“We grow to become a family”
Amy Smith, Cancer Center Director
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.