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2019 Health Care Champions Nurse: Lisa Potthoff

CoxHealth’s Jared Neuroscience Center

Posted online

“Integrity first, service before self and excellence in all that we do.” These words are among the core values of the U.S. Air Force, and it’s a philosophy by which Lisa Potthoff conducts herself as a nurse and advocate for people with diseases that impact the brain and central nervous system.

“My professional motivation is service to others,” she says. “Truly, when that patient and family remember my face and name when they see me again, my heart is full, and I know that I am providing a great service.”

Potthoff, who was a medical technician in the U.S. Air Force Reserve 2002-08, works as a multidisciplinary clinic nurse at CoxHealth’s Jared Neuroscience Center. She also helped establish and now runs the ALS Clinic of the Ozarks and Parkinson’s Clinic of the Ozarks.

“With the growth of the aging population in our area, a greater number of older adults are living with chronic neurological diseases, like Parkinson’s disease and ALS, while younger people are being diagnosed as well,” Potthoff says. “Symptoms of these diseases have huge impacts on patients and their caregivers.”

Through the ALS and Parkinson’s clinics – both operated through the Jared Neuroscience Center – Potthoff strives to create a one-stop shop for patients. A team of doctors and therapists are ready to assess and provide care for diagnosed patients in one location.

Potthoff says in communities without these clinics, patients suffer from fragmented care. The clinics she runs can deliver assessments in as little as one day, compared with several months in areas without the necessary care.

“In addition to diagnosis and treatment, I provide education to patients and families and work with insurance companies and providers to get patients the durable medical equipment they need as quickly as possible, which can avert emergencies and provide mobility,” Potthoff says. “I serve as an advocate for the patients to make sure they receive the treatment and care they want.”

Education, she says, also is key to the continuation and strengthening of her career.

That’s why she seeks out educational opportunities, whether it’s attending deep brain stimulation advanced programming courses, training for Parkinson’s disease providers or learning Spanish to better speak with all patients. Best practices come forward as a result, and she shares new ideas with her staff to improve outcomes.

“The team and I help patients and caregivers understand the disease process and provide education and support throughout the course of their diseases,” she says. “I am proud to champion an outlook of hope for each patient and family that I have the pleasure to work with.

“I discover with each of my patients that it is OK to cry, laugh and hug. Their accomplishments become your own.”

Potthoff also volunteers at her community church’s food pantry and participates in marathons supporting health care causes. She also was accepted in September into the Community Foundation of the Ozarks’ Parent Leadership Training Institute to be a community parent leader and mentor.


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