ServiceNet Welcomes Dr. Katie Hershon as Medical Director
APRIL 28TH, 2023
NORTHAMPTON — Dr. Katie Hershon recently joined ServiceNet as medical director of the agency’s Outpatient Clinics.
In describing the collaborative relationships she enjoys with her clients, Hershon said, “it’s an honor to join people in addressing their internal struggle. As their psychiatrist, I’m not here to dictate, but to make suggestions and offer them various treatment options based on the best evidence we have available. They choose to come here, and they choose which treatment path to take.”
This approach to psychiatric care represents a significant cultural shift in the field, and Hershon would have it no other way. As a natural team player, she is equally enthusiastic about the opportunities her work gives her to collaborate with fellow staff at the clinic and with clinicians and leaders in ServiceNet’s developmental and brain-injury services and mental-health recovery programs. “We each bring different perspectives to the work, and it’s so interesting to be part of this spectrum of care,” she said.
Commenting on Hershon’s role with the Outpatient Clinics team, Karen Franklin, vice president of Clinical Services, noted that “Dr. Hershon is thoughtful, intelligent, patient, and collaborative. She offers time for clinicians to discuss concerns while considering a variety of treatment options to ensure the best possible outcomes for our clients. We are very grateful to have her with us.”
Growing up in a medical family, Hershon had the opportunity to learn directly from her father, an obstetrician/gynecologist, about the importance of listening to and valuing the insight of his patients. “He was written up in the Journal of the American Medical Association for his bedside manner, and I saw this in action when I tagged along with him to the hospital or worked in his office during the summers,” she noted. “When I went to medical school, I thought I would follow him into OB. But that all changed when I had the opportunity to work with a young man who was having his first manic episode. Seeing how the mind can create such different realities was fascinating to me, and I wanted to be part of helping him get better. From then on, I was hooked on psychiatry.”
After completing medical school at the University of Kansas, Hershon moved east for her psychiatric residency at the Institute of Living in Hartford, Conn., one of the first mental-health hospitals in the U.S. She later took a position with Providence Behavioral Health after finishing her residency, then worked with Baystate Health before coming to ServiceNet.
Always interested in what’s next in her field, Hershon looks forward to implementing new treatments for depression, including use of esketamine in the clinic setting. “Having transcranial magnetic stimulation right here is a great boost for patient care, and this next modality has also proven to offer tremendous benefit,” she said. “It’s a good time to be in psychiatry, and a good time for community mental health, as well, as we combine new medications and other treatments with a whole range of social supports to help people make real change in their lives.”