At every successful IC and pelvic pain clinic, there is often someone on staff who becomes the lifeline for their patient community.  They work behind the scenes to provide support and encouragement to patients who are struggling. For the newly diagnosed, they take the time to educate and inform. For patients in flares, they take our phone calls when we are struggling and desperate for relief. They advocate with the physicians about our needs. They patiently answer our questions, even if we’ve asked them multiple times because, hey, pain sometimes affects our memory. When we need it the most, they are often just there, with a helping hand and a kind shoulder.

The 2018 Nurse of the Year is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, an IC Angel. She went over and above to help patients in need. Her nomination speaks volumes about her character, her professionalism and her compassion. Here’s what one of her patients wrote in her nomination last  year:

Heather was my nurse while we were stationed at Fort Leonard Wood. She has been there with me since the beginning of my IC diagnosis. I can call her anytime of the day and she is ALWAYS there! She has been my biggest IC advocate! Every surgery I have had from rescues to having an interstim placed she has been there literally holding my hand the entire time! When my mom passed away this past March she made sure that my IC was under control while traveling home. She never was upset with the fact that I had to bring my 4 year old son with me to each appointment and she always had a surprise for him when we left! She is his buddy! Knowing that I have IC and the guilt that I live with not being able to do certain things with my son that I once could do such as run or jump on the trampoline Heather has always encouraged me and always tells me what a wonderful mother that I am. Even though we have moved to Fort Campbell , I can still call her anytime! She is more than deserving to receive nurse of the year! We IC’ers need more nurses like Heather in this field of medicine. She is truly one of a kind!! She loves and fights for her patients each and every day!

What makes Heather all the more qualified is that she serves a very challenging patient community in the US Army. That both active duty and retired service members receive her care at Fort Leonard Wood Community Hospital is all the more compelling. Thank you Heather for being such a calm and supportive angel for your pelvic pain patients. You are inspiring!