The Manette Clinic Provider Spotlight With Deborah Tillman, Msn, ARNP-A-GNP-C

September 11, 2020

The Manette Clinic is fortunate to have some of the most knowledgeable and dedicated medical staff and administrators. Each one brings with them a wealth of experience. This spotlight is a chance to go beyond the bio and learn a little bit more about our very own Deborah Tillman, MSN, ARNP, A-GNP-C.

How did you come to work at The Manette Clinic?

Tillman: “I was assigned to The Manette Clinic for my first clinical placement as a nurse practitioner graduate student. After meeting with Tanya Spoon, touring the clinic, and setting up a student schedule, the university contacted me to say I’d been reassigned to another clinic instead. I told the university this was not possible as Tanya’s commitment had already been made with time and effort spent. I’d had such a good feel during my initial meeting that I didn’t want to give up the opportunity. My initial Manette Clinic experiences as a student set a high bar for the remainder of my training  and a year later when the opportunity presented itself to work at The Manette Clinic I didn’t hesitate.”

What drew you to The Manette Clinic?

Tillman: “From the first time I walked into the clinic, I felt welcome and part of a supportive team who had similar patient care goals.  Almost every patient I met as a student told me how much they appreciated the care they received at The Manette Clinic.”

What made you go into medicine?

Tillman: “Since I was in high school I’ve been drawn to medicine. Reflecting on my habit of buying anatomy books over the years, I decided to do something about it in my early 30’s by becoming a volunteer EMT. My first time riding in the back of an ambulance I felt like I’d found my place. Fifteen years later my heart didn’t want to give it up being a firefighter paramedic, however my body was telling me otherwise.  Becoming a nurse practitioner seemed like a great next step in helping folks with their medical needs.  I still feel at home in medical care settings and can’t imagine any other line of work.”

What do you want your patients to know about your medical style or approach?

Tillman: “It’s their life and their body, they get to decide how to go forward as best fits their preferences for life and how they wish to live it.  I need to know what their preferences are to best help them reach their goals.  I’m there to act as a guide who has some knowledge they may not have, some resources they may not have access to, and help work through with them the options’ benefits and risks.”

You worked as a firefighter-paramedic and emergency medical services instructor. What drew you to this work and how do feel it has influenced your work as a nurse practitioner?

Tillman: “Over the years I’ve become comfortable being in folks’ homes as I work. I recognize the great trust placed in me as I’m welcomed into a home with family photos, favorite possessions, beloved pets, and all the mess that comes with day to day living that most casual visitors are not allowed to see.”

You also work in the community for The Manette Clinic, what is the most rewarding part of your time spent doing home care?

Tillman: “Over the years I’ve become comfortable being in folks’ homes as I work. I recognize the great trust placed in me as I’m welcomed into a home with family photos, favorite possessions, beloved pets, and all the mess that comes with day to day living that most casual visitors are not allowed to see.”

What is one of your passions outside of work?

Tillman: “I love to get outside and work hard, it doesn’t really matter the activity.  There hasn’t been much time for outside activities in the past 3-4 year. I hope to restart the habit and make new memories.  One summer I was part of a group of family and friends who hiked from Lake Quinault over the High Divide and to the Elwha River over several many days. Everyday was more beautiful than the last.”

Who is a living inspiration for you?

Tillman: “I’m inspired by anyone who gets knocked down and gets back up to keep trying to reach their goal.  No one is perfect, we all make mistakes, all unintentionally hurt loved ones along the bumpy road of life.  I appreciate when someone tries to do better next time, and keeps up the effort they can offer.”

What is your favorite thing about living in PNW/Kitsap?

Tillman: “The variety of activities available within a few hours’ travel time in any direction.”

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