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Spotlight: Sandra Lidberg is listener first, educator second, for patients who have multiple sclerosis

"From the time I was a small child, I always wanted to be a nurse."
As a nurse and care coordinator, Sandra Lidberg focuses entirely on patients who have multiple sclerosis. "MS is a condition that needs to be managed on a daily basis. Until there is a cure, coordinating care for our MS patients is a way for me to help them live the lives they always imagined."
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For patients who have multiple sclerosis (MS), Sandra Lidberg is a lifeline. She works as a nurse as care coordinator for University of Minnesota Health's MS care program. We asked her to tell us about her unique role in caring for patients who have MS—including one of her favorite memories from her work.

Tell me about your responsibilities as a Multiple Sclerosis nurse. What role do you play in the integrated care team?
My main responsibility is to be a listener first and then an educator. I enjoy attending appointments with my patients, mainly so I am better able to anticipate their needs when they leave the clinic. I strive to remain accessible to patients between their visits, because most fears and issues about MS come up in everyday life—not just during the hour patients are in our clinic.

Why are you passionate about your work?
I am passionate because I truly enjoy helping people, and this is the best way for me to do that. MS is a condition that needs to be managed on a daily basis. Until there is a cure, coordinating care for our MS patients is a way for me to help them live the lives they always imagined. The most important thing is to instill hope—for their own health, for others with MS, for others affected by MS, and for a cure. I love building ongoing relationships with my patients, helping them through the tough times, and celebrating their successes with them.

What is one of your favorite memories from your job?
I met a new patient who came to us looking for a medical opinion. By the time she left our clinic, she was excited about her future, less fearful about her disease, and hopeful that she can have a fulfilling life. She was in tears because she didn't expect to be reassured, but that’s exactly how she felt when she left. It’s a great feeling to be able to help someone in that way.

What do you love about the University of Minnesota Health community?
I am proud to provide care in this community. Our providers are so knowledgeable about their specialties and have so much to offer! It feels wonderful to be able to provide the newest therapies as well as such a “hands-on” approach!

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work?
I really enjoy practicing yoga because of its many benefits for the body and soul. I have recently re-acquired my childhood piano, so I am excited to spend some time playing and teaching my 6-year-old daughter how to play. I have an appreciation for travel, so I plan a trip with my husband at least once a year.

Tell us one surprising or interesting fact about yourself.
From the time I was a small child, I always wanted to be a nurse. I have never deviated from that plan, and cannot imagine doing anything else.

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