Get to know Registered Nurse Tara Fink, who serves patients in Waterloo, Iowa.
Tara is a registered nurse who specializes in mental health as a Nurse Care Manager for an Integrated Home Health Program (IHH) at Black Hawk-Grundy Mental Health Center in Waterloo, Iowa. Black Hawk-Grundy Mental Health Center is a private, nonprofit, community mental health center accredited by the Iowa Department of Human Services. Black Hawk-Grundy Mental Health Center provides comprehensive and accessible mental health services for children, adolescents, adults, older adults, couples, and families.
Tara is the only nurse for the IHH program which cares for roughly 700-800 Medicaid eligible adults and children diagnosed with severe mental illness or severe emotional disturbance. Tara was hired at Black Hawk-Grundy Mental Health Center in June 2016 and her overall goal is to improve patient outcomes as well as reduce expenses and human suffering resulting from repeated hospitalizations and ER visits. Tara explains that some of her duties include the assistance of patients in navigating a difficult and sometimes unfair healthcare system, bridging communication gaps to provide seamless transitions through the healthcare system, advocating for the equal treatment of all patients, listening and providing positive encouragement, seeking to understand and be open to diverse thoughts and perspectives, remaining non-judgemental, staying patient centered, and doing her best to help heal the invisible wounds of her patients.
Tara graduated from Waukon High School in 2012 and earned her Associate’s Degree in Nursing from Northeast Iowa Community College in 2016. She also holds a bachelor’s degree from Allen College and has returned to Allen College to complete her Masters Degree to become a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Tara received the Who’s Who Among College Students in American Universities and Colleges in 2016, is a member of the National Student Nurses’ Association, the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, and the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
Tara is very passionate about helping others live their lives to their fullest potential, she is passionate about decreasing the stigma surrounding mental illness and is driven to support the equal and fair treatment of all patients whether they need insulin for diabetes or antidepressants for a mental illness. Tara explains that her position as a community mental health nurse is not just a job, it is her own therapy and it is her love for people that motivates her to start each day. Tara explains that she treats her patients as unique individuals, and provides holistic care knowing that both the physical and mental aspects of life are closely connected. Tara strives to not treat patients as if they are a label, a number or a diagnosis, she strives to provide compassionate care to patients as she believes they deserve nothing less.
Tara choose nursing as a career because it provides her the ability to help heal people and encourage positive growth. For Tara, working in her current field offers her the opportunity to advocate for social change and fight against the worst disease of all, indifference. Tara quotes one of her role models stating “You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you will win, no matter what the outcome”- Patch Adams/Robin Williams.
Learn More about Tara Fink:
Through her online profile, https://todaysnurse.org/network/index.php?do=/4143888/info/