When patients at Brookside Community Health Center need extra support breastfeeding, navigating the health care system or managing gynecological concerns, Lisandra Sierra, BSN, RN, is always there to offer guidance and compassion.
“Lisandra is the compass for our OB/GYN patients,” wrote Margaret “Meg” Cole, MBA, BSN, RN, NE-BC, nursing director. “She truly lives out empowering women through the lens of reproductive justice. She approaches patients with a warmth, understanding and compassion that puts them at ease and facilitates the opening of their hearts to wellness and healing.”
Darlin Liriano, BSN, RN, nursing manager, agreed. “Lisandra is well-respected by her colleagues for her unwavering dedication to our patients and community,” she said. “She meets patients where they are and is compassionate, empathetic and kind. She is a leader in OB/GYN nursing care.”
Brookside serves a majority marginalized population. Approximately 70 percent of the center’s patients identify as Latinx and two-thirds of patients speak Spanish as their preferred language.
“Lisandra is bilingual and can communicate perfectly with our patient population in their native language,” wrote Margot Stone-Condry, CNM, a midwife at Brookside.
Sierra’s colleagues appreciate her constant, steady presence in providing responsive and efficient care to patients.
“Lisandra is one of the main reasons our department flows so well,” added Stone-Condry. “She is amazingly kind and caring. She always follows through on whatever is asked of her. I love coming to work, as Lisandra creates part of the safety net that is required to best serve our patients.”
Sierra goes above and beyond for all of her patients, advocating for them to ensure they receive the care they need.
“Lisandra epitomizes all the qualities of an outstanding nurse, clinician and leader in a quiet, unassuming way,” wrote Susan Schilling, MD, of the Brigham’s Department of Urban Health. “She makes evidence-based care decisions according to each patient’s unique needs.”
Sierra has helped transform the way Brookside delivers care by creating an exceptional system for following up with patients who receive abnormal pap smear results.
“She does not let a single patient fall through the cracks,” said Cole. “Lisandra demystifies what the results mean, and she helps patients follow through on next steps. She reviews each patient who is difficult to reach with our gynecologist to come up with a creative approach.”
Sierra works to empower postpartum patients, particularly new mothers, to heal, breastfeed and care for themselves as well as their babies.
“The postpartum period for a woman and her newborn is very important for both short-term and long-term health and well-being,” shared Sierra.
One day, Sierra worked with a medical assistant to schedule a postpartum visit for a patient who was having difficulty breastfeeding. During the appointment, when the patient demonstrated her technique, Sierra and the doctor were able to pinpoint the problem and help her get her baby to latch successfully.
“The relief in her face brought me so much joy,” Sierra said. “She had a smile from ear to ear and felt like she could conquer the world.”
The experience inspired Sierra to start the course to become a certified lactation consultant. “That way, I can provide even more patient-centered care and build it into our postpartum practice,” she said.
Sierra received her BSN from Curry College and has worked at Brookside for over five years.
Nominated by Margaret “Meg” Cole, MBA, BSN, RN, NE-BC, nursing director of Brookside Community Health Center, with letters of support from Susan Schilling, MD, Margot Stone-Condry, CNM, and Darlin Liriano, BSN, RN, nursing manager.
Photos by Faith Ninivaggi