We grow to become a family”

Amy Smith, Cancer Center Director

Smith Amy Spotlight 2018 1

Amy Smith orig­i­nally started work­ing at Ivin­son as a CNA in 1997 while she was going to school. Orig­i­nally plan­ning to be a teacher, she shifted direc­tions and chose to pursue a nurs­ing career. Amy returned to Ivin­son in 2007 as a Regis­tered Nurse where she worked on our Surgi­cal and Pre-Op Units before tran­si­tion­ing to the Cancer Center as an infu­sion nurse. Amy has been the Direc­tor of the Mered­ith and Jean­nie Ray Cancer Center at Ivin­son for over five years.

Amy works to lead by exam­ple” and always do what is best for patients and her team.” She is the happi­est when they get to ring the bells in the Cancer Center, signi­fy­ing that one more patient is offi­cially in remis­sion. Amy and her staff have the special chance to be a part of their patients’ jour­neys through­out their cancer treat­ment. We grow to be family,” Amy said, when speak­ing about the rela­tion­ships formed with patients. Amy’s desire to serve those around her is evident in the way she leads her team, the way she treats her patients, and the way she lives her life. 

Amy went on her first medical mission trip to Guatemala in 2008. The next year, in 2009, she trav­eled to Kenya with a group of volun­teers for a surgi­cal camp. During her time in Kenya, she found herself spend­ing what free time she had with the local people, learn­ing about the gaps that existed in the educa­tion of their youth. With the help of Dr. Jones, a Laramie Anes­the­si­ol­o­gist, Amy founded Amy’s Kids,” a non-profit that provides the fund­ing needed to offer meals and educa­tion to chil­dren living in extreme poverty in Malindi, Kenya. In less than 10 years, Amy’s Kids” has built a five-room school where 250 Kenyan chil­dren are taught by four teach­ers. With contin­ued support of donors, Amy’s Kids” plans to expand their current school with five addi­tional class­rooms, making it possi­ble to reach their long-term goal of teach­ing pre-k through 8th grade. Amy plans to travel back to Guatemala for a week of surg­eries this month and will later return to Kenya to continue the work of Amy’s Kids.” 

When asked about a time Amy felt a sense of pride in her work she said, Every day, when I watch my staff do what is best for patients.” While Amy feels pride in the work that her staff does every day, we feel pride in having a leader like Amy on our team. We know that Amy will continue to impact the lives of her patients, her staff, and the chil­dren and fami­lies of Malindi, Kenya. 

To learn more about Amy’s Kids,” please visit www​.amyskids​.org.