QMG Behavioral Health Therapist Nancy Perry

Helping people is more than a job for Nancy Perry. It’s her purpose. When the COVID-19 pandemic changed the world as we knew it, she had to find a new way to fulfill that purpose.

Perry is a behavioral health therapist for Quincy Medical Group (QMG) who serves our rural communities. Before the pandemic, she logged up to 500 miles a week in her car traveling between Mt. Sterling, Pittsfield, Winchester, and four area nursing homes seeing patients. That all changed in March of 2020.

“When the pandemic hit, I could no longer have appointments in person. I started to think about all the time I was spending on the road and thought, ‘How can I use these hours in a different way that would better serve my clients?’,” she shared.

Innovation and thinking outside of the box have always been driving forces in Perry’s more than 30 years as a therapist. When the pandemic forced people to stay home, the need for her services didn’t go away. In fact, Perry said the demand was greater, so she had to find a new way. That’s when she turned to Telehealth.

Telehealth allowed patients to keep their appointments without coming in the office. With the assistance of a smartphone, smart device, or computer, a patient could see their therapist virtually from wherever they were.

“I told patients I want you to feel as safe as if you were sitting in my office. So, I worked with people to find out the best place for their appointments. Maybe it’s your car? Maybe it’s work? We really tried to figure out what works best for each person and how they can feel the most comfortable,” explained Perry.

With the addition of Telehealth, Perry found she got to know her patients at a deeper level than if they were in the same room.

“I was really able to help people who might not have gotten help before. I found people were more leery about coming in, but they were more comfortable in their own homes. We were able to go more in-depth,” she shared.

She also continued her work with local nursing homes, where the pandemic created difficult circumstances for both residents and staff.

“To be in a nursing home at this time, how scary would that be? Not just scary for residents, but for staff too. I wanted to continue to support them, so I worked with nursing home staff to see what I could do. We got creative using iPads or FaceTime,” she shared.

After a challenging couple of years navigating the pandemic, Perry said the need for mental health services has grown. With that, she encourages everyone to show kindness to each other.

“Having empathy and understanding that we’re all having a hard time. Having compassion for each other and knowing we’re in this together.”

For more information on Behavioral Health services at QMG, visit https://quincymedgroup.com/medical-services/behavioral-health/.