Family Nurse Practitioner
Mount Sinai Medical Center
New York, N.Y.
As a child, Nia R. Medder, D.N.P., read her mother’s medical dictionary instead of children’s stories. When her brother fell and cut his head once, seven-year-old Medder was completely at ease cleaning him up. A career in medicine came naturally. Dr. Medder earned dual undergraduate degrees, with honors, in nursing and biology at the College of Mount Saint Vincent, and a masters and doctorate in nursing at Pace University. “I was always fascinated by the human body. I’m amazed by how humans start from something as small as a period, and can grow to be seven feet tall,” says Dr. Medder, a dually board certified family nurse practitioner at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.
Passage of the Affordable Care Act put Dr. Medder and her staff at the forefront of preventive care for communities of color. She is a member of the Preventable Admission Care Team at Mount Sinai, which provides medical care to chronically ill and patients at a high risk for re-hospitalization. “Because of our program and Obamacare, people who were using the emergency room as their primary medical care our now coming to us. They were going for asthma treatments to everything else,” she explains. Preventive care is particularly challenging in urban settings where a second language often is involved. Dr. Medder is working to improve her Spanish, an interest stemming from her grandmother’s Cuban background. “Translators can translate, but they don’t pick up on the cues of body language,” she says.
Dr. Medder teaches nursing and medical students, and mentors students from the Frederick Douglas Academy II in Harlem through the I-Mentoring Program, encouraging them to consider careers in science. “We need more women of color and men in the field,” she emphasizes. “We need complex care, time and patience.”