duGood Work: Health Care Hero Audrey Stewart, FNP-C
By: Brittany Brooks
This week, we’re shining the spotlight on one of Nashville’s health care professionals who’s fighting to save lives during a global pandemic. Audrey Stewart, FNP-C, is a nurse practitioner who specializes in the Advanced Heart Failure Department at Nashville VA Medical Center. She has worked in the department for two years; but, has been with Veterans Affairs (VA) for almost eight years.
During COVID-19 pandemic, Stewart has been working with the VA in its efforts to help keep the community and its veterans safe. “I’ve seen a lot of people that are scared to come in for their clinic visits. I want to tell people do not neglect your health care during this time. There are options out there that are available to you if you reach out to your primary care physician or a nurse practitioner,” Stewart said.
Stewart is also focusing on providing resources for the community outside of Nashville’s VA Medical Center. She has started an Instagram page called @paging.dr.audge, which will provide resources for anyone looking to stay safe during the pandemic. “The aim of the page will be to educate on things that typically affect us because there’s lifestyle changes that we can make, and I also want to educate people on certain testing, and primary care that they should be getting regularly,” Stewart said. Her page will also focus on providing extra resources to encourage and educate people on staying healthy.
Nashville’s VA Medical Center is a special hospital. The primary function is to provide resources, treatment and diagnostic services for patients who have specified medical conditions. The Nashville VA is under the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, which is America’s largest integrated health care system. They provide care at over 1,200 health care facilities, including 170 medical centers, and over 1,000 outpatient sites. Right now, they are currently providing testing for veterans for COVID-19 who are enrolled in VA health care and who also meet the CDC criteria with no copay required.