Champion Spotlight: Denise Henderson
by Maggie Wayne, Docs for Tots Health Liaison
Denise Henderson, RN at a partner health center in Nassau County
Our practice champions are the key to making sure screening initiatives are both successful and sustainable. This week, we are highlighting one of our champions, Denise Henderson. Denise works is an RN at the Long Island FQHC’s Roosevelt Family Health Center, part of the NuHealth System.
Q: What was your role in the maternal depression screening process?
A: I oversaw all the MAs (Medical assistants) who did the screening in our practice. I reviewed charts daily to see that the screening was done completely and what referrals were made. If an MA missed a screen, I reinforced the importance of doing the screen while reminding them of the workflow in the office and the when/how of screening.
Q: How did our project impact your practice?
A: This project helped make the MAs more aware of the importance of screening for maternal depression. It also taught them how to identify moms who were experiencing depression, without asking, but rather by observing the interactions between mom and baby. It has also helped increase awareness of maternal depression even beyond 12 months.
Q: What was the most meaningful to you regarding this project?
A: So many aspects. It was awesome to see the changes in the attitudes of the MAs and watching them grow as professionals. I loved knowing that we were making a difference for moms. Being a part of this project was awesome.
Q: Did you experience any challenges and how did you deal with them?
A: Not really. Everyone was receptive to the idea of screening and the approach. I work with two exceptionally wonderful providers who helped to catch screens that may not have been completed otherwise. We were all a team in the project, working together and building a bridge as one.
Q: What kind of work do you want to see in the future regarding child development/mental health/maternal-child well being?
A: Anything we can do for infants, parents, and their struggles, I would want to move forward with. Whatever it is, I am all for it because our children are our future.
Maggie Wayne is a Health Liaison with Docs for Tots, working with our partners on incorporating into pediatric practices screenings for Maternal Depression and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).
Note: Responses have been shortened for clarity.