November 7-13, 2021 is Nurse Practitioners Week, as observed by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the State of Missouri! The Thompson Center is lucky to have two amazing nurse practitioners in our clinic. Theresa Swenson has been with the Thompson Center since the very beginning. Read on to learn more about her!
Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
I grew up in Warsaw, MO and now live in Columbia, MO.
Where did you go to nursing school?
I earned a BSN (Bachelor of Science in nursing) and MSN (Master of Science in nursing) from the University of Missouri.
Where did you work before you came to the Thompson Center? What did you do there?
I started my nursing career in rehabilitation nursing, providing care for patients with spinal cord injuries, amputations, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, traumatic brain injuries, and other conditions causing significant disabilities. Just before I joined the Thompson Center team, I worked for the MU School of Health Professions (SHP), where I worked on a grant-funded project providing coordination to kids with special needs. This involved home visits with families, meeting with primary care physicians, and gathering medical, community, and educational resources on a case-by-base basis. We served nine Missouri counties when I started and the program grew to cover 16 counties. This program became what is today the Family Support Program.
How long have you worked for the Thompson Center?
I worked on the care coordination project from December 2000 until 2006. The Thompson Center was established in 2005, so I have been here since before we were an organization! In January 2007, I started with Dr. Stroud and we have worked together in clinic ever since.
What types of work do you do in your role as a nurse practitioner?
I see new and established patients of all ages with developmental or behavioral concerns. I order tests and medical work-ups based on each individual patient’s needs and provide medication management. I participate in the infant-toddler clinic, spina bifida clinic, general developmental clinics, and ADEC (autism diagnostic entry clinic).
What is your favorite thing about working at the Thompson Center?
The kids and families! I love advocating for families! My coworkers are a close second. I also really appreciate the variety of providers, services, and research that we have here. It is incredible!