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A LONG TIME COMING - BUT WORTH EVERY MINUTE OF THE WAIT

After close to a year and a half, with much of that time spent without a full time, permanent provider on staff, Char Korrell, Interim CEO of the Kiowa County Hospital District, is delighted—actually, more than delighted—to announce that Jessica Hyman, Family Nurse Practitioner, is now officially on staff.

“We are very happy to have Jessica join the team,” Korrell states. “And she’s already adjusting so well. She picked up on all of our routines extremely quickly. In fact, it’s only been a few weeks, but she already gives the impression she’s been here for months. That confidence and stability are just a few of the strengths she brings with her to the position.”

It’s not surprising that Jessica exudes an air of competence since being in health care is far from a new profession. She was originally trained as an R.N. at Lamar Community College, after which she worked for years in a hospital setting where she gained experience in a broad variety of medical treatment areas. She then decided to pursue her degree as an Advanced Practice Nurse, a career decision that supported her personal goal of becoming a more autonomous practitioner. The end result: a mid-level health care provider with a strong foundation of knowledge and experience who’s especially interested in women’s issues and children but is equally comfortable treating patients across age groups, gender and medical conditions.

As was agreed to when a contract was signed back in October, Jessica, along with her husband, Matt, and three year old daughter, Remmi, moved from where they lived in Woodward, Oklahoma to their new home in Eads during the first part of December. The couple spent the following week or so getting moved in, painting and completing all those tasks that are part of moving to a new location. For her part, Jessica seemed to take the transition in stride, describing a scene where she and Matt were painting while, outside, her daughter was more than content to be riding her tricycle in circles on the pavement surrounding a tree by the house.

Despite such a huge transition, it wasn’t long before Jessica was on site at KCHD, touring the medical clinic and Weisbrod Hospital, meeting staff at all levels and receiving an orientation on the protocols, policies and procedures that go along with working at a health care facility.

Not too much longer after that, she was on the schedule and seeing patients.

With just a few weeks of seeing patients at the clinic under her belt, Jessica is already seeing an average of 8 to 10 people a day. “We expect that number to increase with time,” states Korrell, “and would like to encourage patients to continue viewing Weisbrod and Eads as their health care facility of choice.”

However, as anyone with a history in health care will say, the real test of a provider is how they’re viewed by the patients in their care. And, in that respect, Jessica is being given high marks.

“Patients already love her,” states Marni Rouse. Manager of the Eads Medical Clinic. “And she’s busy every day.”

Patients who have seen Jessica in the clinic share Marni’s high opinion of Jessica’s professional skills as well as her manner one on one.

At the end of an appointment, one patient in the clinic stated Jessica was “very thorough” and had provided new and helpful information about medication the patient has been taking for years.

Another patient, who had started seeing a provider at another clinic closer to home, decided to return to Eads upon hearing that a permanent provider had been hired. The description of the clinic visit with Jessica was equally complimentary. As the patient put it, “I really liked her a lot. She took the time to listen—to really listen—to what I was telling her, and a lot of providers just don’t do that anymore. Most of the time, they’re in a hurry to just move you out so they can see the next person. That was really nice. When I left, I felt like I knew exactly what was wrong with me and what I needed to do to feel better.”

A third patient described having to see Jessica in the Emergency Department, stating, “Jessica spent time with me. I felt pretty bad, but I could tell right off she really knew what she was doing. And she was so nice about things, too. She had to examine me and even apologized for having to shine a bright light in my eyes. I felt like I’d been seeing her for years.”

In addition to what sounds like a strong bedside manner, it’s also becoming clear that Jessica brings with her an enthusiasm and devotion to medicine that simply cannot be taught or trained. Those characteristics will not only serve patients well, they will go a long way toward building upon the reputation Eads earned over the years for providing individualized, committed, quality health care.

“Jessica is full of new ideas to better serve our community,” Marni states, “and she’s always ready to jump right in no matter what the need.” She goes on to add, “She’s already invested in our community here and wants to be involved.”

Within the next month, Jessica will be joined in practice by Dawn Back, Physician Assistant, who is returning to the community where she was such an integral part of patients’ lives for several years. Comments are already being made about what a “dynamic duo” these two mid-level providers will be, given their mutual energy, knowledge, commitment to patient care and desire to provide new services.

Meanwhile, Korrell continues to search for the right physician with skills, experience and an approach to medicine and patient care that will be a good fit and round out what is already shaping up to be a very vibrant combination. Until then, physician services will continue to be provided by doctors associated with Docs Who Care, the group that has been providing locum tenets for the past several years.

All in all, it seems that there is every reason to hope that 2018 will be full of promise and quality health care.

And what is Jessica’s reaction to how things are going? She sums it up in what seems to be her forthright, optimistic way. “I feel like I’m home,” she says with a smile that is as broad as it is genuine.

 

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