Kristen Boyle ’21 Partners with Southwest Community Center on Advanced Directives Podcast

Kristen Boyle ’21 Partners with Southwest Community Center on Advanced Directives Podcast

The three-episode series documents patient, physician, and chief medical officer experiences with advanced directives.

Public Health major Kristen Boyle ’21 is on a mission to bring awareness to advanced directives. Boyle first became familiar with advanced directives and palliative care after attending an event at Fairfield’s Kanarek Center for Palliative Care during her sophomore year. She continued to gain knowledge about the subject when she worked for a cardiopulmonary unit at a hospital in Boston, Massachusetts after witnessing patients who were on life support equipment and were unable to make medical decisions for themselves.

“I have definitely gained a lot of knowledge and background on the importance of having an advanced directive, and how important it is even for healthy people to talk about what their wishes would be if they were ever not able to make their own decisions due to serious,” said Boyle.

As part of the public health program curriculum, students are required to participate in an internship and for her internship, Boyle connected with Southwest Community Center. One of her tasks at the Center was to create a campaign for National Healthcare Decisions Day. After several conversations with her preceptor, Joan Lee, Director of the Kanarek Center for Palliative Care Eileen O’Shea,DNP, APRN, PCNS-BC, CHPPN, and Director of Communications at Southwest Sam Diaz, Boyle decided to launch an advanced directives podcast.

Boyle explained, “After gathering background information on advanced directives and how to encourage people to talk about their wishes, I decided that a podcast would be a great way for people to talk about their experiences with advanced directive which is very difficult, yet important to talk about.”

The three-episode series will feature engaging interviews with members of community partner Southwest Community Health Center. Each episode explores the guests’ experiences involving an advanced directive including what drove a patient to obtain an advanced directive, the importance of having an advanced directive, and resources available to patients. The podcast’s list of guests will feature a patient, an internal medicine physician, and the chief medical officer at Southwest. The podcast will be available on Southwest Community Health Center's website at the end of month.

For Boyle, her work advancing awareness on advanced directives and palliative care is just the first step in what she hopes will be a lifetime of helping others. “In the future, I hope to be a physician assistant. After Fairfield, I am continuing my job as a certified nursing assistant at Spaulding Hospital in Cambridge, MA, and hope to complete my clinical hours needed to apply to PA school.”

Tags:  Egan School

Last modified: 05-11-21 1:29 PM

20210511

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