The hospital and clinic that comprise Kiowa County Hospital District play a vital role in the community and the lives of the people who look to KCHD for their health care needs. When a patient goes to the clinic, attention and interactions are completely focused on his or her situation and well-being, and that is exactly as it should be. At the same time, it’s always nice for people to know something about both the operations of the clinic where they go for their health care and the people who provide those services.
With that in mind, over the next several weeks, the Eads Medical Clinic will be providing brief profiles of the professionals and paraprofessionals on staff. The focus this week is on health care provider Jessica Hyman and Dawn Back.
Meet Jessica Hyman, Family Nurse Practitioner
by Kourtney Richards
Special Interests - Women’s health, children’s health, rheumatology and inflammatory disorders, and weight loss
Board Certifications - Board Certified by The American Association of Nurse Practitioners
Education and Training - Over 15 years in healthcare with an Associate’s degree in Nursing from Lamar Community College, Bachelor’s Degree from Graceland University in Lamoni, IA , Master’s Degree from South University in Savannah, GA. Multiple Certifications including Advanced Trauma Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Life Support, Fundamentals of Critical Care Support, Nexplanon Insertion, IUD insertion. Currently working towards certification as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner.
Biography - Jessica has practiced in rural health for over half of her life. It is her passion. She feels strongly about providing the high-level care that patients in rural areas need. She is a life-long learner and is currently pursuing an additional board certification in acute care and plans to begin her doctorate degree within the next three to four years. It is important to Jessica to treat the entire patient, including their mental and emotional well-being as this is the holistic care that nurse practitioners often promote. The 10 years Jessica spent as a bedside emergency department and intensive care nurse have helped her to really key in when patients are going through a difficult time; she is able to provide some of the emotional support through compassionate care that patients so often miss.
Jessica enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter and soon-to-be-born son! She loves camping, fishing, hunting, antiquing, and entertaining. She is active in the community and has recently collaborated with a group of women in the community to develop a civic group whose goal is to assist community members in times of need. She is an active member of Praise Community Church and helps her husband Matt lead a Sunday School class.
Meet Dawn Back, Physician’s Assistant
by Dawn Back
When I was asked to write something about myself, I was pretty reluctant. I’m not comfortable talking about myself. But I understand why people might want to know something about the person who’s looking in their ears or asking them personal questions, and, since I don’t plan on writing something like this again, I figured I’d do it up right.
My maiden name is Smith. I married at age 19, and we just celebrated our 28th anniversary. The best and brightest light of our lives are our 2 grown boys, Darin and Cody. I have a wonderful daughter-in-law, Lexi, and 3 beautiful, vibrant, energetic grandchildren (the other loves of our lives). I have spectacular parents who live in Ordway and 3 brothers who all make a living at ranching. My grandpa is 101 years old, and he still lives on his homestead in Philip, South Dakota where I was born.
I graduated from Crowley County High School in 1989. High school was a great experience. I think accomplishments early on, like being school officer and on sports teams that competed (and both placed and won) at state level, gave me the self-confidence to “stretch my wings” when I graduated.
I was accepted by the Air Force Academy Prep school but regretfully turned that down and, instead, enlisted in the Air Force where I served for 22 years before retiring. I started out as a heavy equipment mechanic and later received a full scholarship to Physician Assistant School where I trained with all branches of the military. For my last year of training, I ended up at the Air Force Academy (crazy how that works out) and graduated as an officer. I had always wanted to be a fighter pilot, but by the time they accepted girls into the program, I didn’t meet the age requirement any longer. I have an Associate’s degree in liberal arts, public health and auto mechanics. I also have a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from University of North Dakota, a Physician Assistant Degree from University of Nebraska and am currently working on my Master’s in Organizational Leadership.
I’ve been a PA for 16 years and have delivered health care in a lot of different settings.
In Iraq, I worked in a medical unit treating soldiers straight off the battlefield. I was part of a very small medical unit (the only one on the ground) right outside the Superdome in New Orleans in the days following Hurricane Katrina and Houston during Hurricane Rita. For a little less than a year, I was the only health care provider serving a tribe of over 1000 Yu’ Pik Eskimos in a village on Hooper Bay, Alaska that could only be reached by a 2-hour flight in a small airplane. I’ve worked in clinics on two different reservations and recently worked ER and hospital in New Mexico where I treated every sort of critical illness and trauma. I’ve even delivered babies. I’ve worked for several years at KCHD in this beautiful town of Eads.
I’m a “daddy’s girl” but not a girlie girl. I don’t like to cook (just ask my husband and children) and didn’t even learn how until I was married. As people might have noticed, I don’t really care about fixing my hair or wearing makeup and wish I could still wear a uniform so I didn’t have to concern myself with what I’m going to wear to work. (All of this is much to the chagrin of my mother.)
Other than my family, the things that bring me the greatest joy and happiness are horses and pretty much anything to do with horses. Every chance I get, I compete in versatility ranch horse events which has reining, fence work, cutting, ranch riding, trail, roping, and halter class. I’m internationally ranked in Mounted Archery; I’ve tried English Riding, worked buffalo on horseback and gotten to ride with Buck Brannaman, the “Horse Whisperer”. I love our Kiowa County Riding Club.
I love to read, and I love our book club the “Bookaholics”. I don’t watch television, but I enjoy movies, and some of my very favorites are Touchback, Vision Quest, Jerry Maguire, 300, Gladiator, Seabiscuit, Secretariat, Braveheart, Cinderella Man, Miracle and Moneyball. However, most of the time I watch horse training videos. Old country music makes me happy. I eat popcorn for supper sometimes, and I’m addicted to Lipton Green Tea (thank goodness our local store keeps me in stock).
I enjoy trying new things. I’ve flown an F16, a glider and have 30 hours of pilot training towards my private pilot license. Other things I’ve tried and enjoyed include rock climbing, 3-D puzzles, Origami, pottery, skydiving, Hot Air Ballooning, Krav Maga, hot yoga, zip lining, Repelling, Sushi making, skiing, softball, downhill mountain biking, an Opera, Disc Golf, Escape Room, Spinning, knife throwing and Fencing. I’ve hiked/packed/camped in and out of Havasupai Grand Canyon and, last year, climbed the Manitou Incline. Someday, I would also like to bungee jump, hang glide, parasail, put on a Mystery Dinner, act in a play, learn sign language, see a U2 concert in New York and a million other things.
I have lived, traveled or been deployed to Germany, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Iraq, United Arab of Emerites, El Salvador, Denmark, Austria, Dominica, Italy, Ireland, Greece,
Mexico, Canada, North Dakota, Texas and New Mexico. I believe experiencing diverse people and cultures from all over the world has taught me things and given me a perspective that I never would have had otherwise.
Places I want to still visit are Norway (to my Viking roots), Mongolia, Australia and Iceland.
I try to live very simply and am more interested in accumulating experiences and relationships rather than things. Instead of small talk, I’d rather have more in-depth conversations, even if it’s uncomfortable. I want to keep learning and going outside my comfort zone. I believe going outside our comfort zone and competing against ourselves to be better individuals is how we grow.
I believe wholeheartedly in the future of rural America and want to be a part of it. I was small town. I was naïve about the world. But I was also prepared to survive and thrive out there, partly because of my experience growing up in rural America. My family, teachers, coaches, friends, community members and life experiences--good and bad—have helped to shape and form me into the person I am.
Obviously, I am far from perfect. But I try to always work on being a better person, provider and community member as it is my ardent desire to do my very best for each and every one of you who honor me with your healthcare.