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Letters to Martha
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Author's Note: "I first encountered integrated biomedical and psychosocial care at the Duke University Medical Center Infectious Diseases Clinic, where my first husband was a patient from 1991 until his death in 1995. A central figure in the care he (and I) received there was his social worker, Martha Zimmerman, MSW, LCSW. These letters are for her."
Link to Recent Letters to Martha Posts:
February 15, 2012

Making Room for Behavioral Health

Fairmount Primary Care Center (FPCC) is not a big place. There’s a hallway for adult medicine with ten exam rooms, two apiece for each of five providers. There’s a hallway for pediatrics with four exam rooms for the two pediatricians. There are various support and administrative spaces—a waiting room, a front desk, an alcove full of medical records, a couple of triage rooms, a lab, a nurse’s station, a room full of computers where the providers sit to chart, storage closets for supplies and medications. And there is a behavioral health office, which until recently was a modestly-sized windowless room tucked in beside a back stairwell, next to the copy machine and a corridor leading to a bathroom that was usually out of order... click her to read more
December 19, 2011
Chronic Disease Self-Management Workshop

In the 1990s several medical and public-health professionals at Stanford University developed a six-week peer-facilitated workshop designed to equip persons living with chronic medical conditions to manage not only their disease(s) but also the effects of these on their lives and emotions. A foundational assumption of the workshop is that people whose medical diagnoses may vary widely nonetheless share many similar concerns and challenges and can draw on similar resources in meeting them. No matter a person's specific health condition, he or she needs the knowledge and the skills to manage the illness itself (like taking medication, or making changes in diet or exercise), daily activities (like household chores, jobs, and relationships), and the difficult emotions that are an inevitable part of living with illness (like anger, depression and anxiety). here to read more
December 2, 2011
World AIDS Day

AIDS became a part of my life on January 9, 1990, when the man I was not quite in love with yet sat me down and said, "There's something you need to know.” What I needed to know was that he was HIV-positive. I was stunned. I had heard of HIV and AIDS, of course. Ryan White was still living, and I had read the news accounts of how shamefully he had been treated by too many people, and had resolved that if I ever met anyone with AIDS, I wouldn't rush screaming from the room. But I really didn't think it would ever happen. I wasn't at risk for AIDS, and neither (I naively imagined) was anyone I knew.....Click here to read more.

November 29, 2011
Untold Stories

When after a dozen years as a college professor I went back to school to get a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy, a primary motivation was my desire to spend more time listening to other people’s stories, and to do a better job of responding to those stories in healing and helpful ways. Now, a couple of months into my internship in integrated behavioral health, I’m listening to lots of stories, and I hope I’m responding helpfully, at least some of the time. But the impression I take away from many of these encounters has less to do with the stories I hear than with the ones I don’t.... Click here to read more
 Margaret Kim Peterson, PhD, is a student in the master’s program in Marriage and Family Therapy at La Salle University in Philadelphia. She is doing an internship in integrated behavioral health at Fairmount Primary Care Center, under the supervision of Suzanne Daub, LCSW, Director of Behavioral Health for Delaware Valley Community Health.

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The view expressed in the blogs and comments should be understood as the personal opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the Collaborative Family Healthcare Association (CFHA). No information on this blog will be understood as official. CFHA offers this blog site for individuals to express their personal and professional opinions regarding their own independent activities and interests.



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