Alyssa Lavik Connects with Patients and Families Heart-to-Heart


With just a few months on the job in the Our Lady of Peace (OLP) community hospice program, Case Manager Alyssa Lavik, RN, is already a trusted caregiver who guides and supports families.

With experience as a home health care nurse, Alyssa was ready for a change began to explore hospice care. A Google search brought her to a page highlighting OLP as Minnesota’s Best Hospice. “I liked that it is a non-profit with an eight-decade history of caring for the dying,” she explains. “I completed an application, interviewed, took a tour, and realized that I had to be a part of this organization.” 

As a nurse case manager, Alyssa assesses each patient and manages care based on their needs. Her team includes a home health aide, social worker, chaplain, massage therapist, healing touch practitioner, and a bedside volunteer who listens and provides companionship. Alyssa coordinates supplies and medical equipment, such as ordering a hospital bed and oxygen. She also orders medication in a timely fashion to keep patients comfortable while educating family caregivers on the purpose of each medication. And, of course, she keeps charts up to date. Alyssa says, “Every patient’s journey is different and has different needs. Our team works together to meet them.”

Alyssa’s commitment to supporting families is evident in her ability to read the room upon entering. She picks up on the energy, listens to what’s being said and not being said, and adjusts her approach accordingly. Whether it’s a family member’s fear of medication or signs of burnout, Alyssa meets them where they are, providing the support they need.

As an OLP nurse case manager, Alyssa handles her own admissions and follows each patient from that point through their passing. She recognizes that when family members care for their loved one at home, they’re tired and often not eating well. She picks up on that. “It’s a collective picture of needs,” she says. “Whatever the situation, I connect heart-to-heart with patients and families and tell them, ‘I’ve got you,’ so they know they’re not alone. We start bonding immediately, and family members feel relief with every visit. ‘She’s here. Everything is okay,’ is what I see on their faces. We hold each other up.” 

Alyssa says she’s felt the presence of the Holy Spirit in the room of a dying patient and knew God was in control. She recalls that it was affirming to feel God’s presence. “I knew he was wrapping his loving arms around the patient. It changed my life. That day, I was born as a hospice nurse.”