Nurse practitioner settling in at new Hillsboro Clinic



Some 21?2 months after starting work as the lone medical professional at the brand new Hills?boro Clinic, nurse practitioner Laurie Methvin is feeling good about how the transition has gone so far.

?I think it?s a nice clinic and I think it has a lot of potential,? Methvin said of the clinic located a stone?s throw from Hillsboro Community Hospital, which opened the clinic in October.

Methvin said she likes the slower pace from her previous work assignment at Newton?s Health Ministries Clinic, a non-profit resource for lower-income families and individuals.

?Like today, I?ve seen 11 patients, and in my former job I probably saw 11 before lunch time,? she said.

The patient load at Hillsboro Clinic continues to grow, but Methvin said she likes having the time to get to know her first-time clients.

?Once you get to know people, you can look at their chart and say, yeah, I know them, and then you can just walk on in,? she said. ?But when everybody?s new, it?s nice to have that time to get to know people.?

Though the clinic is new to the community, Methvin said she?s seeing quite a few familiar faces. She grew up on a farm east of Lincolnville with four brothers and a sister, lived in Hillsboro about 24 years ago while working as a certified nurse?s aide, and now lives near Peabody with husband Jeffrey and their two college-age children.

?All my (extended) family lives in Marion County,? she said. ?I guess we all go off to college, and once we have kids we all come back home.?

After graduating from Centre High School in 1980, Methvin left for Emporia State Univer?sity to study veterinary medicine. She switched to nursing in part because of the good experience she had working as a CNA.

?I really liked the people, and I liked doing the nursing, too,? she said.


Methvin transferred to Tabor College to begin a nursing program and continue working as a CNA. Her adviser sent her on to the nursing program offered by St. Mary of the Plains College through St. Joseph Hospital in Wichita.

After graduating from the program in 1985, she continued nursing at St. Joseph and began a master?s program in nursing at Wichita State University. She graduated from the nurse practitioner program in 1999, then worked in that field in Wichita and Newton.

Methvin?s decision to come to Hills?boro involved a combination of timing, opportunity and family finances.

?I had always planned that when my daughter graduated (from high school), which she did in May, to no longer work at a safety-net clinic,? Methvin said. ?It was nice (in?Newton) because they?re family friendly and you can attend ballgames. But after awhile you have to pay bills and put kids through college.

?I was always looking to do something different,? she added. ?I like to learn new things and do something new. Rural health care is something new.?

Methvin she enjoyed working with fellow staff members Lisa Jost and Camilla Unruh to develop the local clinic almost from square one.

?I?ve never worked at a place where you put a whole new (clinic) together, and have to think of the detail part,? she said. ?I had helped set up Kansas Surgery and Recovery Center in Wichita. They picked orthopedic nurses from different places. We all put our brains together and set up an empty building from nothing.?

Methvin said her experience in Hillsboro has been positive so far, and she looks forward to the arrival in mid-January of physician Shauna Kern, who signed a full-time contract with HCH and the clinic earlier this month.

?Dr. Kern is internal medicine, so it?s always nice to learn a lot,? Methvin said. ?I?ve worked with internal-medicine doctors before, and I?have people I already want in with her.

?It?s all going to work together,? she added. ?She seems really nice, and excited about coming here.?

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