Undergoing orthopedic surgery is daunting, sometimes confusing or even frightening. No one understands this challenge better than Julie, who helps patients through the process from beginning to end as a nurse navigator. In this role, she is available to patients both pre-op and post-op for phone calls at any time, to answer questions, give information or allay concerns. She has even been known to make house calls when patients are struggling. She created the pre-op instructional booklet given to patients, all with the goal of making the process as seamless and painless as possible. She is always looking for ways to help her colleagues: For instance, she was able to problem solve with anesthesiology when nerve blocks were leaking, leading to avoidable pain for patients. In everything she does, she uses her expertise to comfort people when they are at their most vulnerable. 

Julie shows this kind of compassion and generosity in all aspects of her life. During the Covid-19 pandemic, she spent her own time making hundreds of masks to give away to anyone who needed them. When a patient’s birthday fell the day after surgery, she showed up with balloons and gifts. She even nurses on her time off, volunteering with Operation Walk, which provides free knee and hip replacements in developing countries. With her own time and money, she helps people who could not walk—sometimes for years—start walking again, a gift that has tremendous ripple effects not just for each individual, but also for their communities. 

Julie’s generosity with her expertise is an inspiration to her colleagues and a gift to her patients and community.