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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

HOME > KERRI’S STORY

A Caregiver, Mother, Friend & True Everyday Hero

Kerri has been a Physician’s Assistant for 24 years in the OB/GYN field and has always felt truly blessed to do what she loves. Her decision to focus on OB/GYN was based on her theory that focusing on the beginning stages of the circle of life is a good place to be and would allow her to maintain a positive outlook, as well as minimize possible work induced-stress during her career. There are endless possibilities when a new life comes into this world.

Over the years Kerri has been able to expand her role and clinical focus. Today she also sees patients in an urgent care clinic, as well as maintaining her role within Obstetrics. Her clinic patients vary in age from young teenage girls to the elderly with one common thread, low socioeconomic status.

For some patients, Kerri will need to take the time to educate women about the importance of self-breast exams and yearly screening mammograms during their wellness visits.

“Most women do realize they need to get their yearly screening and still choose to put off getting their mammograms because they are afraid of the pain and discomfort associated with a mammogram. My goal when I’m showing my patients how to do a self-breast exam and talk through what to expect during a mammogram and why it’s necessary, is to increase the probability that female patient will routinely check her breast independently as well as get screened. Education is key for this patient population and the only way we will see an increase in women getting screened to ensure an early diagnosis.”

As a single mother of two, the role of caregiver and educator doesn’t end when Kerri leaves the hospital and clinic.

“I want my children to feel that they can speak to me about anything and everything. I grew up in a very conservative household so it’s important to me that my kids know I’m here to listen. I try to take the time to educate my daughter about her body and practice self-care. I really feel that we should teach girls at a young age how to give themselves breast exams and what signs and symptoms to look for. I know it’s the right thing to do. I also find that I have developed the reputation amongst my daughter’s friends as the go-to Mom for advice on a wide variety of health issues and questions. That’s says something! It’s important to instill a positive mindset in young girls to love themselves for who they are as individuals, as well as how they look. That starts with knowing how to care for yourself.”

When I take the time to think about an everyday hero, my good friend Kerri comes to mind. She is there to help bring life into the world, has witnessed countless newborns take their first breath, passionate about women’s health, patiently educating those who need it, forever growing and learning that as women we need not be so hard on ourselves to do it all perfectly rather, do it with the intention to serve & help others. A Caregiver, Mother, Friend and True Everyday Hero.

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