Lisa A. Chism, DNP, APRN, BC NCMP, FAANP, is the 2011 NAMS Menopause Practitioner of the Year. Dr. Chism, who practices in Detroit, MI, was selected to receive this prestigious award by an independent NAMS Awards Committee. The award was presented at The North American Menopause Society’s Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.
What first attracted you to become a nurse?
I knew I wanted to be a nurse when I was 10 years old. I loved science and I loved caring for people—it just made sense to me.
Can you tell us a little about the progression of your career in nursing and your personal story?
I graduated from the University of Michigan (UM) School of Nursing in 1990 and worked in the intensive care unit for 4 years. During that time, I knew I wanted to have a more active role in my patients’ health care so I returned to UM for a Masters degree as a Gerontologic Nurse Practitioner. I finished my degree and became certified as an NP in 1994. Interestingly, I knew I had a strong interest in women’s health, so I returned to UM again and completed a post-Masters program in women’s health. Then I practiced in various settings including nursing homes, family practice, internal medicine, and currently I am practicing at Karmanos Cancer Institute in the Alexander J. Walt Comprehensive Breast Center with the High Risk Breast Clinic. My love of nursing led me to seek additional education and in 2007 I graduated from the first Doctor of Nursing Practice Program (DNP) in Michigan. I then published a DNP textbook entitled The Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree: A Guidebook for Role Development and Professional Issues, which is now in its second edition due to publish in 2012. Because of my interest in menopause, I am working on developing a dedicated menopause clinic within the Breast Center at Karmanos to care for patients with menopausal symptoms who have a history or high risk of breast cancer.
How and when did you become involved with NAMS?
I met Dr. Diane Pace at the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners conference about 3 years ago. I approached the NAMS booth because of my interest in women’s health and menopause issues. Dr. Pace and I discussed my becoming certified as an NCMP and joining NAMS. Since then, she has been a wonderful mentor and I am so thankful for her guidance and mentorship.
How has your NAMS membership benefited you?
NAMS is a wonderful organization and I am so pleased to be involved. I have been a member of the Consumer Education Committee for 2 years, and this year I am also a member of the Scientific Committee. NAMS provides excellent evidence-based information, valuable networking opportunities, and rewarding educational experiences. I became certified as an NCMP in May 2009 and am very grateful for the credential.
Why is the NAMS certification important to you and your patients?
The Society has provided me with the comprehensive, evidence-based materials that allow me to educate and treat my patients effectively for their symptoms. They truly appreciate the information I provide them regarding management and treatments. The NCMP certification also gives me credibility among my peers and has helped me focus on the development of a menopause clinic.
Do you use NAMS educational materials for yourself? For your patients?
Yes, I use many of the NAMS educational materials. I used all NAMS materials to put together a booklet in my setting that specifically addresses menopausal issues for patients with a history or high risk of breast cancer.
How do you feel about being named the Menopause Practitioner of the Year for 2011?
I am thrilled, honored, and humbled by my award. I am very grateful to NAMS for this honor and will strive to continue to provide exemplary care to my patients.
Do you encourage other healthcare providers to study for the NAMS exam?
Absolutely! The NAMS certification is invaluable. It has truly made a difference in my knowledge base and my credibility as a menopause practitioner.