Meet Your Provider: Angela Otto-Ryan, DNP, APN
Providers at Zufall Health are committed to delivering affordable, high-quality care to everyone, no matter their circumstances. Pediatric nurse practitioner Angela Otto-Ryan, DNP, APN, CPNP-PC, CBC, finds motivation not only in Zufall’s mission but also in the meaningful relationships she has built with her patients and their families during her two years at the health center.
“I cannot imagine life without caring for my patients,” says Otto-Ryan, who sees patients ages 0-21 at both Zufall Health – Somerville and our school-based health center in Franklin Township. “Working as a team with children and their caregivers, I have formed deep bonds I wouldn’t trade for anything.”
The majority of Otto-Ryan’s patients are from BIPOC communities, including several newly arrived immigrants and Spanish speakers, who have faced adverse events and trauma. Consequently, many patients have suffered from inadequate specialty care, limited neurological and developmental testing, and delayed diagnoses of conditions like autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental delays. Otto-Ryan takes pride in collaborating with her patients to bridge these gaps.
“In spite of it all, our kiddos are still striving to be their best. They inspire me every day,” says Otto-Ryan.
As a Spanish speaker and first-generation American Latina whose parents overcame the challenges of immigration, poverty, and health disparities, Otto-Ryan finds it easy to relate to her patients. Communication without language and cultural barriers fosters trust, she says.
“On the other hand,” Otto-Ryan explains, “patients who do not feel understood are more likely to withhold crucial information or questions that can increase health risks and inhibit proper care. A crucial part of meeting the needs of the population we serve is having a diverse workforce. This includes having minority representation among our providers who deliver direct care to our patients and their families.”
Otto-Ryan got her start in the medical field as a volunteer at Hospital Luis E. Aybar in the Dominican Republic, after completing her bachelor’s degree. The experience of helping people during some of the most challenging times in their lives was extremely fulfilling to Otto-Ryan and kickstarted her career caring for underserved populations.
Prior to joining Zufall, Otto-Ryan served as a school nurse at Franklin Park Elementary School in Franklin Township and as an inpatient/acute care nurse in both Newark and Perth Amboy.
Otto-Ryan holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Texas Woman’s University. While earning her doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree from Rutgers University, she completed a Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Fellowship program to focus on the complex needs of individuals with ASD, related disabilities, and maternal/child populations. She is also a certified nurse practitioner in primary care (CPNP-PC) and a certified breastfeeding counselor (CBC).