TMC Q&A Series- Diana Pereira, PA-C

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At The Morrison Center, we pride ourselves on a team that’s not only passionate about health but also deeply connected to the personal stories that guide their careers. This month, we’re excited to introduce you to Diana, a dedicated Physician Assistant (PA-C) who has been with us for about a year. Her journey into holistic medicine is as inspiring as her approach to patient care. Let’s dive into a conversation with Diana and discover the passion and philosophy that drive her every day.

Q: Diana, could you share a bit about your background and what inspired you to pursue a career as a PA-C?

A: Absolutely. My journey began in Smithtown, Long Island, as a first-generation American with parents from Portugal. My mother’s health challenges, specifically her acute kidney failure at a young age, introduced me to the medical field’s impact. The compassion and connection we experienced from her medical team left a lasting impression on me. It was then I decided to dedicate my life to not just caring for people but truly connecting with them to facilitate healing and hope.

Q: What philosophy guides your approach to patient care?

A: At the core of my approach lies building trust and safety with each patient. This begins with fostering open communication, ensuring patients feel empowered and heard during every step of their healthcare journey. I believe in a holistic approach to healthcare, one that doesn’t just address symptoms but delves deeper into the underlying factors contributing to a patient’s health. This includes understanding their emotional and mental needs, alongside prioritizing preventive care and health education. Partnering with patients, recognizing their unique needs and individuality, allows for the profound connection that I believe is key to providing effective and compassionate care.

Q: What aspect of your work at TMC brings you the greatest satisfaction?

A: The Morrison Center offers a unique and inspiring work environment. The collective energy here is truly focused on improving the well-being of both patients and colleagues, fostering a space for growth and development both personally and professionally. One of the most rewarding aspects of my work here is the trust placed in me by my colleagues, entrusting their own family members to my care. It’s a testament to the respect and confidence they hold in my knowledge and dedication. Witnessing the relief and gratitude patients experience upon finding a place where they feel understood and supported is truly rewarding. These moments of connection serve as the ultimate reminder of the impact we strive to make.

Q: Is there a complex medical concept you think is important for patients to understand in simpler terms?

A: Yes. The limbic system plays a crucial role in health and well-being, and understanding its impact is key. While traditional medicine often views the body as distinct systems, interconnectedness is vital. Our brain and nervous system significantly influence both emotional regulation and physical health. The limbic system, connected to the autonomic nervous system, impacts various bodily functions like heart rate, blood pressure, and hormonal balance. Chronic stress can activate the limbic system, leading to physiological responses that contribute to conditions like cardiovascular disease, immune system dysfunction, and even cancer. Maintaining emotional well-being through stress management and practices that activate the parasympathetic nervous system is crucial for holistic well-being. Finding these stress-relieving practices is unique to each individual, and understanding their needs is essential for promoting emotional well-being.

Q: Outside of work, what activities help you relax and unwind?

A: I find immense joy spending time with my husband and three children (Andrew, Sofia, and Ana). Their presence and shared stories bring peace and happiness to my life. We enjoy cooking together, exploring new recipes, and cherishing the Portuguese culinary traditions of my heritage. Traveling, visiting family and friends, and engaging in yoga practice also serve as valuable sources of relaxation and self-discovery. Being surrounded by a close-knit community of friends who support one another through various activities reinforces the importance of connection and balance in my life. I feel incredibly blessed by the richness of my work, family, and social life.

Diana’s story is a testament to the power of personal experiences in shaping a compassionate and holistic approach to healthcare. Her dedication to connecting with and understanding each patient’s unique journey is what makes her a cherished member of The Morrison Center family. Through her, we’re reminded of the importance of nurturing not just the body, but the heart and soul as well.