Tricia Chen-Weis, RN, may be site manager for Mobile Health’s flagship Manhattan clinic, but you wouldn’t know it by her tenth floor office. By her own admission, the room functions more as storage space, since the West Indies native prefers to work out front with her staff of eleven.
Tricia, who also heads the Staten Island clinic, recently celebrated one year with Mobile Health. When she began work at the 36th Street location, New York and the towering office building bustled with life. She could easily run downstairs to Mobile Health’s 9th floor corporate headquarters with questions for Elize Tillman, Director of Operations.
“The level of help and support from Elize, my co-workers and fellow site managers was amazing,” Tricia recalls. “They made it easy to learn everything quickly so I could be on my own.”
Then COVID-19 struck. Today, few occupants work in the building, and besides overseeing clinical care, Tricia manages patients’ expectations for their visit in light of pandemic safety precautions. That means reminders about social distancing, no accompanying visitors, and strict appointment times at the clinic, which besides a full range of occupational health screenings also offers X-ray services.
Following in Sister’s Footsteps, Literally
Born in Barbados and raised in Jamaica, Tricia graduated from the University of the West Indies with a business degree. However, not long after she entered the business world, the 2008 recession prompted some career soul-searching. She had always admired her older sister’s work as a physician assistant in a hospital ER. So, when Tricia’s company downsized, she decided to join her sister in New York and study nursing.
She brings to Mobile Health six years of experience in primary care at the Open Door Family Medical Center. The Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) provides healthcare to those hardest to reach, regardless of their ability to pay. Tricia recalls a defining moment from that period: diagnosing a newly arrived immigrant man with HIV, then learning two weeks later he had died. Losing a patient in primary care is rare, she says. Also, the loss highlighted for the entire staff the lack of care within the immigrant population.
Today, Tricia draws distinctions between the two healthcare fields. “In primary care, we have more involvement with the patient, seeing them multiple times over a year.” In contrast, most occupational health patients visit the clinic only once a year, she says.
Ultimately, Tricia enjoys the challenge of providing occupational health services. The field fulfills her desire to help people without having to practice bedside nursing.
Tricia’s current passion began as so many do – with a Groupon. During a random search for an activity, she and her husband found a discount coupon to an archery range. The outing eventually led Tricia to purchase her own bow. Unfortunately, it’s been gathering dust recently, but she’s determined to resume her hobby.
Mobile Health is grateful to Tricia Chen-Weis for heading up its flagship clinic. The company is also very glad her career — and sister — led her to New York and to Mobile Health.