American Red Cross volunteer increases medical capability at LRMC

The call to service resonates with many military families. Although never having sworn an oath to defend the constitution, Cheyney Lindgren’s contributions are an answer to the call for service members across Europe.

A family nurse practitioner by trade, Lindgren has volunteered her medical services at the Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center for the past two years.

After moving to Europe with her husband, also a civilian, Lindgren was initially looking to volunteer at the clinic through the American Red Cross at LRMC but was offered a contract position as one of the clinic’s medical staff. Six months later, after her contract expired, her experiences with service members led to continuing her work at the clinic as an unpaid volunteer and hasn’t stopped since.

Cheney Lindgren is pictured at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, where she was previously employed and has volunteered for the past two years as part of the American Red Cross Program at LRMC.

While her experience with TBI was nonexistent prior to serving at LRMC, Lindgren states she’s grateful to be in a position where patients can share their stories with her.

“It’s really impactful, and it’s gratifying to try to help in some way,” said Lindgren. “The rehab is really beneficial, they all work together to help patients with traumatic brain injuries and it’s so important for this population.”

At the clinic, Lindgren assists with screening patients, providing some treatment and determining the need for referral. Following her contracted position, Lindgren was offered a position at the clinic but said she prefers to volunteer as it helps keep her medical credentials up to date and allows her to care for her three children.

According to Lindgren, serving the military population has been a wonderful opportunity for her and her husband.

“It’s been really eye-opening and then we’re just really grateful for those who serve,” said Lindgren.

For staff members of LRMC’s TBI Clinic, Lindgren’s expertise brings much needed relief during a transition period.

“It was the biggest help in the world. She’s a very compassionate, caring provider here,” said Carrie Crespo, a licensed practical nurse at the TBI Clinic. “She is very thorough with our patients. Any patients that see her would get full complete care and were in good hands.”

The LRMC TBI & Rehabilitation team is comprised of an interdisciplinary group of health care providers including neurologists, physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, primary care practitioners, nurse case managers, TBI nurse educator and support staff. Lindgren’s role at the clinic helps determine the need for rehabilitation through the study of exposure, severity, and occurrence of patient TBI symptoms.

“Patients really benefit from the care and are grateful for it,” said Lindgren. “We get different kinds of patients, people who have experienced a recent TBI or patients who have had several over their career.”

Lindgren plans to continue giving back to those who serve by volunteering at the clinic to serve them.

“It’s definitely a team approach but if I can help them with their headaches or their sleep or in any way, it’s so wonderful to hear,” said Lindgren. “Being able to actually be with patients and have an impact on their recovery in some little way, I think that’s really cool.”