Rave Reviews

- Lois was an exceptional presenter. She was incredibly engaging, and taught me a lot, not just about Crohn's disease, but how to approach the patient and understand their concerns. I am very grateful that Lois was willing to come in and be vulnerable with us and share her story.

- Lois was very inspiring. Hearing her story reminded me why I am here and give another lesson in bedside manner and seeing the patient as the entire person that they are.

- Very shortly after this lecture, I was faced with various people struggling with bowel issues and (ostomy surgery). Because of this lecture, I felt prepared to interact with these patients appropriately.

First year medical students
Molecules to Medicine, November 2018.

- Tremendous story. Glad the Program Committee chose this speaker. Lois is an excellent, dynamic, and inspirational speaker! I really enjoyed this session, and it was a great ending to a great conference.

- I appreciate this opportunity to hear Lois's story and her thoughts are an inspiration no matter the disease. I will definitely add her perspective to my fuel my practice.

- The best speaker of the day was Lois Fink. Her personal story really touched me, and I plan to use her recommendations when working with this very special group of patients/families.

- Very insightful and powerful talk. This has helped me understand the difficulty that patients face when they are diagnosed with a disease that alters their perception and outlook toward life. Lois captured my attention and I applaud her for having such a positive outlook toward life.

University of Washington School of Nursing 
Continuing Education’s Medical/Surgical Conference, October 8, 2015.

- Best speaker we have ever had. Not only did we get the patient's perspective, but she is an incredible public speaker. Her comfort with the topic that many were not comfortable with was impressive, her knowledge was impressive, and I learned SO much from her. Please keep her coming and teaching as long as possible. THANK YOU

- By far the best lecture I've had in medical school, and she will be difficult to beat. She helped me think about the patient's perspective--especially for teenage girls--in a way I hadn't yet considered, and definitely transformed my ideas about ostomy bags. I can't say enough great things about her! Marvelous, moving, funny, passionate, a gifted speaker, beautiful...what a phenomenal woman. I hope many more classes get to benefit from her presentation.

- Aside from being an excellent public speaker, she was able to tell her story in a way that felt like she could have been anybody's best friend. It really made an emotional connection that was a sobering reminder of the molecules and genes we are studying and the people who are dealing with the disease.

- Ms. Lois Fink is an incredible speaker and I will remember her story for a long time. Vignettes such as this one are important for helping medical students to remember there is a patient experience behind each disease that we learn about and to become more empathetic physicians. I may have not learned too much about the pathophysiology of Crohn's Disease, but I think the takeaway from this lecture is incredibly important.

- Ms. Fink's presentation was the highlight of the Molecules to Medicine block. She helped remind me why I am in that lecture hall everyday. She is inspiring in so many way and I don't know how else to express my gratitude for sharing her story. Thank you, Ms. Fink. Do not stop sharing your story!

First Year Medical Students
University of Colorado-Denver, School of Medicine, Anschutz Medical Campus.

It is with great pleasure that I write this letter of recommendation for Lois Fink. Lois has been
visiting my Nursing Interventions class twice a year for the last three years. In fact, Lois was
visiting this same class prior to my taking it over, so she has an extensive history with Seattle
University College of Nursing.

Lois would spend one hour with my class of 40 students in the morning and one hour with my
class of 40 students in the afternoon. She would share her lived experience of life with an
ostomy. Her story is moving and powerful. The students would listen with an intensity not
demonstrated in any other lecture given by me or any other guest speaker. Lois would also share
a video demonstrating how to change an ostomy pouch, which not only gave the students a
visual step-by-step guide, but also a glimpse of Lois's ostomy bringing her story truly to life.

Lois would always allow time for questions at the end of her talk and nothing was off the table.
She created an environment for the students that would allow them the comfort of asking the
most intimate and personal questions. The students would swarm Lois and her table filled with
brochures, journal articles and ostomy products well after our class time ended, asking more
questions and sometimes sharing personal stories of their own and personally thanking her one on-one.

In a class that focuses on the theoretical and technical applications of nursing interventions,
Lois's story gave the students a rare glimpse of how these interventions impact the patient. I
think it is important for the students to have as many opportunities as possible to see and hear the
patient's perspective. There will be a void in my classroom without Lois next year, but I hope
that she will have the opportunity to share her story with your students and continue to have this
powerful impact on their learning and on the hearts of many.

Lori Cray, PhD., RN
Assistant Professor, Seattle University
College of Nursing

Lois Fink spoke to a group of fifty graduate nursing students about Crohn's disease.  Lois is a truly gifted speaker and was able to help students understand what it is like to live with Crohn's disease and the multiple challenges this illness presents.  She encouraged open, honest dialogue and was able to fully engage this group of students in a question and answer session.  The presentation was well-received and highly beneficial to the students.

Joan M. Nelson, DNP, APRN-BC
Associate Professor
College of Nursing
University of Colorado Denver at Anschutz Medical Center

It is with pleasure that I write this thank you letter to you for the Crohn’s Clinical Vignette you masterfully delivered this past Fall. As I know you may share this letter with others, I’ll provide a bit of detail about how this vignette fit into our Fall curriculum.

The Molecules to Medicine Block is for year 1 medical students and is comprised of basic science topics in molecular biology, genetics, cell biology, and basic physiology. Interwoven into the core curriculum are hour-long clinical vignette sessions whereby examples of human diseases are linked to basic science topics.

I am pleased that you had taken the initiative to contact me and develop a Crohn’s vignette; we have a handful of other sessions where patients come into the classroom, but yours was the only one where the ‘patient’ was also the ‘instructor/facilitator’. I found your style to be very open and engaging and students clearly felt very comfortable asking questions of you. To hear about all of the complications and personal consequences of your Crohn’s disease was extremely valuable to our physicians in training. Several students approached me afterwards and said how much they enjoyed your session. Our Evaluation’s core does collect data on various sessions and your session scored a 4.71 out of 5 points (Likert scale), which is above the average for our sessions; this reflects also how much the students liked your session. Some of the comments received related to your session included:

• The Crohn’s disease vignette presented by a patient increased my understanding of what it is like to be a patient with Crohn’s disease.

• LOVED the histology, and the more-interactive lectures…I actually really liked the Crohn's vignette structure, and it helped me learn a lot.

• The clinical vignettes were far and away the best part of this course. The speakers about Crohn's Disease and Down's Syndrome were especially good.

Thank you again for this session and I look forward to discussing having you come back next year. I would be pleased to recommend you to other educators and am also available should any prospective course directors have questions of me.

Matthew Taylor MD, PhD
Adult Medical Genetics Program
University of Colorado
Anschutz Medical Campus

© Lois Fink 2019