“Super intern” Misty Blue Foster sees exstrophy as both patient and professional

Misty Blue Foster is both a bladder exstrophy patient and a health care professional

As a bladder exstrophy patient and Master of Public Health candidate, Misty Blue Foster sees exstrophy from both sides of the equation: as an adult who knows firsthand the daily struggles and triumphs of living with the rare disease, and as a professional trained to evaluate and improve systems of care.

For her master’s program at San Jose State University, Misty just completed an internship with Association for the Bladder Exstrophy Community (A-BE-C). It is her unique perspective as both an adult patient and a professional that turned Misty from an ordinary intern into an A-BE-C “super intern.” (Of course, her strong work ethic and caring attitude helped, too!)

We want to thank her for her hard work and dedication on behalf of the bladder exstrophy community and share some of the highlights from her time with A-BE-C.

Shedding a light on the gap in services for adult exstrophy patients

One of Misty’s biggest contributions to A-BE-C was her clinical emphasis on the needs of adult bladder exstrophy patients. She is especially attuned to those just transitioning into adulthood. Her work focused on the gap in services and support available for this group of patients. Because the surgical needs for young patients are so significant, it is easy to overlook the fact that bladder exstrophy is a condition that requires support at every stage of life.

“With her background and expertise in transitional and adult care, Misty brought a new dimension to A-BE-C’s work,” says A-BE-C Executive Director Pamela Block. “The foundation she laid during her internship will help shape our strategy for years to come.”

“Super intern” Misty Blue Foster (right) representing A-BE-C at the 2018 AUA Conference with executive director Pamela Block

A day in the life of an A-BE-C intern

Misty wore many hats at A-BE-C. But here are some of her accomplishments:

  • Developed a community health needs assessment for adults with exstrophy
  • Developed educational materials and revised our current materials
  • Identified topics for future webinars and video trainings with a focus on transitional and adult care
  • Helped enhance A-BE-C’s online learning library
  • Assisted with A-BE-C’s medical/surgical outreach campaigns for Qatar, India, Uganda and China
  • Represented A-BE-C at three conferences, along with Executive Director Pamela Block
  • Teamed up with the Spina Bifida Association to collaborate on medical advocacy and policy lobbying on Capitol Hill.

As an unexpected twist, Misty’s clinical supervisor for her internship was Dr. Paul Merguerian. It turns out, Misty was a patient of Dr. Merguerian at LPCH Children’s Hospital in 1994. Talk about coming full circle!

Thank you, Misty. You will be missed. We have a feeling, though, that your positive impact in the bladder exstrophy community is just beginning!

Are you interested in becoming an intern with A-BE-C? Contact us to explore possibilities.