Physician signs for full-time position with HCH and clinic



Hillsboro?s transitions in health-care providers continued last week with the announcement that physician Shauna Kern has signed an employment agreement with Hillsboro Com?munity Hospital.

Kern, a native of Valley Center, will practice full-time with the Hillsboro Clinic and HCH beginning Jan. 16.

?Dr. Kern shows a positive energy and professionalism in her approach to medicine,? said Cheri Barton, chief executive officer at HCH since October. ?She is very open to new service lines and wants to perform procedures and keep services in the community.

?She?s a good asset for our nursing staff in that she likes to create an atmosphere of learning,? Barton added. ?And she?s basically a wonderful person.?

After graduating from high school in Valley Center, Kern earned a pre-med degree in 2002 from Friends University in Wichita before going on to study at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, a private university in Missouri comprising a College of Osteopathic Medicine and a College of Biosciences.

When Kern completed her program in osteopathy at KCUMB in 2008, she began a residency in Tulsa, Okla., intending to be an emergency-room physician. But she transferred to the KU School of Medicine in Wichita to finish in internal medicine.

?The biggest thing was I wanted to know what happened to the people after they left the ER,? she said of the change of specialization. ?I wanted to be able to follow them through the hospital.?

While practicing in Wichita, Kern made her initial connection with Hillsboro by agreeing to moonlight on weekends as a physician at HCH.

?I just love working with the hospital staff,? Kern said. ?They?re great, and the people from the community are so much fun to work with.?

Practicing in a small town was attractive to her, too.


?I like the small-town atmosphere,? Kern said. ?It links back to why I switched to internal medicine and the longstanding relationships you can have with people.

?I think that?s very beneficial for a primary-care practice,? she added. ?The patients can be more comfortable with me, which is extremely important. I know more about them and can treat the whole person, which I feel provides better outcomes.?

While working weekends at HCH, Kern said she became aware of the issues that have led to delays in the construction of a new hospital by its owner, HMC/CAH Consolidated Inc., including the company?s decision in October to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

?At first it was definitely something to think about,? Kern said. ?But in the end it seemed more like a challenge that had the potential to work out well.?

Kern said she is enthused about the potential for growth in health-care services in Hillsboro.

?I?m excited to use my internal medicine training and broaden the scope of what we (services) may be able to keep at this hospital, and increase the things we can do here in town to keep people from Hillsboro in Hillsboro for their health care.?

Barton agreed.

?Dr. Kern specialized in internal medicine, and can keep people here with her speciality in our hospital,? she said. ?Just the willingness to do procedures here increases the volume, which increases hospital stability.?

Kern said another reason she signed with HCH was Barton?s leadership.

?I really enjoyed working with Cheri Barton,? Kern said. ?She?s got a very progressive attitude and is extremely good at what she does.?

Kern said she intends to buy a home in Hillsboro, and to share it with her ?very large cat.? As for her interests away from medicine, she described herself as an ?avid kayaker? who recently ?re-picked up knitting.?

Meanwhile, Barton said she would like to see four health-care providers in the community. Kern will join physician Michael Reeh and Hillsboro Clinic physician assistant Laurie Methvin in that role, leaving one opening to be filled.

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