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Board-certified in general psychiatry and geriatric psychiatry, Dr. Louis J. Marino Jr. has served as the chief of medical staff and medical director of geriatric services at Sheppard Pratt for nearly three years. He previously worked for the Rhode Island-based Butler Hospital for nearly 25 years rising to the position of chief of geriatric services.

What led you to go into your health care field?

I have always valued the liberal arts and obtained a Bachelor of Arts rather than Bachelor of Science, in molecular biology. In considering a career, I found that the broad field of medicine represented the liberal arts of the sciences. Physicians are not pathophysiologists, molecular biologists, anatomists, etc., but physicians can apply a working knowledge of all of these scientific fields to the care of people. At every step of the way, I encountered mentors who have inspired me through their passion for helping others. The essence of a true profession is a willingness to make important sacrifices in the service of others. I have truly enjoyed my efforts to live to the standards of so many of my colleagues, past and present, and am grateful and humbled by the privilege that my patients have provided.

What has been the most challenging part of the pandemic for you and how have you met that challenge?

My primary responsibility is the safety of my patients and staff. The pandemic posed challenges that required us to both comply with the shifting recommendations for best practices and to improvise around novel situations. The care of geriatric psychiatric patients in an inpatient unit was particularly challenging. We were charged with maintaining isolation of patients hospitalized whose symptoms were due, in part, to being isolated, on an inpatient unit whose programming typically relies on group contact. There has been a critical need for maintaining meaningful social contact despite these restrictions. On top of this, our patients with significant cognitive deficits are typically hospitalized due to an inability to adequately comply with care and redirection.

This is a winner profile from The Daily Record's Health Care Heroes awards. Information for this profile was sourced from the honoree's application for the award.