Employee Spotlight: Abby Rose, Medical Assistant

Employee Spotlight

We are very excited to highlight one of our most valuable assets, our employees! Each month, get to know the HPC team in a fun, new way.

Name:  Abby Rose

Department: Medical

Title: Medical Assistant

Primary work locationOlathe

How long have you worked at HPC?

Two months

How did you get into your field of work?

I first became interested in medicine when my mother had stage four colon cancer. I got my experience as an MA because I had a friend who recommended me for a job.

Do you speak any other languages? If yes, which ones?

I’m working toward being bilingual in Spanish.

Do you have a favorite quote? If yes, what is it?

“Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.” -Henry Ford

What values are important to you?

Values that are important to me are honesty and trust.

What is something about you that would surprise people?

I am obsessed with true crime documentaries.

What is on your “bucket” list?

I would like to travel to Europe with my fiancé.

What is your favorite food?

My favorite food is pasta, pasta and more pasta!

What is your favorite movie?

“The Office” is my favorite television series.

What is your favorite hobby?

I like crocheting amigurumi, which are plush toys.

Are you an animal lover?  If yes, how many pets do you have and what kind are they?

Heck yes! I only have one dog right now. Her name is Roe. She is a 45- pound Labrador/Pitt Bull mix. She loves to make new friends, go on car rides and cuddle in bed.

HPC Celebrates Nurse Practitioner Week, Nov. 7-13.

Wael S. Mourad, MD, MHCM, FAAFP

Post written by Wael Mourad, MD, MHCM, FAAFP, Chief Health Officer

Nurse Practitioners occupy a very significant portion of the health care work force in the United States.

What is a Nurse Practitioner (NP)?

An NP is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) and is a type of mid-level provider. A mid-level provider is a medical practitioner who independently sees and treats patients under the supervision of a physician (while in some select states, they are able to practice independently). They are trained to provide primary, specialty, acute and chronic care to patients of all ages.

What is the history behind NPs?

The discipline of nurse practitioners began in the 1960s and was initiated by Dr. Henry Silver, a physician, and Loretta Ford, RN, a nurse. In 1971, the U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare formally recommended expanding the scope of nursing practice to be able to serve as primary care providers.

Do NPs practice only as primary care providers?

The answer is a resounding “No!” NPs practice in nearly all the medical subspecialties such as cardiology, pulmonology, nephrology and many more. We also have pediatric nurse practitioners and those who practice in highly acute settings such as the neonatal intensive care units. Related mid-level provider disciplines that nurses enter include midwifery and certified nurse anesthesiology (while not nurse practitioners, they are frequent members of the team).

How do NPs help form a great team?

In a great team, everyone has their role. At HPC, NPs come from a variety of backgrounds to serve our patients in a primary care role. They can care for a great variety of presentations and ailments. If the patient becomes too complex, the patient can then be seen by the physician. This allows patients to be cared for in a caring and cost-effective way that utilizes everyone’s skill to its maximum.

Do NPs bring anything to the table that physician’s do not?

Absolutely. Nurses have a different training background than physicians. Nurses are traditionally closer to the patient than are physicians. They are more in tune with patients’ needs in many respects, and this allows potentially more opportunity to establish rapport with patients, as well as advocate for their needs.

We are so grateful for our NPs at HPC. Thank you, Tony Anno, DNP, ACNP-BC, APRN; Maureen Caro, FNP-BC; Jennifer Miller, FNP-BC; Andrea Scott, FNP-BC; Rebecca Turner, MSN, APRN, FNP-C; Whitney Venegoni, APRN, FNP-C; Gwenyth Wagner, DNP, APRN; and Patti West, DNP, APRN. By forming a great team that works together, that is how we best take care of our patients!

Nurse Practitioner Week 2021

Employee Spotlight: Nader Rastgoftar, DDS, Dental Director

Employee Spotlight

Nader RastgoftarName:  Nader Rastgoftar, DDS

Department: Dental

Title: Dental Director

Primary work locationOlathe, Ottawa, Outreach

How long have you worked at HPC?  

I have been at HPC for six years.

How did you get into your field of work?

In 2003, I needed an emergency surgery on my wrist, and the outcome did not look too promising. I could lose all movement for the rest of my life. After I got my cast off, I was told that my wrist healed normally. I was so happy and relieved! My doctor was even happier since the outcome of his work left a positive and everlasting impact on his patient’s life. At that moment, I realized that I wanted to work in health care to change people’s life.

I chose the medical field where I could utilize my engineering background. I found the manual dexterity, problem solving and artistic aspect of dentistry to be very similar to my previous experiences in engineering. I applied for dental school and in 2011 I was accepted to UMKC School of Dentistry.

Do you speak any other languages? If yes, which ones?

I speak English, Farsi, Turkish and some Thai, Arabic and Spanish.

Do you have a favorite quote? If yes, what is it?

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” -Nelson Mandela

What values are important to you?

Values that are important to me include courage, gratitude, kindness, integrity, respect, patience and forgiveness.

What is something about you that would surprise people?

I was born in Tehran, the capital city of Iran, and moved to the United States in 2003.

What is on your “bucket” list?

Dr. Nader FamilyI would like to travel to Iran, Thailand, Tahiti, Bora Bora, Hawaii, Paris, Japan and Switzerland. I would also like to visit the Colosseum in Rome and Oktoberfest in Munich.

What is your favorite food?

My favorite foods are Thai food, steak and seafood.

What is your favorite movie?

“The Usual Suspects”

What is your favorite hobby?

My favorite hobbies are spending time with my kids, watching comedies with my wife, grilling, watching football, fishing and gardening.

Are you an animal lover?  If yes, how many pets do you have and what kind are they?

I am an animal lover. My wife and I like fish. We have a 55 gallon freshwater aquarium with more than 40 fish in it.

Employee Spotlight: Whitney Venegoni, Nurse Practitioner

Employee Spotlight

 

Whitney VenegoniWe are very excited to highlight one of our most valuable assets, our employees! Each month, get to know the HPC team in a fun, new way.

Name: Whitney Venegoni, APRN, FNP-BC

Department: Medical

Title: Nurse Practitioner

Primary work location: Olathe Fire Department/Olathe

How long have you worked at HPC?  

Two years.

How did you get into your field of work?

My grandma was ill when I was young. The way the nurses made us feel stuck with me. I knew I wanted to be one!

Do you speak any other languages? If yes, which ones?

I speak English and Spanish and started learning ASL recently.

Do you have a favorite quote? If yes, what is it?

Whitney Venegoni and family“A year from now you will wish you had started today.”

What values are important to you?

Values that are important to me are compassion, respect and positivity.

What is something about you that would surprise people?

I’m training jiu-jitsu!

What is on your “bucket” list?

I would like to get my black belt and enjoy lots of travel and adventure with my family and friends.

What is your favorite food?

Depends on the day! Cheeseburgers, tamales, pizza…

What is your favorite movie?

“Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” Anything with Audrey Hepburn.

What is your favorite hobby?

I like to do anything outdoors and baking.

Are you an animal lover?  If yes, how many pets do you have and what kind are they?

Yes!  I have a 150-pound Newfoundland named Sarge and a 13-pound mini dachshund named Ellie. Ellie is 100 percent in charge.

Employee Spotlight: Christina Cook, Dental Hygienist

Employee Spotlight

Christina CookName: Christina Cook

Department: Dental

Title: Dental Hygienist

Primary work location: Olathe

How long have you worked at HPC?
It will be two years in October.

How did you get into your field of work?
I always wanted to go into health care. What made me decide on dentistry is the positive work environment.

Do you speak any other languages? If yes, which ones?
No, I wish!

Do you have a favorite quote? If yes, what is it?
“You are the architect of your own life. Create a life that you enjoy so much you don’t need a vacation from it!”

What values are important to you?
Values that are important to me, one word: kindness.

Christina Cook EngagementWhat is something about you that would surprise people?
I have lived all over the country traveling with my dad when he was in the military. Also, I was recently engaged!

What is on your “bucket” list?
I would like to go skydiving.

What is your favorite food?
My favorite food is avocado.

What is your favorite movie?
“Bridesmaids”

What is your favorite hobby?
I like yoga and to try new recipes.

Are you an animal lover? If yes, how many pets do you have and what kind are they?
Yes! We have two fur babies named Bella and Drake, and I think the only reason we work so hard is so they can have a better life!

Chrstina Cook's Fur Babies

HPC welcomes board-certified pediatrician Cheri El-Halawany, MD, FAAP

Cheri El-Halawany, MD, FFAPHealth Partnership Clinic (HPC) welcomes Cheri El-Halawany, MD, FAAP, a board-certified pediatrician, to its team of talented medical professionals. Beginning Tuesday, August 17, she will see patients through age 21 at HPC’s Shawnee Mission office, 9119 W. 74th Street. She speaks English, Spanish and Arabic.

Dr. El-Halawany joins HPC following nine years of clinical and instructional work at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, where she was recognized for both teaching excellence and her impact on graduating students. She earlier practiced in both Colorado and Southern California, where she completed her pediatric residency.

No stranger to the KC area, she completed in 2007 the combined six-year program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Medical School, where she also earned a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree. She earlier graduated from Notre Dame de Sion High School, Kansas City, Mo.

Working in underserved areas and participating in a 2010 ARPAN Global Charities Mission trip to Egypt – her family’s country of origin – have inspired Dr. El-Halawany. An avid traveler, reader and classical pianist, she is excited to again focus on clinical work that allows her to care for children of all ages, regardless of insurance, and to benefit the community.

Asked about her care style, she commented, “It’s simply to care, to listen to parents’ and patients’ concerns, and make sure to explain things clearly before they leave.”

Dr. El-Halawany is passionate about patient comfort. “I use patience and play, especially for the younger kids who are scared to see a doctor,” she says. “For teens, I think it is important to take an interest in their affairs and ask the right questions. Kids are smart, they can tell if you care.”

Please join us in welcoming Dr. El-Halawany to the HPC team!

Employee Spotlight: Sharon Trongaard, Clinic Director and Risk and Compliance Officer

Employee Spotlight

We are very excited to highlight one of our most valuable assets, our employees! Each month, get to know the HPC team in a fun new way.

Sharon TrongaardName: Sharon Trongaard

Department: Medical

Title: Clinic Director and Risk and Compliance Officer

Primary work location: Olathe

How long have you worked at HPC?  

I’ve been with HPC for four months.

How did you get into your field of work?

My mom went to Respiratory Therapy School and her work sounded exciting and a great way to help others.

Do you speak any other languages? If yes, which ones?

No, but I am working on learning Spanish.

Do you have a favorite quote? If yes, what is it?

“Let food by thy Medicine and Medicine be thy food.” -Hippocrates

What values are important to you?

Values that are important to me are kindness, encouraging others and being present in the moment.

What is something about you that would surprise people?

I am a Certified Sleep Health Educator, so I might be able to help you get a good night’s sleep.

What is on your “bucket” list?

Sharon TrongaardI would like to travel to Europe on a cooking tour.

What is your favorite food?

My favorite food is a perfectly cooked steak which means medium rare, of course.

What is your favorite movie?

“Pride and Prejudice”

What is your favorite hobby?

Crocheting is my favorite hobby.

Are you an animal lover?  If yes, how many pets do you have and what kind are they?  

I am not really an animal lover, but I’ve done a good job convincing my kids that I am!

Employee Spotlight: Caronline Barraza, Medical Assistant

Employee Spotlight

We are very excited to highlight one of our most valuable assets, our employees! Each month, get to know the HPC team in a fun new way.

Carolina BarrazaName:  Carolina Barraza

Department: Medical

Title: Medical Assistant

Primary work location: Shawnee Mission

How long have you worked at HPC?  

It will be two years in July.

How did you get into your field of work?

Since I was a child, I’ve always wanted to take care of people.

Do you speak any other languages? If yes, which ones?

I speak Spanish and English.

Do you have a favorite quote? If yes, what is it?

“Anything is possible if you put your mind to it.”

What values are important to you?

Values that are important to me are honesty, loyalty and caring.

What is something about you that would surprise people?

I’m an artist. I love to draw.

What is on your “bucket” list?

Employee Spotlight: Caronline Barraza, Medical AssistantI would like to travel the world and see new places.

What is your favorite food?

My favorite food is Mexican and Italian.

What is your favorite movie?

I don’t have a favorite movie, I like them all.

What is your favorite hobby?

I like to read and spend time with my family.

Are you an animal lover?  If yes, how many pets do you have and what kind are they?

I love dogs! I have a dog named Gizmo who is a Rottweiler mixed with Golden Retriever.

Employee Spotlight: Karina Diaz, Dental Coordinator

Employee Spotlight

We are very excited to highlight one of our most valuable assets, our employees! Each month, get to know the HPC team in a fun new way.

Karina DiazName: Karina Diaz

Department: Dental

Title: Dental Coordinator

Primary work location: Olathe

How long have you worked at HPC? Five years

How did you get into your field of work?

I am very passionate about helping others, and my job at HPC allows me to connect with and help our patients and partners.

Do you speak any other languages? If yes, which ones?

Yes, I speak Spanish.

Do you have a favorite quote? If yes, what is it?

“Let your faith be bigger than your fear.”

What values are important to you?

Karina Diaz with her familyValues that are important to me are honesty, loyalty and respect.

What is something about you that would surprise people?

I played soccer, ran track and was a cheerleader in high school.

What is on your “bucket” list?

I want to go skydiving.

What is your favorite food?

My favorite foods are Mexican and Chinese.

What is your favorite movie?

“The Notebook”

What is your favorite hobby?

My favorite hobby is reading.

Are you an animal lover?  If yes, how many pets do you have and what kind are they?

I’m not really an animal lover. I don’t have any animals, only kids!

Employee Spotlight: Daraya (Dara) Wilson, Medical Assistant

Employee Spotlight

We are very excited to highlight one of our most valuable assets, our employees! Each month, get to know the HPC team in a fun new way.

Dara WilsonName:  Daraya (Dara) Wilson

Department: Medical

Title: Medical Assistant

Primary work locationOlathe

How long have you worked at HPC?  

I have worked at HPC since July 2020.

How did you get into your field of work?

I interned at a KU research lab looking at HIV and monkeys. The virus and scientific process captivated me. At the same time, each night I looked forward to waitressing because I got to work with people. Working in a clinical setting brings the best of these two worlds.

Do you speak any other languages? If yes, which ones?

Yes, I am fluent in Indonesian. I would like to improve my Spanish, and I know some basics of my husband’s languages (Tajik and Russian).

Do you have a favorite quote? If yes, what is it?

Yes, it is “Ad astra per aspera.”
Translation: “To the stars through difficulties.”

What values are important to you?

Dara Wilson PersonalValues that are important to me include family, religion and education.

What is something about you that would surprise people?

I was raised to be proud of my Indonesian heritage. One way to demonstrate this is through dance. I began performing traditional Indonesian dances when I was six years old. Since then, I have performed across the United States and taught others along the way. Through teaching I learned more about my culture and values.

What is on your “bucket” list?

I would like to eat the lamb that was baked in the ground in Turkey, I believe it is known as tandir kebab.

What is your favorite food?

Anything homemade! They have the flavor of love, especially family recipes.

What is your favorite movie?

Dara Wilson PersonalI am a bit of an oddball in this matter because I do not like movies.

What is your favorite hobby?

I enjoy cooking! It’s my form of self-expression and creativity. Plus, preparing and sharing a meal with others is my favorite way to bond with family and friends.

Are you an animal lover?  If yes, how many pets do you have and what kind are they?

I’m a huge dog person! I was volunteering at local rescues, taking dogs out on walks or playing with them. In January, my family fell in love with a newly arrived dog and we gave her a forever home. She is probably an Australian Kelpie mixed with a shepherd. One thing we know for sure is that she is super smart and sweet.