June 23, 2024
Valley clinician turns greatest loss into healthcare career

PHOENIX — A Valley clinician turned the darkest point in her life into her career in healthcare that aims to combine mental and primary care under one roof.

Alicia Shipman says looking at old photos from when she was a teen alongside her dad, Ken Hammer, you’d never know what she calls the best dad in the world – was at times troubled.

”He always wanted to provide the best, and I think he felt a lot of pressure and he needed to talk about it, he didn’t feel he could talk to anyone about it, I think he also had a family history of trauma,” she said.

When Ken was in his early 50s, he took his own life.

Alicia and her family were left in shock.

”I though if I ran away from it, it wouldn’t happen right? I wouldn’t have to face that,” she said.

Through disbelief, anger and sadness, she did face the reality of losing a parent as teenager; however, through her recovery with a mental health professional, something eventually clicked for Alicia about how mental health and physical health can and should be treated together.

”He was in pain, it’s as much of a disease as heart disease,” said Shipman.

Today, Shipman is a clinical manager at Evolved MD.

The medical group aims to integrate behavioral health services in modern primary care.

Alicia Shipman EvolvedMD

Alicia Shipman

For example, she explains a common patient may seek pain management but thought this care, you get medication and patients will be introduced to an in-person therapist, all in the same visit with one co-pay.

”Working with medication whether that’s an anti-depressant or an anti-depressant that can also help chronic pain and mental health therapy, the rates of remission are amazing,” she said.

Through her darkest days, Shipman found her purpose.

She’s celebrating her six-year anniversary with Evolved MD, and she is always in pursuit to help someone in need.

”Honoring my father’s memory, I think there’s still more I can do, on a day to day,” she said.

Shipman says if you’re struggling mentally, tell someone, talk to someone.

Here in our community you can call 988, or even walk into an emergency room to find resources if in crisis.

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