Dessye Dee Clark,PhD, APRN, PMHCNS-BC, is a psychiatric nurse specialist with prescriptive authority working in private practice in Western Montana. She works with people across the life span who have severe mental illness, developmental disabilities, and co-occurring disorders. Dr. Clark is a skilled psychopharmacologist, psychotherapist and family therapist. She consults to local and national organizations on matters of cultural diversity, child welfare, forensic mental health, psychiatric mental health nursing practice, and disaster response. For the past six years she was an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Montana State University-College of Nursing where she taught senior psych baccalaureate students and helped design the curriculum for a new graduate nurse practitioner program specializing in Family Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing. She is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse dually certified as a clinical specialist in adult psychiatric-mental health nursing and a child/adolescent psychiatric mental health nursing. Dr. Clark received her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from the School of Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco, CA in 1977; her Master’s Degree in Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing from the University of California, San Francisco in 1983; and, a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science in 2001. She received the Magnuson Scholar's award for her research on metacognition and the self-management of psychophysiological dysregulation. Her dissertation was entitled: Computer-aided Hypoglycemia Detection in Adolescents with Type I Diabetes. She received support for her doctoral studies from a NRSA Psychophysiology grant and the NIMH Children with Special Health Care Needs Grant.
From 1984-2004 she was a consultant to health care systems and law enforcement agencies on crisis intervention, risk assessment and the management of aggression, seclusion and restraint, and designing treatments for behavioral safety across practice settings: community mental health, group homes, hospital inpatient medical and psychiatric units, and correctional detention centers.
From 1998 until 2002, Dr. Clark worked as the Safety Systems Manager for Seattle Children's Hospital & Regional Medical Center where she was appointed Safety Officer and conducted risk management activities. In this capacity, she helped the medical center respond to several disasters (an earthquake, civic riot, anthrax scare, 9-11) and mitigated multiple hazards (e.g., laboratory chemical safety) She was responsible for training psychiatry residents to assess the risk for homicide and suicide and trained security officers, nurses, and ancillary service teams in crisis response and conducted critical incident debriefings and program evaluations.