If it weren’t for a successful career in medicine, Carrie Miller, CNP, would be a musical entertainer. She spent her high-school career as a lead singer and performer in school productions, a jazz band and madrigal singing group. To this day, she still gets a taste of the bright lights and excitement from live theater and local musical productions. She loves entertaining others to allow them a brief escape from reality.
But as much as Carrie enjoys the thrills of entertaining in full dress, she’s most passionate about bringing her animated stage presence bedside as Akron Children’s newest certified nurse practitioner in School-Based Health Services. In this role, her goal is to help bridge the gap of access to care so all children in Akron Public Schools can receive excellent care, while also supporting families with education and community resources to live happy, healthy lives.
With a personality fit for onstage performance, Carrie hopes her cheerful and spirited energy will better help her champion and empower kids to overcome any challenges that get in the way of reaching their health and education goals. Now that’s the role of a lifetime!
Why did you choose to come to Akron Children’s Hospital?
I worked as a registered nurse for 12 years at Akron Children’s, mostly within the departments of adolescent medicine, PICU, NICU and the burn unit, and I loved how we treat every patient as our own. I decided to return to join the School-Based Health Services team to provide primary care for all to access easily inside the schools of my hometown.
Describe your role at Akron Children’s and what you hope to accomplish.
I hope to help bridge the gap of access to care so all children in the area can receive the excellent health care Akron Children’s is known for.
What is your area of expertise and why did you choose it?
I am a family practice certified nurse practitioner with many years of pediatric experience. I chose family practice to be able to care for the whole family as a unit, while individualizing health care for the growing child. I love to support the family with education and community resources to live happy, healthy lives.
Do you have a favorite instructor or mentor?
I have to thank so many educators and mentors who have had such an impact on my life. Some of my early encouragers were right here at Akron Children’s. MaryAnn Forrester, RN, will always be one of the best instructors and encouragers of the nursing profession, blessing many lives with her expertise. My new role will allow me to work with some of the best teachers in Ohio. My favorite, however, is my own sister, Cathy Mason, who works for Akron Public Schools. Her dedication to helping children succeed in learning, reading and beyond inspires me.
When did you decide to become a provider and why?
I decided to become a provider so I could make a positive difference in the lives of children and families by helping them reach their health and wellness goals, while also ensuring support is in place to reduce any barriers to their care.
What do you like most about being a provider?
I love seeing multiple generations of a family benefiting from wellness, while being a provider who listens and supports them through all of the phases of life.
What unique or different skills do you have that help you practice medicine?
I am fluent in American Sign Language, which has helped me communicate with deaf and hard-of-hearing patients and families. It also has helped me cross foreign language barriers.
How does your personality fit your role?
I am super cheerful and encouraging. I feel this new role of working with children in School-Based Health Services will allow me to use my encouraging spirit to champion kids to feel empowered to handle even the most challenging times while growing up.
Who makes up your family, including pets and their names?
I have been married 26 years to my college sweetheart, Rick Miller, who I met at Ellet High School in Akron. He was the captain of the football team, and I was the lead in school musicals, a jazz band and madrigal singing group. Together, we have 3 children: Tyler, a sophomore pre-med major and college football player; Paige, a high-school senior who plans to major in pre-veterinary medicine, while playing collegiate lacrosse; and Oliver, a high-school junior who plans to pursue accounting in college. We also have a Toy French Poodle named Swoosh.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a singer, dancer and onstage performer. I still perform from time to time and it brings back the excitement and chills I get in full dress, makeup and hair under those stage lights. I love entertaining others and allowing people a little escape from life into a fantasy or historical world even for just a few hours.
What do you do when you aren’t working?
When I’m not working, I enjoy watching and cheering on all of my super-athletes playing the sports they love. I also enjoy family time. We are a very active family and often find ourselves doing a new physical activity, such as kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, surfing or Barre Yoga with inversions. I also enjoy performing in live theatre productions, especially musicals. I enjoy painting and home projects, as well.
What are the small things that make your day better?
Taking time for myself to be happy and healthy is a huge blessing that makes my day better. I wake early to exercise and spend time on myself before I start the day. That precious time helps me “fill up inside” so I have a “full cup” to be able to give to others in my day. I share this metaphor with others that a “full cup” is the only healthy way to give of ourselves. We really need to focus time, effort and energy on ourselves to become our best and healthiest versions.
What’s the best compliment you ever received?
I think as a parent to hear when our children have made an impact or positive impression on someone is the best compliment. When my children say or do something to help someone else and I hear about it later, it really gives me so much pride.