Andi is a registered nurse who works for Heart to Heart Hospice, which has facilities in Michigan, Indiana and Texas. As their Regional Clinic Educator, Andi provides continuing education programs for nursing home administrators, nurses and social workers. She also presents educational seminars at hospitals and other medical facilities on any of more than 35 topics, such as stress management for medical staff. Her work with Alzheimer’s care staff teaches them how to communicate with their patients and how to deal effectively with Alzheimer’s behaviors without using medication or reducing the need for medicine.
All seminars Andi presents end with an evaluation. Some comments that were written are: “wonderful job and energetic speaker,” “very engaging,” “informative,” and “will change the way I provide care.”
Andi may be asked to speak to families of patients who have congestive heart failure, COPD, diabetes or Alzheimer’s disease. She helps them know what to expect in the progress of the disease, the best ways to care for their loved one, how to help them maintain autonomy and quality of life, and how to handle critical issues including dying.
In addition to these duties that keep her on the road, Andi also writes all educational programs for Wayne State University’s medical program.
Andi came late to her profession. Even though she always wanted to be a nurse, she says she didn’t feel she was smart enough. It wasn’t until she brought a friend into her home who was dying of pancreatic cancer and cared for her until the end that she acted on her heart’s desire. She entered Mott College at age 48 and graduated with honors.
After becoming a registered nurse, she was part of a team that started A-1 Hospice. She wrote the family handbook and developed their educational programs; in 2009 they went from zero to 80 patients in five months. Heart to Heart Hospice later bought A-1. Andi says: “A-1 was one of the best things that ever happened to me. To start an education program for a multi-million dollar corporation was a fantastic opportunity. God has blessed me. There is no other explanation. Everything fell into place with God’s help. I was at the right place at the right time.”
In addition to the RN behind her name, Andi has a whole string of certifications. She is a certified dementia practitioner and national trainer (CDP), a certified Alzheimer’s disease dementia care trainer (CADDCT), as well as an end of life palliative care trainer (EPECT), and she is in the process of receiving additional certifications.
Andi and her husband of 42 years, Chris Chapman, are members of the Freeland, Michigan, congregation. “Chris was so supportive of my career path. He helped me through it all,” says Andi.