Repost: Meet Our Team: Dr. Chandler
We did an updated version for Dr. Locke last month, so I thought I would update the other Directors, including myself, over the next few weeks. This was last published in 2018, so A LOT has changed!
Q: How long have you been a part of HABIT?
MC: Since the beginning when it was just an idea in 2004. I wrote the first grant with the aid of my mentor, Dr. Glenn Smith, for the start-up funding to launch in 2005
HABIT beginnings: Dr. Smith and Dr. Chandler in 2006 for Minnesota Public Radio Interview
Don't be too judgmental when you see us last year at the last in-person, pre-pandemic conference (almost 15 years later!) Dr. Shandera was also there; too bad no Dr. Locke!
MCI Symposium, Miami, Florida - January 2020 (Left to Right: Dr. Anni Shandera-Ochsner, Dr. Glenn Smith, and Dr. Melanie Chandler)
Q: What is your favorite thing about the HABIT Program?
MC: The people, their stories, and their resilience. If I wasn’t a neuropsychologist, I could probably go around interviewing people for StoryCorps or something like that. I just love to learn about people. I also appreciate being a part of something where you feel like your job does make a difference.
Q: What’s your favorite way to de-stress?
MC: I still like riding my bike, but I've become rather obsessed with my interactive treadmill this past year. I love going on jogs through different places all over the world.
Q: Some of the healthy habits that we talk about in the program include eating well, emotional self-care and getting quality sleep. With such a busy work life and a family, how do you make sure to practice the habits of wellness?
MC: I get asked this a lot with 3 kids and the job. I DO NOT DO WELL without sleep, so it is always a priority. Having kids, and wanting to be a positive role model, helps me eat well and exercise. I still make the kids eat a veggie or fruit with every meal (if only I could MAKE my husband...) Plus, everyone around me knows to have me eat regularly, or else I get very hangry!
Social distancing at the beach 2020
Q: How many times a day do you refer to your calendar?
MC: At least once a day on the weekend, but probably 10+ times a day during the week. I am completely dependent on it, particularly the To-Do section.
Q: What do you see as the future of HABIT?
MC: First and foremost to keep helping patients with MCI and their families, but to reach more people! We continue to have more sites join what we are calling the HABIT Consortium so that we can move HABIT nationally and even internationally. This Consortium of sites will also boost our power to research interventions to help patients and families cope with MCI.