speakers corner

Dr. Karen Reichel Smith is a seasoned lecturer, garnering her professional nursing experience as a tenured Associate Professor at Sage Junior of College of Albany and Samaritan Nursing School in New York.   Her presentation style is energetic and engaging.

As a dual-certified Family Practice and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Dr. Smith is able to combine updated evidence-based content with practical clinical knowledge on a wide variety of topics.  


Diagnosis and Treatment of ADHD Across the Lifespan

ADHD/ADD was presumed by many to be just a behavioral problem of children, manifested by willful hyperactivity and inattentiveness.  However, recent scientific discoveries have revealed significant developmental delays and executive dysfunction in multiple areas of the brain. In addition to hyperactivity, it impacts emotional and impulse control that negatively affects social and interpersonal relationships across their lifespan, decreasing self-esteem and increasing the risk for other mental health problems. There is also impairment of the sleep-wake cycle, along with the ability to self-motivate in order to stay on and complete tasks, like education and career paths. Dr. Smith reviews the current evidence for treatment, with and without medications, incorporating case studies across the lifespan.  Originally presented at the South Carolina State Nurses Association conference, 2019, lecture can be tailored to non-clinical parent/teacher groups. 

Behavioral Health Trauma

Emergency health care providers are tasked with the initial evaluation, treatment and disposition for the full spectrum of patient behavioral health crises. Unlike medical emergencies, these patients often lack insight into their problems or are working against providers trying to keep them alive. This lecture, presented at the 2019 Trauma Symposium, Trident Hospital, Charleston, reviews the growing issue of suicide, substance abuse, and offers pearls for safe management of these and other common acute psychiatric problems.

Are “New Year’s and Birthday Resolutions” Successful Models for Healthy Change?

Changing unhealthy behaviors and habits is the bedrock upon which all health promotion relies.  What actually works when it comes to encouraging change in ourselves, our patients and our families?

“What in their world is wrong?”
Case Finding and Treatment of Mental Illness in the Primary Care Setting
Presented at New York State Nurse Practitioner Association Annual Conference

It is estimated that 50% of mental illness goes undiagnosed and untreated. This untreated mental illness drives physical illness and increases demand for services from an already overburdened health care system.  Managing these patients effectively is a critical component of cost and resource containment.

This presentation focuses on the somatic presentation patterns of patients in acute, chronic and specialty medical settings:  non-compliant, time stealers, frequent flyers, infrequent flyers, drug seekers – legitimate and illegitimate, malingers, somatizers, sticky paper patients, and just plain annoying patients.  Strategies to support and treat the underlying psycho-emotional needs of these patients will be discussed.  The implementation of pharmacotherapy within a non-mental health setting will be examined in detail with a focus on developing a strategy for safe and appropriate medication selection.

Eating Disorders:  What Can A Primary Care NP Do to Prevent Them?
Presented at New York State Nurse Practitioner Association Annual Conference

Reviews the basics of eating disorders (ED) and the DSMV definitions, briefly update the current research of the genetics and bio-chemical risks factors and physiological changes once the behaviors begin. Discuss the difficulty of developing programs to prevent ED in the community settings and show how NPs in primary care might be perfectly positioned to play an integral role in the detection and prevention of ED. Reviews the results of a pilot test conducted during well-child visits in a primary care setting using a dramatic video to teach parents evidence-based ways to decrease their child’s risk of developing an ED.


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