Akwe, Beriline, RN, MPH

Community Outreach Nurse
North Suffolk Mental Health Association


My desire to advocate for the disadvantaged in society spurred me to pursue a career in healthcare. Upon graduating from nursing school in 2004, I was frustrated by bedside nursing because there was great need that could not be satisfied through curative medical approaches. I began to wonder how I could be instrumental in influencing positive change in health policy and extant practices such that ALL people are equitably accorded the opportunity to enjoy a high quality of life.

This led me to pursue further studies at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. While receiving a BA in Community Health and Sustainability, I secured a grant in 2013 from the Commonwealth Honors Program to conduct independent research in social determinants of health in Cameroon, Africa. In 2016, through the Masters in Public Health program, I continued my research to study integrative care between psychiatric and medical services at the North Suffolk Mental Health Association.

The past eight years I have worked with adults with co-occurring mental and medical disorders, mostly as a liaison between patients and their providers. During this time, it became clear to me that there is a dire need for care providers to reframe healthcare service delivery as a collaborative approach in which the patient’s care demands do not supersede their capacities. In effect, I decided to expand my career by continuing my education to become a Doctor of Nursing Practice (Family Practice, still in training).


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