Liz Cooke’s most innovative project started with a question: What are the unmet psychological needs of survivors of childhood and young adult cancers and how can we implement an evidence-based program that is feasible and effective to tech-savvy young adults? This population may have not only unique medical needs, but also psychological and practical challenges—challenges that are quite different from those of their peers—and they need specialized care to survive and thrive as they grow. 

To serve this group, Liz and her partner Nurse Practitioner, Hannah Komai, developed a new Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Survivorship Program within the Cancer Survivorship Clinic, which has been in existence for over 25 years. They work with a range of clinical partners in managing this extraordinary clinic that provides ongoing cancer monitoring and screening, preventative care, lifestyle guidance and counseling and support. Liz is passionate about caring for AYA patients’ psychosocial needs, a particular challenge for this group, and was instrumental in creating and implementing a tele-health program for AYA patients to help them cope with depression, anxiety and trauma. It takes incredible self-direction, leadership and courage to help build a new program, but Liz threw herself into it with her signature aplomb.

Liz advocates for her patients, and also for her fellow nurses. She has also served as an advanced practice provider educator, developing a special educational forum for continuing education.