National Nurses Week is a celebration and recognition of the invaluable contributions nurses make to patient care. This is the second in a series of stories highlighting a few of the many exceptional nurses at Novant Health, as chosen by their peers for going above and beyond in caring for patients.

Laurie Mathis, a breast cancer nurse navigator at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center, has made providing the highest quality care for patients and their families throughout their cancer journey her highest priority during her 38-year medical career.

Mathis has been commended by her peers for putting breast cancer patients first. By assessing the physical, psychological and social needs of a patient, she often identifies concerns before they become a problem. She tirelessly guides patients and facilitates referrals to make sure patient needs are met, helping each one navigate a complex system. Mathis always makes herself available to patients, at times when they need her most, which is often outside business hours.

Through her knowledge, compassion and work ethic, Mathis also sets an example for other nurses by providing exceptional care for cancer patients. She also takes time to mentor new nurses and more experienced team members on best practices. This not only enhances the patient quality of care but also helps the professional development of colleagues.

Her contributions extend beyond the walls of the Derrick L. Davis Cancer Center. Mathis regularly lectures on care for the breast cancer patient nationally and locally. She also serves on the oncology breast advisory committee at the Cancer Center, Susan G. Komen and other cancer advocacy groups.

As an advocate for her patients, Mathis ensures that patients’ voices are heard, and their decisions are fully supported. A breast cancer survivor herself, Mathis can anticipate the thoughts and needs of her patients and their families at each step in their cancer journey.