Kristen Direnzo, NP

Kristen Direnzo, NP

Master of Science: MCPHS University
Bachelor of Science: University of Massachusetts Boston

Nurse Practitioner

Kristen worked as a registered nurse for nine years prior to becoming a nurse practitioner. Although she thoroughly enjoyed her years in nursing, she wanted to continue her education to expand her knowledge base and broaden her role as a caregiver. “One of my favorite things as a nurse practitioner is being able to facilitate a greater understanding among my patients of the care they receive,” she explains. “This not only helps enhance compliance with medical regimens but also helps overcome their own personal barriers to better care.” Kristen always takes the time to listen carefully to her patient’s needs. “This really allows me to understand what obstacles they may have adhering to prescribed treatment plans and allows me to work with them to make sure they get the day-to-day care they need to improve their quality of life.” When she is not busy with patients Kristen enjoys staying as active as possible and working out. She also loves being outdoors, traveling, and spending time with her husband and son. She especially enjoys visiting the New England coast.

Dr. Karen Ekwueme

dr-ekwueme-web

Internship & Residency: Cook County Hospital
Doctorate: University of Illinois at Chicago

Physician

Although she originally started her career practicing in primary care, Dr. Karen Ekwueme is very happy to be seeing patients at ReadyMED. “One of the reasons I like urgent care is that it gives me a chance to interface with people who don’t always go to see their primary care physician,” she explains. “However, this gives me an opportunity to plant a seed in their mind about taking better care of their health and seeing their primary care provider more.”

Dr. Ekwueme is a big believer in partnering with her patients to ensure they receive care that’s right for them. “I think it’s important to understand what patients really want from their visit as opposed to just identifying a problem and telling them all about it. For instance, someone may come into the clinic because they have hypertension. Listening to them you may learn that the real reason they have high blood pressure is because they are having relationship problems and it’s causing stress. The more you know about people the better you are able to treat them.”

One of the things that Dr. Ekwueme enjoys the most about her job is connecting with patients. “I enjoy hearing stories from patients, and giving them a place that they can feel at ease with someone to confide in.” Dr. Ekwueme has long been interested in patient-centered care. She completed a fellowship in Integrative Medicine and is in the process of getting certification from the Institute for Functional Medicine. “Integrative medicine is an approach to care that revolves around the patient and addresses the full range of physical, emotional, social, spiritual and environmental influences that affect a person’s health,” she explains. “Functional medicine takes a whole body approach to care and incorporates lifestyle choices, disease prevention, as well as patient-centered treatment.”

When she is not busy helping patients, Dr. Ekwueme enjoys Chicago-style stepping, a traditional African-American ballroom style partner-dance. In addition, in the winter she likes to snowshoe and in the warmer months she likes to hike, kayak and horseback ride. Dr. Ekwueme also enjoys cooking, growing herbs and traveling.

Sarita Fage, PA-C, Associate Chief of Same Day Services

Sarita Fage, PA-C, Associate Chief of Same Day Services

Master of Science:
Nova Southeastern University
Bachelor of Science:
Worcester State College

Physician Assistant

Sarita Fage began her career in healthcare in 2003. While studying to become an EMT, she was also working as a home health aide taking care of a young woman with ALS. This experience helped her realize that healthcare was an ideal career choice for her. “When I was younger, I developed a strong interest in medicine and decided to pursue my career as a Physician Assistant several years later,” she explains.

Working at ReadyMED, Sarita enjoys the variety of cases she treats each day. She especially likes using her critical thinking and problem-solving skills to help her patients. Sarita loves interacting with her patients and educating them on their condition. “To provide the best possible care, it’s important to educate each patient so that they fully understand their diagnosis and treatment plan.”

Sarita believes it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in medicine in order to provide patients with the highest level of care. “Some cases require more time and questioning, but in the end we all have the same goal – to provide proper patient care.” When she is not busy working at ReadyMED, Sarita enjoys playing the guitar, camping, reading and, most importantly, spending time with her family and friends.

Ryan Hester, PA-C

Ryan Hester, PA-C

Bachelor of Science: Westfield State University
Master of Physician Assistant Studies: Bay Path University

Physician Assistant

A graduate of Westfield State College and Bay Path University, Ryan worked as an EMT for a number of years before becoming a Physician Assistant (PA). Coming from a medical family, Ryan says it wasn’t surprising that he choose healthcare for a career. “I have always been involved in the medical field and seeing what my stepmother was able to do as a PA drove me to do the same,” he explains. Ryan chose to work in Urgent Care because he enjoys the wide variety of concerns he gets to treat. “I enjoy the fast-paced environment of Urgent Care which allows me to use my different skills helping patients each day.” In his spare time Ryan enjoys watching sports, working out at the gym, playing with his favorite pets, and spending time with friends and family.