As the Director of Advance Practice Providers at Lake Health System in Mentor, Ohio, Michele Pirc holds a hybrid position as a clinician and administrator, overseeing the health system’s advanced practice providers (APPs), including both NPs and PAs. She holds certifications as an adult, gerontological and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.
Michele graduated from Kent State University with her Master’s degree in 1997, and obtained her post-graduate psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner certification from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. Entrepreneurial in spirit, Michele started her own company in 2007, assembling a group of NPs that provided medical care to patients residing in assisted living and nursing facilities.
Michele came into a leadership role at Lake Health to grow APRN programs and opportunities available throughout the Hospital System. She is a leader in the NP community, and Lake Health had confidence she would enhance the utilization of NPs, as well as improving awareness of their capabilities, which facilitates practice at the highest level possible.
One of Michele’s responsibilities at Lake Health is to develop programs for advanced practice providers, the first of which was the House Calls program. Through this, APPs provide medical services to patients living in their homes, many of whom are among the sickest and socially challenging patients under the hospital’s care. Michele says she is proud that her team is able to improve the quality of life for these patients, and the readmission rate for these patients is at an unheard-of rate of 2%.
Through her role with Lake Health, Michele has also established an APP Committee that allows providers to have a voice in the hospital. This has created opportunities for APPs to sit on committee boards throughout the hospital, and to have a voice and a vote.
Michele credits OAAPN with being a major force for good in the development of her career and the growth of her company prior to joining Lake Health. Currently the Northeast Regional Co-Director, Michele has been a member of OAAPN since 1997, and previously served as a member of the Full Practice Authority Committee since 2013.
She says OAAPN helps to keep her up-to-date with changing legislation and rules, and how they apply to her practice in Ohio. While operating her own company, it allowed her to have access to the OAAPN lawyers as well as the expertise of the group and helped her to become a better businesswoman. She feels that OAAPN is an excellent group of clinicians and advocates that helped her to resolve issues, and provided access to thousands of other APRNs practicing in Ohio for purposes of networking, support, and advice.
She believes that all APRN students would benefit from joining OAAPN and remaining a member as long as they are practicing in Ohio. Her advice to graduating students is to think very hard about your first job. “You really want to put yourself into a position where you are going to be supported by your employer and mentored by a very good clinician.”
In her free time, Michele likes to spend time with her friends and family- particularly outdoors as she loves camping, fishing, and skiing. She and her husband have been married since 1996, and have two sons: a freshman in college pursuing a nursing career, and a sophomore in high school.
Among the things people might not know about Michele is that she is an avid scuba diver and has dived with Great White sharks off the coast of Guadalupe Island. Her core values are simple: she really enjoys being able to help people. “I try to do the best for anyone who I come in contact with, whether it be professionally or personally.”