In honor of Healthy Aging Month, we are pleased to spotlight members of our geriatrics and palliative teams!
Shinetra Pryor, program administrator for the geriatrics and palliative medicine fellowship programs, is a Seattle native who has been a member of the Division of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine for over 14 years.
Shinetra has served the division in various roles from patient services representative and patient services specialist for UW Post-Acute Care, and a program coordinator for the HMC Outpatient Palliative Care program, to her current position as the fellowship programs administrator.
"Shinetra is the heart and soul of our team," said Dr. Lianne Hirano, associate program director. "She provides encouragement when needed, compassion in spades, and manages to keep our programs running smoothly! As a new associate program director, I rely on her expertise, patience, and guidance. Did I mention that she is also just a wonderful human who brings fun, light, and laughter to our jobs? I am so grateful to have her as a trusted colleague and friend."
Shinetra provides leadership and support for the programs’ combined 10 fellows along with program directors Dr. Wayne McCormick, Dr. David Gruenewald (Palliative Medicine) and Dr. Katherine Bennett (Geriatric Medicine) and several associate program directors. She oversees the day-to-day operations of both programs and manages numerous key components of the program including program accreditation and compliance, recruitment, clinical scheduling, program evaluations and event coordination to name a few.
“Making all the moving parts harmoniously come together is a lane I operate well in,” Shinetra said. “I enjoy working with my program directors and the work we do to support our fellow’s year of training before they go off to practice is a joy for me.”
The geriatrics and palliative medicine fellowship programs provide fellows with advanced training in evidence-based clinical care for older adults and severe and chronically ill patients of all ages (respectively). The training programs emphasize diversity with respect to patient population, sites of practice, and models of care. In these programs, Shinetra is the administrative point-person for her fellows, providing them information, resources and support to thrive throughout their training.
"I could not imagine having a better partner for the Geriatric Medicine Fellowship," said Dr. Katherine Bennett, program director. "Shinetra is clearly dedicated to the success of our program and our fellows. She keeps us on track with the myriad details of the day to day and year to year running of two fellowships. Beyond that, she is exceptionally innovative in her work and brings fresh ideas to the administration and curriculum of our program. Last year, she rapidly switched our recruitment to virtual – it was phenomenally seamless and others from around the country are seeking her advice. She is a leader, an innovator, a role model, and a trusted advisor. On top of all of this, she is extraordinarily kind and provides an empathetic, wise, listening ear to our trainees and colleagues. She is truly exceptional, and it is hard for me to express how grateful I am to get to work so closely with her."
Navigating the challenges of working and training during the pandemic, Shinetra has come up with creative ways to continue to connect and support her fellows.
“The pandemic in some ways left us disconnected, so I implemented weekly huddles to meet virtually with my fellows,” she says. “I love the informal check-ins as a way to offer safe space to decompress and tap into our well-being with one another. I also do Mindfulness Mondays where I send them simple practices of mindfulness to create a pause in the day. I’d like to think these small gestures help in their overall support through the year.”
Shinetra is also a leader in her community. She is the co-manager for volunteer check-in for the Seattle King County Clinic, an annual, 4-day, free health clinic that brings a variety of free health, dental and vision services to WA residents who struggle to access or afford health care. Each year, the event brings together over 2000 volunteers and providers to serve approximately 5000 patients.
In her free time, Shinetra is an active leader and board member for her church community, and enjoys time with her family, traveling, trips to nearby waterfronts, swimming and volunteering for her church and local charities.