Read: Prospero’s Response to COVID-19

The COVID-19 crisis has created barriers to accessing care, particularly for those facing complex conditions. In response, Prospero’s team has innovated quickly by combining our compassionate home-based support with enhanced telemedicine offerings. This comprehensive care model is tailored to people’s needs and meets them where they are most comfortable and better treated – in the home. We are committed to ensuring the safety of those in our care, their families, and our clinicians and will continue to remain in compliance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. We are also closely monitoring directives from state and local health departments.

If you have questions about how we can best support you or your loved one, call our team at 1-888-608-0499, TTY 711.


Prospero Celebrates Women’s History Month

Featuring Prospero’s Dr. Theresa Soriano, Dr. Karen Kennedy, Dr. Jeanette Boohene, and Dr. Karen Abrashkin

In celebration of Women’s History Month, we asked four female clinical leaders at Prospero what inspired their career in medicine, what obstacles they faced as a woman in their field, and what makes them passionate about providing home-based medical care. 

Prospero's Associate Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. Theresa Soriano

Dr. Theresa Soriano, Associate Chief Clinical Officer

What inspired your career in medicine?

“It was not my original intention to have a career in medicine, much less be a leader in medicine. However, as I pursued interests in education and social sciences, I realized the critical roles and interactions physical, behavioral and social health play in people and communities realizing their potential. As a primary care and palliative care physician, I have been able to connect these interests in how I educate patients and the providers that care for them to achieve better outcomes.”

Can you name an obstacle you encountered as a woman in medicine? How did you overcome that obstacle?

“Because of my appearance and Asian descent, teachers, peers, and patients often hold assumptions or biases of how I should speak or behave. I have been praised, critiqued, questioned, and judged for behaving in the only way I know how – being myself. As a younger physician, I took feedback and advice from supervisors and mentors personally, changing my behavior and appearance to fit what were often conflicting messages in efforts to please everyone and be more ‘effective.’ It was confusing and discouraging. I eventually learned that it is important to reflect upon your work and performance, but you should only modify your behavior in a way that feels genuine to your self-identity, and not to change yourself to meet other people’s preferences.”

What is your “why”?

“I believe every human being, regardless of background or circumstance, deserves respect and access to healthcare that meets their physical, behavioral, and social health needs. I am very blessed to have the opportunities very few first-generation Americans have, because of my parents’ hard work and sacrifice. They reminded me that our success was the exception, and not the rule, for many in the world and in our own neighborhoods. My ‘why’ is to help others realize their potential, and to champion equity as a woman of color through my work as a physician, my mentorship as a leader, and my role modeling as a parent.”

Prospero's Chief Medical Officer of Hospice Partnerships, Dr. Karen Kennedy

Dr. Karen Kennedy, Chief Medical Officer, Hospice Partnerships

What inspired your career in medicine?

“I don’t remember a particular incident or person in my life that inspired me to become a physician. I just always remember wanting to be a doctor from a very young age. My mom used to keep a memory book of every school year, and in that book I would write what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wanted to be a teacher in kindergarten and first grade, and then starting in second grade (and every year after that) when asked ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ I always wrote, ‘physician’. I always loved math and science, and so being a physician was a natural fit. The summer prior to my senior year in college, I did a research fellowship at the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology in Massachusetts. That’s when I learned that I did not enjoy sitting in the lab watching cells divide, taking pictures, and writing papers. That experience steered me toward medicine because I could continue studying science, but I would be able to spend more time helping people than doing research.”

Can you name an obstacle you encountered as a woman in medicine? How did you overcome that obstacle?

“I never view myself differently because I am female. I have never felt that I did not get a job, promotion, or award because I was female. The most difficult obstacle for me was wanting to spend time with my children and raising them while keeping my clinical skills fresh and up-to-date. Taking long periods of time off in the medical field makes it very difficult to be hired and obtain hospital privileges. Fortunately, my husband and I agreed that our children are the priority, and he was supportive of me finding employment that allowed me to work and still be a full time Mommy. He would work additional hours if needed to allow me to be with the children. As the children grew older, I started working more hours. I was fortunate to find a job that allowed some flexibility so that if there was an emergency or a school event – I was always able to be there. I was even “room mom” for my daughter when she was in the third grade. Overcoming this obstacle was about finding the right life partner. Marriage is a partnership, and it takes not only love, but commitment, communication, teamwork, and alignment of goals to be successful. I’m happy to say that I have two wonderful adult children that make me proud every day. They are the accomplishments I am most proud of!”

What is your “why”?

“My primary certification is in anesthesia. One of the reasons I enjoyed being an anesthesiologist was that I liked doing procedures and being in the operating room, trauma center, intensive care unit, and the emergency room. When my children were born, however, I realized that my schedule as an anesthesiologist made it difficult to be flexible, and I really wanted to be their primary caregiver. I transitioned to hospice and palliative medicine after spending a few days rounding in the hospice unit. I discovered that I loved the way I was able to use my experience as an anesthesiologist to treat symptoms and help patients who were suffering. As a hospice physician, I was able to support patients and families during a very difficult time and ensure they had the information they needed to make these difficult decisions. I came to Prospero because I saw a group of people that were very ill and needed a great deal of support. Medical treatments have grown extensively in the past few decades. It’s important to help patients understand what is helpful, what can be hurtful, what may work, and what may not work. Armed with this information, patients and their families can make more informed decisions regarding their care. In healthcare today, we do a lot of things to people, but we need to do things for people. Prospero emphasizes caring for the patient and having the important  conversations with the patient’s family and decision makers. Helping people through this journey is unique and it’s much needed in our world today.”

Prospero's Southwest Regional Medical Director, Dr. Jeanette Boohene

Dr. Jeanette Boohene, Southwest Regional Medical Director

Who inspired your career in medicine?

“My father, who was a role model and teacher to at least two generations of physicians and clinicians, inspires me. He dedicated well over 50 years of his life to his career as a pediatrician, teaching at the bedside until age 85. He recently passed away, and during the celebration of his life I discovered even more inspiring things about him from his students and others he impacted and influenced.

“My younger sister, also a physician currently residing in Ghana, has been my more recent inspiration. She was the first female physician (as well as the youngest) to become the designated doctor for the president of Ghana. Her dedication to the profession and her patients continues to inspire her own daughters, as well as young, underserved women, to believe in themselves and realize their potential for greatness.”

Can you name an obstacle you encountered as a woman in medicine? How did you overcome that obstacle?

“There have been many challenges as a woman in medicine, which I have always seen as opportunities for growth rather than obstacles. One example that comes to mind, is when I informed my mentor that I was planning on pursuing a full time career in palliative medicine (before it was recognized as a specialty in this country) and he stated that this was such a pity and a waste of talent. In his opinion, I would make a great Intensivist, but he understood that as a woman this could be a better ‘soft’ option. He also felt the need to caution me that I would probably never find full-time work. I sure did prove him wrong, by being the best physician that I could be, and I have always had more work and opportunity to take care of patients that need this type of care than I could keep up with.”

What is your “why”?

“My ‘why’ evolves as I mature and I continue to discover what motivates me at various stages in my life. My core ‘why’, however, speaks to my deeply ingrained values of utilizing the privilege I have as a doctor to advocate for and empower my patients to live the best life they can, irrespective of age or circumstance – with dignity, hope, and joy until their last breath. I always try to lead with my heart, and that has never failed me.”

Prospero's National Medical Director, Dr. Karen Abrashkin

Dr. Karen Abrashkin, National Medical Director 

What inspired your career in medicine? 

“I decided to pursue a career in medicine when I was in college. Growing up, I knew I wanted to do something that would have a positive impact on the community, but I was not sure what that would look like. I went to college to study music, and while there I participated in a work-study program that allowed me to do scientific research in a hearing lab. I had a very supportive research mentor who involved me in all aspects of the process, and the experience changed the course of my career. From there I decided to pursue a job in the sciences, and applied to medical school.”

Can you name an obstacle you encountered as a woman in medicine? How did you overcome that obstacle?

“Women in medicine often still have to prove themselves differently from men in this field, especially when it comes to demonstrating our abilities and skills as well as our personal dedication and sacrifice. Relying on a support network of family and mentors throughout my training and career has been key in overcoming obstacles, both big and small. It is now a great feeling to be able to pass along the mentorship and support I received by supporting other women in medicine in their journeys. The importance of knowing someone is ‘in your corner’ and is there to provide guidance throughout the ups and downs of one’s training and career cannot be overstated.”

What is your “why”? 

“Home-based medical care has allowed me to give and to receive beyond what I had imagined was possible in medicine – to provide care for patients in their homes, to contribute to programs that make a difference in so many lives, and to receive knowledge and wisdom from patients and their families from diverse walks of life. On the most personal side, it is very meaningful to be part of a team that is building the type of medical care I hope my family and I are able to receive when any of us reaches that point in our lives.”