Dr. Rivera holds Bachelor’s Degrees in Health Services Administration, from Ithaca College and in Nursing from Elmira College. He has a Master’s Degree in Health Systems Leadership and Nursing Informatics, Post Master’s Advanced Nurse Practitioner Certificate and Doctorate in Nursing from the University of South Florida. He holds two national nurse practitioner certifications and has published several articles. Dr Rivera has worked as a Nurse Practitioner in several medical specialties in Primary Care. He is a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. Dr. Rivera is also a member of the West Coast Council of Advanced Nursing Practice and the Tampa Bay Advanced Practice Nurses Council.
Dr Rivera’s PhD dissertation focused on caregivers of cancer patients. The research on the physical and mental health of voluntary caregivers which include family and friends is primarily focused on caregivers of dementia patients. As a result of his research, he became interested in focusing on mental health and dementia. Dr. Rivera has worked for the last 5 years in adult and geriatric primary care in Rehabilitation, Skilled Nursing, Assisted Living and Independent living facilities. He is responsible for the evaluation and medical treatment of psychiatric conditions, including dementia, in these facilities. Dr. Rivera serves as both a consultant who advises primary care providers on appropriate medications and as a clinician who prescribes and manages medications. Dr. Rivera consults with primary care provider, nurses, facility staff and family in treating patients.
Dr Rivera focuses on managing patients with the lowest effective dose of psychiatric medications. He works to limit the use of antipsychotics, benzodiazepines and hypnotics. Studies have shown these medications have many adverse side effects, particularly in the geriatric population. Dr Rivera works to maintain and improve the mental health and quality of life of patients in facilities.