PINEHURST—Zoe Panizzi, PMHNP, majored in psychology at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, but it was an experience during her junior year that solidified her career path in the field.
“Psychology was my undergraduate major,” says Panizzi. “But I first really started thinking about a career in the field during my junior year of college while working at Wediko Children’s Services summer camp for children with social, emotional and behavioral challenges.”
An experience Panizzi describes as both extremely challenging and rewarding.
From there, she decided the role of nurse practitioner was best suited for her. “The nursing model of care really appealed to me over other models of care in medicine,” she says.
She went on to study nursing at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, graduating with a master’s degree in nursing from the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program.
Prior to joining FirstHealth, Panizzi worked at a community mental health clinic in Tennessee that provides psychiatric care for underserved populations.
“I worked in the Clarksville location, which had a very diverse population,” she adds. “Clarksville is near Fort Campbell in Kentucky, so I saw a lot of retired service men and women as well as active duty dependents. The Clarksville clinic served a large rural population as well.”
During her time in Tennessee, Panizzi treated children, adolescents, adults and geriatrics.
“I truly loved working in community mental health,” she says. “Providing mental health care to indigent populations is a passion of mine and one I hope to continue at FirstHealth, in addition to serving other populations within the community.”
According to Panizzi, she really enjoys the sense of community felt within FirstHealth, and is excited to be a part of the health system. “When I was working in an outpatient clinic in Tennessee, it was often difficult to provide continuity of care and communicate with providers in other organizations,” she says. “I really like that there are so many specialties and resources within FirstHealth, and we are able to treat so many of our patients within the care system. This makes it much easier to communicate with other providers and work together as a team to develop the best possible treatment plan for a patient.”
“Zoe brings experience and a proven track record in the mental health field,” says Mary Silverman, Administrative Director of FirstHealth Behavioral Services. “She brings a level of enthusiasm, optimism and energy that blends well with her new colleagues in behavioral services. We feel fortunate to have Zoe and her family move to Southern Pines. She is an asset to our organization and shares our commitment to the FirstHealth mission “to care for people.”
Panizzi enjoys working with patients of all ages, but specializes in children, adolescents and young adults. She joins a FirstHealth team of board certified psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, activity specialists and social workers who provide individual and group therapy, psycho-educational groups, family support services and comprehensive discharge planning.
For more information about FirstHealth Behavioral Services, call (910) 715-3370 or visit www.firsthealth.org/behavioral.