Lynn Feenan, RN, MSN
The reason Lynn Feenan became involved in caring for children with cystic fibrosis, she says, is simple: “I literally fell in love with a couple of amazingly bright, courageous kids with CF.”
For Lynn Feenan, a pediatric pulmonary clinical nurse specialist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, working closely with families affected by cystic fibrosis is a daily reward. “I am blessed to be part of it, truly,” she says. “And I love what I do.”
This was back in the late 1970s when Lynn was a staff nurse at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire.
Hearing the stories of the CF families she worked with inspired her to learn more, and a Lung Association grant to study at the University of Rochester jumpstarted her involvement in the CF field.
With the support of the university’s “spectacular” CF team, including Anne McMullen, RN, MS, CPNP, who served as one of her mentors, Lynn excelled and knew she had found the right career path.
Today Lynn is a pediatric pulmonary clinical nurse specialist and a member of the Pediatric CF team at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.
Her work includes helping families with hospital admissions and recovery, handling insurance companies, educating school staff and encouraging families to become involved with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
In the Clinic and Pounding the Pavement: All Part of the Same Job
In addition to her work in the care center, Lynn and the rest of the Dartmouth CF team are regularly involved in working with their local CF Foundation chapter to help raise funds for a cure.
“We believe that fundraising is as much a part of our job as taking care of kids with CF,” Lynn says. “If we really want things to get better for our patients, we’ve got to start by getting out on the road and raising funds ourselves.”
To garner as much support as possible for Great Strides, Lynn says she is not shy about approaching her colleagues and sending out e-mails with fundraising ideas. “It’s a relatively simple thing to do,” she says.
Her team’s efforts have been effective: At last fall’s North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference in Baltimore, Md., Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center was honored with one of three 2010 Outstanding Partnership Awards, in recognition of the center’s dedication to the Foundation’s mission and exceptional collaboration with the Northern New England Chapter.
“Great Strides is about more than just having a fun walk on a nice spring day,” Lynn says. “The dollars that are raised help support our center in the form of research studies that our patients and families can be part of — and help foster new therapies.
“It’s easy to see that what we’re doing in fundraising translates into improving the quantity and quality of life for people with CF.”
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