There are many examples that demonstrate how Kathi shows the ICARE values of Integrity, Compassion, Advocacy, Respect, and Excellence in her everyday practice. But the reason for recognizing this Extraordinary Nurse is her recent display of advocacy for our Veterans, in regards to Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) referrals. Kathi discovered that the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society had received a large grant so that every person with a diagnosis of blood cancer could receive a cash gift. She began flagging Veterans’ charts who were coming into the clinic for treatment to identify whether or not they were connected with LLS. If not, she immediately made the referral with their permission. Then she provided them with a phone number to call to request the cash gift. She then followed up to ensure that these Veterans actually received the gift. She then expanded her search to identify Veterans not on treatment but who were coming in for follow-up appointments, as well as Veterans who had previous appointments in order to offer the same benefit.
Kathleen's advocacy for our Veterans with a blood cancer diagnosis was truly "Veteran-centric". There was one Veteran spouse who stopped by the clinic to thank Kathi. Blinking back tears, she confessed that being the end of the month, they were down to $7.00 in their checking account, and the cash gift made all the difference in the world to them. Kathi is now working with the CAC to develop a searchable LLS referral note so that our clinic can track LLS referrals, which assures that Veterans identified with a blood cancer diagnosis will have the optimum support he/she needs and deserves. Through her collaborative efforts with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Kathi has gone above and beyond her daily responsibilities to advance the interests of our Veterans and their families.