Hemesath is Family Psychiatric Mental Health ARNP at RHS
Wed, 03/28/2018 - 1:56pm admin
Sara Stromseth-Troy TPD Staff
CRESCO - Regional Health Services of Howard County welcomes Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Andi Hemesath, ARNP. Hemesath treats mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorders including Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and panic disorder, as well as attention-focus disorders like Attention Deficit Disorder. She sees patients ages 5 through adulthood at her office at Cresco Medical Clinic.
“It’s unique for this area to cover such a wide age range, and see such a young population,” Hemesath said.
A native of Calmar and current resident of Decorah, Hemesath has a six-year-old daughter and family in the area.
She received her Associate’s degree from Northeast Iowa Community College in Calmar, a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wartburg College in Waverly, and her Master’s degree from Allen College in Waterloo.
A nurse from 2004-2007, she was compelled to return to school and study psychiatric nursing.
“I worked on the floor at Gundersen in surgery, and saw a lot of bariatric patients,” she said. “When I went back to school, I thought I would go into family medicine. At the time, I was in a float pool at Allen and I went down to the psychiatric unit. It was locked, and there was a lot of mystery of what went on behind closed doors. When I went back there, people were playing the game UNO and talking with patients. I felt so comfortable in that setting. Everyone has a niche. The pace was different, and the nursing was different. We still did nursing activities, but we used more soft skills.”
Hemesath said she has a special place in her heart for those going through mental health issues:
“People may not look that different on the outside, but there are a lot of ‘walking wounded’ people who are dealing with a lot (mentally),” she said. “You don’t see it because they look healthy physically. The work was a good fit for me, because I am really sensitive to those kinds of issues. My mom was a counselor and a nurse for many years. She also had empathy for that population,” Hemesath said.
In addition to in-office visits, Hemesath provides remote care, called telehealth, for patients.
Vice President of Ancillary Services Kyle Teeling said, “Andi has several years of telehealth experience in providing care. We are incorporating that into our model here, where she will be on site and doing telehealth,” he said.
Hemesath said, “It is remote care, with me at on site. The patient still comes to this office, but they would see me over a webcam for a virtual visit. I will be on the screen in real time, and on a webcam visit we can see and hear each other,” she said.
While Regional Health Services is already on the recipient end of telehealth care in its usage of Avera eCARE, Hemesath said her telehealth care would be the first where Cresco initiates the care remotely.
“There are nooks and crannies of Iowa where they don’t have doctors, so this is a way to reach remote populations that still need treatment,” Hemesath said. “That’s been the majority of my practice for the past seven years.”
Teeling said, “A nurse would come and take vitals, similar to what a patient would experience if they were coming in for an appointment, but the visit (with Hemesath) is the virtual element.”
Hemesath said, “It’s really exciting because Regional Health Services is the only facility offering this to others as outreach, versus being on the recipient end.”
Teeling adds, “Mercy provides it in certain instances and circumstances, but for the Mercy North Iowa region, Regional Health Services is way ahead of the curve in terms of providing telehealth, especially from the mental health perspective.”
To book an appointment with Hemesath, call 563-547-2022. No referrals are necessary.