Lisa Willwerth, Family Medicine, Richmond Clinic

October 2013 Golden Rose Recipient

Lisa Willwerth

Submitted by Madeleine Sanford, Family Medicine, Richmond Clinic

As an RN at Family Medicine at Richmond, where many of our patients deal not only with health problems but with the complications of living in poverty, Lisa's job involves so much more than her job description. In order to explain this fully, I would have to write a book filled with examples of what she does for our patients, usually without anyone even being aware or giving her credit, just because she is deeply committed to the principles of nursing the whole person and because, quite simply, she is one of the most caring people I have ever met. Along with our other amazing nurses, she has worked to create a culture of caring that influences how we all approach our jobs.

Today, she worked with a mother who is newly homeless to coordinate a visit for her son. This mother doesn't have transportation and for medical reasons couldn't take the bus. Lisa arranged for transportation, but this was complicated by the fact the mother didn't have a booster seat for her son. Trying to obtain one through social service agencies would take days. So Lisa emailed some mothers from her children's school, and within 1 hour had a new booster seat donated which she picked up and dropped off to the mother on her own time.

This is the kind of thing she does every day, whether it's using her lunch break to do a homebound patient's dressing change and also gain valuable information about that patient's needs for assistance in living independently, to helping design a new program, "Nurse of the Day," to ensure patients had immediate phone access to a triage nurse instead of having to leave a message and wait for a call back, she is changing the world from her cramped space in our clinic. It inspires me every day to see this. And I can promise you that if you are ever ailing, the voice you want on the other end of the line, gently and patiently talking you through what to do next, is Lisa Willwerth's.