Katrina Gipson - Nurse Practitioner in Population Health

Katrina Gipson is a Nurse Practitioner in the Population Health Department for Affinity Health Group. In this interview, Katrina discusses the purpose of her department as well as her own role, how she enjoys working at Affinity Health Group, as well as how COVID has affected her everyday work life. She also gives some detail about her former time in the military and how she was able to persevere through a difficult situation while stationed at Fort Hood, Texas.


Katrina Gipson - Nurse Practitioner for Affinity Health Group


Tell me your name, who you work for, and what department and job you are in.

Katrina Gipson, I work for Affinity, Population Health Department and I’m a Nurse Practitioner. 


How do you enjoy working at the Population Health Department and what are some of your favorite day-to-day things that you do?

I really enjoy working in the Population Health Department. I love the team of people I work with. Our day-to-day activities just, visiting our Medicare patients and helping them branch their healthcare between their primary provider and their needs and other resources - we’re able to help them with that.


Can you go into some more detail about what you do at the Population Health Department? What is the purpose of the department?

The main purpose of the Population Health Department, as a Nurse Practitioner, my first goal is to see our Medicare patients and we do Health Risk Assessments for our patients. So it’s a service they are - it’s a free service they get with their Medicare program, or Medicare benefits. So we just go to our Medicare patients’ homes, we do an assessment, vital signs. We’re able to do some additional testing in the home to help their care. If it’s a diabetic patient, I’m able to check their hemoglobin A1C and provide education based on that score that we receive when we give the test in the home.


How was COVID affected you being able to go into people’s homes? What does that look like now?

So, being a part of the Population Health Department, I’m also a float Nurse Practitioner. So initially when COVID hit, our team - through our boss Savannah Ray - we were able to transition to the COVID hotline. So we were able to help screen patients for Affinity Health Group, screen patients in the area, assess them, get them tested if they needed to be tested, provide education on COVID, quarantine, good hand-washing techniques. We were just able to be that go-between, so I feel like we were able to transition our role really fast in the pandemic time to assist Affinity. So we went from seeing patients, to working telemed, and now we’re back out seeing patients. 


What do you like most about your role as a Nurse Practitioner?

So what I like most about my role as a Nurse Practitioner is that I can advance the care that I was providing to them as a Registered Nurse. I'm able to help diagnose patients, prescribe medications, and provide that extra education they need for whatever health concerns they have.


What would you say your favorite thing overall is about Affinity and Vantage? What sticks out to you?

My favorite thing about Affinity and Vantage, when I first got hired, everybody was so welcoming and everybody - they were so helpful and welcoming. They knew we were new, and everybody would say, "Hi, how are you? It's nice to meet you." They'd introduce themselves and it just felt like a real close-knit work environment, even though Vantage and Affinity are pretty big, it felt really close-knit.


What are some hobbies or things you like to do outside of work for fun?

Outside of work I like to spend time with my husband and my two sons. I also enjoy watching tv. My favorite show - it changes from day-to-day. Right now I am enjoying The Masked Singer - I love it! Really just family time, especially with, you know, you really don't want to go and expose yourself to the outside. So we really just do a lot of family time, and that's it - family time and enjoying TV.


The last couple of questions I had relate to something that maybe you feel is inspiring about your life, something that shaped who you are today whether it was good or bad, and something that you look back to often. Basically an interesting part of your story that you would be willing to share and inspire others with.

I really wouldn't call it "inspiring," I don't know how to define it, but my time in the military - I first joined the military as a new nurse. They had that shooting, that mass shooting at Fort Hood, and I was stationed there. So, that just taught me to enjoy life, enjoy your job, you know, you can't take anything for granted, and just kind of do the best at everything you do in life because it can be really short. It was kind of traumatic being a new nurse and experiencing that, but it just taught me that as long as you do the best at everything you set your mind to, that's all that matters.


Katrina Gipson serving in the U.S. military


Wow! I remember hearing about that, it was pretty crazy.

It was an intense time for someone who was like, maybe my third week stationed there working in the hospital. Also, you're a new nurse too, so that was an experience. It just makes you realize that, you know  that's what I'm there for  to care for patients, but you don't want to care for patients for that reason. You just have to move on and make the best of every situation.


How would you say that event shaped you into who you are today? Because that, obviously, was a pretty big deal.

I feel like it made me  I guess in two aspects  I can adapt to a lot of things, I can be flexible to a lot of things because when major events happen, especially when you're in a military installation, a lot of things change every single day. So I learned to be very flexible and adaptable from that event, and I've learned to try my best to communicate your feelings, your emotions when something bad happens.


Last question - what would you say, if you could use what happened to you, to talk to someone else if they were going through something similar or struggling with something traumatic that's happened in their past, what could you say to help them?

Just take one day at a time, be considerate of other people's feelings, and be kind to everyone.