For the Troy Daily News
TROY — Lisa Weaver brings an array of nursing experiences to Upper Valley Medical Center, many from the fast-paced world of emergency response.
After more than two decades in the Premier Health CareFlight program and trauma care at Miami Valley Hospital, Weaver, RN, MSN, has assumed the role of UVMC Director of Emergency Services and Behavioral Health.
An Indiana native, Weaver received her LPN from technical college in Richmond. She worked in the Emergency Department (ED) at Wilson Memorial Hospital in Sidney while pursuing an associate’s degree from Edison State Community College followed by a bachelor’s degree from Wright State University. Her master’s degree came from the University of Cincinnati.
Weaver said she enjoyed working in the emergency care environment and inquired early in her career about what was required to fly with CareFlight.
“I had the desire to take care of the patients. It is a very autonomous job. It was more about the autonomy and how to take care of the patient than it was about the flying piece,” she said.
“The flying was just icing on the cake. I loved knowing what was wrong with the patient and being able to go that extra step and help fix that,” she said of what drew her to become a CareFlight nurse.
She worked a short time in the Miami Valley Hospital ED beginning in 1991 before joining the CareFlight team. She worked as a flight nurse, also earning a paramedic designation, before coming a first educator and then second chief flight nurse.
Her education and training along with that of those around her was key.
“I always felt very well educated and equipped to go out there into any situation. It was the fact I knew when we were there, whenever my team was out there without me, that we sent out the most educated people,” Weaver said.
“We would see the most unusual things — sometimes really bad and sometimes could have been really bad and the patient is very fortunate. I liked the fact that as a nurse we really know what’s wrong with our patients … I could intubate them if needed an airway procedure or I could put in a chest tube if they needed chest tube … all of those things that were immediate lifesaving things.”
She left CareFlight in 2013. In her years with the program, it grew from one helicopter to three.
CareFlight would bring Weaver to Miami County, helping her become familiar with the hospitals, staff and Emergency Medical Services crews. Those experiences made the transition from Miami Valley to the community hospital smoother.
“We always pay attention to what kind of care people are getting. We’d come into Upper Valley and they always did a great job, so making that transition was very easy for me. I knew the nursing staff was excellent up here,” she said. “I knew that I was working with a highly educated, high caliber group of people. I like that. I like people that want to learn.”
Weaver said she is “thrilled” she became a nurse. “I really like the pieces of being able to do the nursing and take care of the patient. I will walk in and talk with them, give them a blanket if needed,” she said.
“When the nurse in charge of a patient with CareFlight, I would set at the head of the patient. They can’t always hear you real well so I would always rub the top of their heads and lean over and tell them, ‘You are not by yourself,’” Weaver said.
“I wanted to reassure them, but the bigger thing is I never wanted my patients to be alone. I was always able to tell family members that I told your family member that they were not alone and I was here and taking care of them. Even if they expired, it was reassurance for me that I did the right thing because, if it happened to my family, I would want it that way.
The UVMC job brought with it the added responsibility for behavioral health, and another opportunity for Weaver to learn.
“I still need to learn more about behavioral health patients. There are strong people there, and the team is very good about educating me,” Weaver said. “I am still learning. That is the piece I really love about it.”
Weaver lives in Bellbrook with husband, Brad Weaver, and their five children.