Get to Know Ryan Hastings, Program Director of Senior Life Solutions

Get to Know: Ryan Hastings, Program Director of Senior Life Solutions

Why Ryan chose to work in healthcare:

"From a young age I knew I wanted to help people. Through high school and my first year in college, I set out to become a biochemist. I wanted to look into a microscope and cure diseases. I found out pretty quickly that my personality was better suited for a more direct way of delivering healthcare and found that nursing was a good fit."

The best thing about Ryan's job:

"I am extremely passionate about mental health. C.S. Lewis said it best: “Mental pain may be less obvious than physical pain, but it is more common and also harder to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say, “My tooth is aching” than to say “My heart is broken.” Getting to help patients who think they have to navigate this unfortunate aspect of life alone is exciting to me. People start to heal the moment they are heard, and I love that I get to help facilitate that."

What Ryan has gained from being a part of our Kirby Family:

"I am pleased to say that I have never worked with a more invigorating group of nurses, therapists, doctors, specialists, and administrators. They say you are the product of the people with whom you spend the most time, and I continue to be inspired professionally by the people I interact with here every day."

Ryan's life outside of KMC:

"I am the proud dad of two boys, Roman (9) and Zeke (7). As much as it is my job to be their guide and mentor into adulthood, I find myself probably learning more from them! They are voracious readers and love to read me stories and make me laugh. We play basketball at the YMCA or swim when we can."

Outside of work, Ryan enjoys reading and traveling. He also does photography on the side and has taken some pictures for friends. Him and his children love Illini and Chicago sports and try to go to a couple Cubs games every summer.

What Ryan has to say about the best moment of his career so far:

"Do I have to pick just one? Every day I am stretched in a way that expands who I am as a person and as a professional. Not only that, I get to help patients grow and challenge themselves to live out the rest of their lives in the best and most fulfilling way possible. I couldn’t ask for a better combination."

Ryan's typical work day at KMC:

"There are a lot of moving parts in getting a new department up and running. I have been amazed at how well everyone in this organization has come together to make Senior Life Solutions a reality. Right now, my typical work day involves a lot of community education, which is to say, making sure that everyone in the Kirby Medical Center service area knows who Kirby Senior Life Solutions is, what we do, and how we can partner together to deliver mental health care to this very special population. I also get to meet with patients and hear about their oftentimes fascinating lives, and figure out what we can do to help them.

I am energized by the potential for Kirby Senior Life Solutions to take off in 2020, and to bring with it healing in an aspect of life that has only recently begun to be accepted and discussed."