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During the annual conference of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) in October, a presentation given by Christine Tebaldi, MS, PMHNP-BC, exemplified one of the many reasons she received the Excellence in Leadership Award during the three-day event in Indianapolis.
Tebaldi, McLean’s director of emergency and consultative services in community hospital programs, presented on the mental health component of the disaster response to the 2013 Boston
Marathon bombings. During the session, she reviewed the role of behavioral health in emergency preparedness and response. More specifically, how the utilization of psychological first aid principles, crisis management coupled with rapid response, and early intervention can mitigate long-term effects of potentially traumatic events.
Tebaldi’s presentation was also selected for inclusion in Conference Express, a peer-reviewed highlights publication of the APNA 2014 Annual Conference.
It’s not surprising to the McLean community that Tebaldi received such an honor from the APNA. She has long been a leader in her field—serving in both clinical and advocacy roles for local, regional, and national mental health nursing organizations. Her community volunteer work started with the American Red Cross (ARC) just days after September 11, 2001, when she signed up to work in a respite center near ground zero.
A nurse since 1996, Tebaldi said she was drawn to the profession so she could connect her interests in psychology, science, teaching, and helping others. “Nursing blends it all,” she said. “The most rewarding part of my job is being able to make a connection with patients and families and having a role in their recovery, health, and wellness.”
Since September 11, she has continued to volunteer for the ARC in various capacities. After the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, she worked with disaster response teams and was appointed to serve as the ARC’s disaster mental health lead/chief for the relief operation. She continued to work with state and local agencies as well as individuals and families throughout the year following the events. During this year’s Boston Marathon, she coordinated mental health volunteers to be available along the route, at numerous events, and on the one-year anniversary, which was held at the Hynes Convention Center on April 15.
In 2011, Tebaldi was appointed to the Massachusetts State Board of Registration in Nursing. She has presented at numerous conferences across the country and has contributed to a number of industry publications. She administers adjunct education and training certifications throughout New York and New England, and has won numerous leadership awards.
At McLean, Tebaldi oversees multiple psychiatric services programs within hospital emergency departments (ED) and inpatient medical settings. Each ED is staffed by independently licensed psychiatric clinicians who ensure that quality care is available around the clock.
“McLean clinicians continually bring expertise to the community hospital setting,” Tebaldi added. “We are in the EDs ensuring that individuals experiencing crisis are able to be evaluated as soon as possible. We’re also there providing guidance and expertise for our colleagues within the hospital.”
Having worked at McLean since 2007, Tebaldi points out how the hospital has been a steadfast supporter of her volunteerism. “I feel fortunate that I am able to do what I love for work and am supported by the hospital’s leadership to provide the quality of care and clinical work that is very much needed in the community, especially during times of crisis.”