Dr. Mary Crang’s academic background, extraordinary credentialing, decades of clinical experience, and wide range of proficiencies make her the ultimate clinician to support SMART®’s fully integrative, Whole Child approach as the SMART® Senior Clinical Integrative Health Care Advisor.
Dr. Crang’s multi-faceted career has served in CVS Minute Clinics, traditional School-Based Health Centers (SBHC), and as an orthopedic advance practice nurse at the Shock-Trauma Unit at the University of Maryland Hospital in Baltimore. She has nursing experience in medical, surgical, dialysis, and the postoperative care of cardiac patients. In addition, she has served as an Integrative Health Care Consultant, advising behavioral health care agencies about their members’ medical care before their transition from residential facilities back into the community. She also has experience as a Family Nurse Practitioner within the Integrated Health Care Clinics at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing, where she served as a primary care provider for individuals in the community with a multitude of comorbidities (e.g., hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, and severe mental illness).
While working under the infrastructural requirements and cultural limitations of the SBHC model at Sullivan High School in Chicago, Dr. Crang recognized the challenges and lack of positive student outcomes with the instituted, siloed, primary care approach. While serving as the school’s Family Nurse Practitioner, she continually attempted to move beyond the status quo to institute new ideas and strategies that would allow students to be treated holistically. Eventually, Dr. Crang acknowledged the lack of structural support and backing, which created a near impossible environment to advance the institutional SBHC model and its philosophy. It became clearer to her that to improve the health and academic outcomes of this population, and demonstrate cause-and-effect relationships, a fundamental business infrastructure shift was needed.
It was during this time that Dr. Crang learned that Ginn Group Collaborative (GGC) had been hired as a consultant to analyze the SBHC’s recurring financial and utilization issues. With this knowledge, Dr. Crang reached out to Melanie Ginn, President and CEO of GGC, and expressed her concerns about the operations at Sullivan’s SBHC. She also shared her insights regarding the need for change. After this meeting, Dr. Crang was optimistic about the possibility of her vision to deliver improved student services through a shift in its purpose, approach, and business fundamentals. Through this consultation and collaboration, GGC analyzed and formulated a transformational new model that has emerged as the SMART® Student Health and Wellness Model.
Initially, Dr. Crang served as a clinical advisor to Melanie, helping her ensure that business strategies were aligned with clinical best practices, along with maximum efficacy and outcomes. At the 3rd Annual SMART® Symposium and Congressional Briefing, Dr. Crang was recognized with the “Reaching All, Transforming Lives” award for her significant efforts in positively impacting the trajectories of children’s’ lives. She now serves as Senior Clinical Integrated Healthcare Advisor to Melanie Ginn, Architect of the School Health Model for Academics Reaching All and Transforming Lives (SMART®).
Dr. Crang also serves at the University of Illinois at Chicago, in the Department of Population Health Nursing Science. She was previously a clinical instructor for graduate and advance placement nurses, and presently works in conjunction with the Illinois Health and Family Services Bureau of Behavioral Health, caring for Illinois children under the age of 21 who reside in residential settings with mental illnesses.
Dr. Crang holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Wittenberg University and a master’s degree in education science and educational administration, along with certifications in assistant principalship, principal, and assistant superintendent, from Wright State University. She received her Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner from Georgia Southern University and her Doctor of Nursing Practice (Family Practice) from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She is board-certified by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) and American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). She is an active member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Academic Honorary Society and the Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nursing (ISAPN). She recently completed the psychiatric certification program at UIC.