MEET STEPHANIE SEWELL
Stephanie Sewell is the lead Medical Assistant at the clinic and performs the myriad of duties associated with the job. Based on the reason for the visit, Stephanie “preps” each patient prior to them being seen by their provider, a process which includes, among other things, gathering information on general health, a review of what medications the patient is taking and highlighting the patient’s presenting problems and/or concerns to be reviewed during their provider appointment. In addition to being that crucial, initial contact with the patient, Stephanie will also perform certain follow-up duties as assigned which can include everything from ear irrigations to dressing changes and others too numerous to name.
In addition to hands-on duties with patients, Stephanie also fills a vital role in being responsible for oversight of the quality measures that are mandated by government regulations for rural clinics. She also ensures patient records are properly maintained and up to date with all information. She also checks and maintains vital equipment in the clinic to ensure smooth operations and collaborates with central supply to adequately stock supplies and medications.
I was born in Longmont, Colorado to Joe and Sylvia Shields. I was the youngest of 3 children. When I was very young, we moved to Anton, Colorado where I attended Arickaree School from kindergarten to graduation, moving only temporarily for 6 months to Othello, Washington. I was young enough that all I remember is it raining all the time, and I guess my parents knew Colorado was where we should be.
I wasn’t your typical little girl. When I was 10 years old, I began working summers at the Anton Co-op and continued working there until I graduated from high school. When I started, my job was to clean the Co-op; as I got a little older, I worked up to pumping gas and providing full service on vehicles including changing oil and changing/fixing tires. I learned early the value of a dollar and how to work hard from my amazing parents.
When I was 14, I had a car accident and injured my lower back which resulted in my first back surgery when I was a senior in high school. After graduating in 1990, I got married and had my first daughter, Lyssa, in 1991. We moved several times, ultimately ending up in Arapahoe, Colorado. For the following seven years, I was a wife and homemaker which I loved, having my son, Kolton, in 1994 and youngest daughter, Chyann, in 1998. Once my children began school, I worked as a paraprofessional in Weskan, Kansas.
Following a divorce, I decided to change occupations and began working in Cheyenne Wells as a medical assistant where my life would be changed forever. I was able to begin working with the amazing Dr. Jeffrey Waggoner. After working in Cheyenne Wells together for about a year, Dr. Waggoner returned to Weisbrod and the Eads Clinic. He had been in Eads for just a short period of time when he called me and asked if I would be willing to move to Eads to work with him full time again. I jumped at the offer. I felt very privileged that he would ask me. During the years we worked together, Doc taught me an incredible amount and would answer any question that I had. And I asked a lot. Sometimes, just to test my own knowledge, I would “guess” what treatment he was going to provide for a sick patient. If I was right, he’d be so encouraging saying, “Good call Doctor Stephanie,” and, if I was wrong, he would tell me how I was wrong and why. I will be forever grateful to him for the knowledge, encouragement and respect he always showed to me (not to mention his wonderful sense of humor), and I miss him more than I can put into words.
After Doc asked me to move to Eads, Chyann finished 8th grade at Weskan, and then she and I moved to Eads where she attended Eads High School. Eads has been my home ever since.
However, I was no stranger to this area. My grandparents, L.G. and Phyllis Vanderwork, lived in Towner, Colorado where I spent summers. They relocated to Eads after my uncle Vernon Vanderwork, who had Multiple Sclerosis, became a resident at Weisbrod ECU. My parents also moved to Eads around that same time, and I love living close to my parents and grandparents.
My children are my everything, and now I am the proud grandmother to 2 beautiful granddaughters, Annyston (7) and Adelynna (1 month). I belong to the book club, Bookaholics, and I enjoy gardening and puzzles.
When I think of people who have had an impact on my life, so many people come to mind. Of course, I think of Doc, whom I miss every day. My mom and dad who have supported me and been my biggest fans all my life. And I think of my amazing son and my bright, talented and beautiful daughters (and now granddaughters!). But I have to say that my amazing mother, Sylvia, occupies a place in my heart that no other person can or ever will be able to fill. She’s sweet and kind to everyone she meets, but she also doesn’t hesitate to speak her mind, especially when it comes to standing up for someone she feels is not being treated fairly. She’s also very smart. Even though she’d never admit it, she’s really brilliant in the way she solves problems or understands what’s going on in situations. She’s loyal and honest and always thinks of others first—even at the expense of herself—and is more generous and thoughtful than anyone I know. My mother is my hero and my best friend, and I’m very, very grateful that she’s in my life.
I have worked at EMC for 7 years now, and I absolutely love my job. The Eads Medical Clinic staff has become my family as well. The work is so important, and I enjoy seeing every single patient who comes in. I know when they come to the clinic, it’s not where they want to be, so I feel a part of my job is to make sure they feel comfortable, reassured and confident that they’re going to get the best care the clinic staff can provide. One way to help people is to make them smile, so that’s what I try to do. I try to bring a smile to everyone’s face. That’s just one of the ways I try to communicate to our patients that, at Eads Medical Clinic, they matter. They’re important. It’s a privilege that they chose us to provide their health care, and we’re all going to do the very best job we can.