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For nurse coordinator/nurse practitioner, Lisa Truong, CPNP-AC, Cook Children's is not just where she works but is where her nursing career began and continues to this day.
As a vital member of our Hyperinsulinism Center since it began, Lisa is the embodiment of the phrase "bloom where you are planted."
She had heard so much about Cook Children's stellar reputation as a place where children get the best care from the best people. Fresh from the University of Oklahoma, it became clear to Lisa that this was where she wanted to plant herself.
Having spent her first two years in our NICU caring for the tiniest of our patients, Lisa would make the move to our Endocrinology clinic in 2009 and hasn't looked back.
"When Dr. Thornton approached me with an opportunity to help build a foundation of a new clinic, I had already returned to school to become a nurse practitioner," Lisa explained. "This worked out perfectly because he knew he wanted a nurse practitioner to work alongside him."
By the nature of patients with hyperinsulinism, the challenges never truly stop but Lisa embraces each of them just as she did in the early days. "Each of our patients are unique. That means the approach we must take to verify and develop a treatment plan is just as unique," Lisa explained. "But with a supportive and knowledgeable mentor, like Dr. Thornton, by my side guiding me, I have complete confidence that these kids are getting the best care on a road to a cure. I get to learn from a true expert in this field and I know we are truly making a difference."
And that supportive nature of Dr. Thornton that Lisa spoke of extends beyond the clinic. "One of the greatest pieces of advice that Dr. Thorton has given that I try to live by is, 'Always remember to take care of your family,'" Lisa shared.
Within her own family, there is a strong draw to Disney movies and one, in particular. "We love Disney movies in our house and one of our favorite ones is Zootopia," Lisa said. "It teaches my girls they can do anything even if it's hard. You just have to have determination." Such determination Lisa gets to put into practice daily within the HI center.
Since most of their patients arrive at the HI center at a very young age, Lisa has been able to build a strong bond with our patients and is humbled for such relationships over the years. She said, "Through compassion and determination to help our patients, we have been able to build a strong connection with our patients and families from the very first conversation we have with them. We are with them from the very beginning, celebrating each milestone that the patient crosses, and eventually reaching the finish line, point of a cure for some of our patients, is the most rewarding aspect of this job."
As one of only two such centers in the nation, Lisa loves that they are treating kids who frankly don't have many options. "There is always a constant level of excitement knowing that we are filling a very unique need for our patients," she said.
"Here we are 10 years later and I've never stopped learning. I've never stopped wanting to share the knowledge I've learned with my peers, in that we will be ready to face new challenges that will come our way," Lisa said.
And we are so grateful that Lisa rises to these challenges and brings others along with her because together #WeAreCookChildrens.