Committed to Healthcare for Young People

Committed to Healthcare for Young People

Leah Lucarelli found her career in fifth grade, while helping her pediatrician aunt in the office during school vacations.  “She let me take height and weight measurements, and I fell in love with primary care for kids.”

As nurse practitioner for CHC’s school-based health care program, she cares for youngsters in Macdonough elementary and Keigwin middle schools. “My role is to help my patients stay healthy and stay in school.  I love teaching them about their heath and taking care of themselves.”

At first, she was on the path to becoming a pediatrician, majoring in biology and psychology, until her college health professions club showed her other possibilities.  “A career as a nurse practitioner was never on my radar, but it just seemed right. It seemed like it focused more on holistic care than on the disease process.”

After graduating from Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Lucarelli enrolled in the BSN program at SUNY Binghamton.  A year later, she started working as a pediatric nurse and joined the master’s nursing program at Quinnipiac University.  While there, she worked at a community health center and found her calling.  “It may sound like a cliché, but I really want to help people, and patients at community health centers really need the care.”

Lucarelli recently received her doctorate in nursing from Quinnipiac University.  “I wanted to learn how to apply evidence-based medicine and make healthcare more effective.”  Her research for her doctoral degree focused on ways to improve screening for adolescent depression and improving the referral system for referrals for additional care.  She is confident she can use what she has learned to improve depression screening and referrals for students in the school-based program.  “CHC provides both medical and behavioral health care, so it’s ideally suited to be helpful identifying youngsters who may be depressed and helping them get the care they need.  We provide fantastic care in a cost effective way and I’m excited to be part of continuing that work.”

Comments are closed.