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April 11, 2024

“I am still in shock. I do what I do because I love it, and I never expected to be recognized this way,” says Lisa Lind, PhD, recipient of AMDA’s 2024 Clinician of the Year Award. “It is especially meaningful to be the first psychologist to receive this award. We have come a long way since the onset of the pandemic when most mental health professionals were locked out of facilities, and it was tremendously challenging for us to be able to work with residents,” she notes. “When I received the notification about this award, I just read it over and over. I couldn’t believe someone took the time to nominate me. At a time when people get burned out and are under so much stress, it’s nice to know that others appreciate what you’re doing.”

The newest of the Society’s awards, Clinician of the Year recognizes interdisciplinary team members in PALTC settings. It specifically honors a licensed health-care practitioner who is directly involved in treating and caring for people in this care sector and who embodies patient care excellence. Dr. Lind is a board-certified geropsychologist and chief clinical officer at Deer Oaks – The Behavioral Health Solution. An active Society member, she is currently chair of the Society’s Behavioral Health Council and a member of the Clinical Practice Steering Committee. She is also a regular contributor to Caring for the Ages. 

According to Dr. Lind, “My identity is working with older adults. It has been the focus of my whole career, though I provide patient care wherever the need exists.” Outside of her day-to-day work with patients, Dr. Lind is most proud of the research she's done. For instance, she says, “During the pandemic when mandatory visitor restrictions started to go into effect, I was hearing from providers that they didn't have access to patients and worried about their mental health needs. We surveyed mental health clinicians working in long-term care to capture their perceptions of how the pandemic was impacting the provision of mental health care in PALTC settings and its impact on residents’ mental health.” 

She adds, “In terms of measuring objective data related to resident mental health, the company I work for provides measurement-based care, so we had data regarding mood and anxiety levels of our patients prior to the pandemic, so we were able to examine pre- and post-pandemic information to identify and document the impact of the pandemic and visitor restrictions objectively. This helped us be a voice moving forward to guide policymakers and others to prevent similar situations with isolation and quarantines.” 

Recognizing the contributions of interdisciplinary team members is important. Dr. Lind notes, “Everyone brings a different perspective to the same situation, and everyone views it through their lens. This requires team members to be open and respect others’ opinions, but it also enables them to see each patient holistically.” As for her work with AMDA, she says, “I feel like I have a duty to get involved and be an advocate. Being part of the Behavioral Health Council is a great opportunity to have a voice in a unique organization. The ability to interact and get knowledge and expertise from many sources is beneficial to all of us.”

Watch this video of Dr. Lind discussing her award