COLUMBIA, Tenn. (WKRN)–For September News 2 is honoring Lori Bergland as our News 2 Gives Back Hometown Hero for September brought to you by Trevecca Nazarene University.

Lori Bergland is a regular at the Maury County Senior Center in Columbia. Before patrons exercise or play cards, they visit her for quick health check. Bergland is the Community Health Nurse with the Maury Regional Health Mobile Medical Unit, which travels to variety of locations in Maury, Marshall, Lewis, Lawrence, Giles, and Wayne counties. It’s a way seniors or those experiencing homelessness can access basic health checks.

Bergland is great about also connecting patients to a primary care doctor or other medical services. And many that know her say she is not only a nurse, but a friend and at times a lifesaver.

During a visit, 88-year-old Paulette Barah recalled showing Bergland a lump, and the nurse immediately believed it was cancer and took Barah to the hospital.

“She went to my house every day, for chemo, for radiation, surgery and so on. Every day she care about me because I live alone. I lost my daughter from cancer four years ago. She was like a daughter for me,” said Barah.

Renee Thomas suffered a stroke not long ago and also said Bergland saved and continues to save her life with each visit.

“I am healthier because of Lori because I know since the stroke, she has helped me to stay on top of things that initially caused the stroke which was high blood pressure,” Renee said. “If it looks like it’s getting a little high, she’ll tell me I want you to go see your doctor. She may even call my doctor and say you know I want Renee to come in, give her a call, have her come in and check her blood pressure, make sure everything is okay.”

Bergland is no stranger to going the extra mile, literally, and head to patient’s homes to review medication, figure out if they’re taking it incorrectly and ultimately if that’s impacting their health.

“A lot of people, the free blood pressure check doesn’t mean anything. They’re too worried about how they’re going to eat that night, or how they are going to feed their kids or that they’re going to freeze under the bridge that night,” said Berland. “We do better when we help people find a way to access food, and a way to access, sometimes it’s a simple as a pair of shoes so they can go to work or a coat for their child to go to school.”

Community organizations such as Maury Regional Medical Center and Maury Regional Health Care Foundation support or fund her when she finds a need in the community and can help a person or family in need.

Joe Kilgore the Executive Director Maury Regional Health Care Foundation says, “She saved a family of five back during the winter when she noticed that they were heating their bus that they were living in, as they were homeless, that was causing carbon monoxide to build up in the bus. She was able to get a generator with the help of the foundation and a local hardware store. Had she not done so they would have perished in that bus,” said Joe Kilgore, Executive Director at the Maury Regional Health Care Foundation.

Another patient of People’s Table, Aaron Johns, said she even helped him with housing options during the winter.

“We’re homeless right now and she has helped us in any way she possibly could. Like in the wintertime she puts us up in hotels and gives us blankets and stuff like that,” said Johns.

Chuck Nixon, the People’s Table Director appreciates Lori because and her thoroughness.

“She makes sure that people are vaccinated. Our population in here is probably as well vaccinated as any population in the state,” said Nixon.

“She’s a hero to Center of Hope because she serves our victims which are victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking you know the really hard things in life, but Lori is a hero, she shows up, she makes herself and her unit available for those that we serve. You know they can’t just go anywhere out in the open sometimes and she’ll come to us,” Cindy Sims the Center of Hope Executive Director told News 2.

“She’ll put off her vacation to make sure people are taken care of,” states Chief Ty Cobb of Columbia Fire and Rescue. “Lori has worked Christmas morning, Christmas Day, Thanksgiving. If someone is in need, she’s going to answer the phone and help them.”

As for Lori, she says the help she initiates couldn’t happen without community support, so she’ll keep looking for anyone who needs help.

“You can’t help people enough,” says Lori. “I can’t believe I get paid to do this job.”

If you’d like to donate to help fund needs that Lori’s finds visit MauryRegional.com/foundation.