Lori Flint, B.S.N., R.N., serves as advocate for patients, nursing professionals

July 26, 2019  //  FOUND IN: Accolades and Milestones
Lori Flint and colleagues during last year’s Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month.

Lori Flint, B.S.N., R.N., began her nursing career at Michigan Medicine more than 26 years ago, working with hospitalized thoracic surgery patients. In 1997, she took on the role of clinical care coordinator for Ambulatory Care’s thoracic surgery clinic, facilitating its Esophagectomy Support Group and helping patients deal with changes that may be intimidating and overwhelming following a surgery.

The insight Lori gained by hearing her patients express their challenges within the support group strongly influenced her nursing practice.

“It was gratifying to hear patients tell me that they learned a lot and that they realize they’re not alone,” said Lori.

Joining the Pulmonary Clinic in 2013, Lori specialized in disease management, working with patients diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis or interstitial lung disease. Her dedication to bringing support, education and resources to her patients can be seen on the first Tuesday of every month, where you will find Lori facilitating the Ann Arbor Pulmonary Fibrosis Support Group. 

Lori organizes guest speakers and has developed a large collection of educational topics/presentations for the support group. She has also penned a welcome letter for patients requiring oxygen for the first time, providing them with information on how (and where) to get necessary medical supplies, dealing with medical insurance and how to manage everyday life with their oxygen requirements.

“By helping patients overcome their challenges, they adapt to their new lifestyle and remain engaged in their life,” said Lori.   

Lori is an active participant in the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation’s (PFF) Nurses and Allied Health Network.

“Membership in the PFF allows me to network with other pulmonary nurses and participate in online discussion boards, where we share how to best meet our patients’ needs,” she said. She has also presented at the PFF’s annual Summit, which offers a forum for health care professionals to present their research, information on new medications, and best evidence-based practices to patients, providers, and other stakeholders in government, academia and industry.

“I’m thrilled to be able to share information with my patients and show them that these new drugs bring a promise for the future.” 

At the 2017 PF Summit, the American Thoracic Society Nursing Assembly presented a poster entitled, “Patient Perceptions of the Adequacy of Supplemental Oxygen Therapy.” The data collected in the study showed how patients have been negatively impacted by Medicare-Medicaid’s competitive bidding process. Patients reported long delays for oxygen supplies, receiving incorrect supplies, having no choice in their supplier, and experiencing an approved supply company change every year.

Lori explained that in 2019, Medicare no longer accepts bids for oxygen supplies. “This is huge for ambulatory care nurses,” Lori said. “What a great example of nurses coming together to improve upon patient care!” 

Lori is a supportive advocate for nursing professionals. Leading Michigan Medicine’s Internal Medicine Journal Club, she combines her knowledge of lung disease and the pathological changes that patients experience to help mentor other nurses in the use of research- and evidence-based practice. Her kind and supportive care of pulmonary patients truly illustrates that nursing is the science of medicine combined with the gentle art of healing.