Nurse practitioner Denise Mordue-Lain has specialized in women’s health throughout her 31-year career. Beyond her education and broad work history, her personal experience as a breast cancer survivor brings added perspective to her interaction with female patients at the Valley Springs Family Medical Center.
“I learned so much on my own once I was diagnosed, so I pass it on to my patients,” Mordue-Lain said. “I want them to know there is help and hope for the future. There is a sisterhood among survivors – we grow and learn from the struggle and help each other to be strong – with multiple care options theoretically available to consider in planning our future.”
She said that her approach as a nurse practitioner balances the connections between medicine and the body, mind and spirit.
“As medical professionals, we cannot lose the human touch,” she emphasized. “The medical field keeps changing in many ways, but I always strive for thoroughness and a personal connection with my patients.”
“Looking at the whole person is essential,” she added. She covers all aspects of women’s health, including family planning, pregnancy evaluation and annual checkups. “Education and prevention are key elements in women’s health.”
“The annual checkup is essential. Maintaining one-on-one contact with patients is important for many reasons – especially the conversation. You never know what might come up in a dialogue. Recently, a young patient came to the clinic for her physical and was diagnosed with a new cardiac murmur. That was a red flag due to hormonal birth control use. I would have never known about it if she hadn’t come in for her annual checkup.”
Mordue-Lain began to specialize in women’s health as she worked toward her bachelor’s and nursing degrees at California State University, Bakersfield, in the mid-1980s.
“At that time, I felt health care professionals often did not give ample attention to educating women about prevention and taking responsibility for their own well-being.”
She went on to earn certification as a nurse practitioner in obstetrics and gynecology and received her master’s degree in nursing in 1998.
Mordue-Lain is a graduate of the School of Aerospace Medicine at Brooks Air Force Base, Texas, with certification as a flight nurse. She was honorably discharged from the United States Air Force Reserves in the early 1990s and then continued to pursue her civilian nursing career.
She moved to Calaveras County in 2007 to join the Valley Springs office of Gill Obstetrics & Gynecology Medical Group and also worked at its Stockton office before joining Mark Twain Medical Center in Valley Springs in 2012.
“I originally thought I wanted to be a veterinarian,” she said. “My first job in a medical setting was when I worked in a vet hospital as a teenager. I love animals and loved the idea of helping them, but before long, I realized I wanted to help people, too.”
Mordue-Lain is an avid member of Tri-County Wildlife Care of Sutter Creek. In the summer of 2017, she traveled to Kanab, Utah, to volunteer at the renowned Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, which drives a national movement for no-kill animal shelters.
“How we treat animals reflects how we are as humans,” she said. “We are all here on Earth to care for one another – providing essential balance for the greatest well-being.”
Mordue-Lain is married; her spouse has made a career in retail and pursues a passion for photography. The two enjoy the outdoors, their dogs and dancing.
For more information on the Valley Springs Medical Center, call 754-2968.