30-10 a.m. at the St Croix Valley YMCA, 2211 Vine St.
The YMCA will offer free health and fitness screenings and assessments, along with a number of other services from vendors from the community. The event is free and open to the community and there will be no charge to use the facilities at the Y on that day. A photo ID is required for entry to the Y.
Severson and Tami Gregg, diabetic educator from Hudson Physicians, will be on hand during the Senior Health Day.