February 13, 2013 EditionAlso in this issue...
Lawrence Health Services has opened its doors to a whole new set of patients - children - with the addition of Dr. Samantha Hatfield, who specializes in pediatrics and internal medicine.
Hatfield, who is a native of Cave City, said she was excited to return to the area to serve at Family Medical Center and Lawrence Memorial Hospital.
"I really like the atmosphere here, and everyone is really nice," she said. "I like the small town feel and there was no pediatrician, so it was perfect." LHS Interim President George Fray said he is pleased that LHS will now be able to provide care to children.
"We are excited about the opportunity to have Dr. Hatfield on staff and provide this care locally," he said.
Dr. Hatfield, who is Lawrence Health Services' first pediatrician, said the number of children she is seeing is increasing.
"I am seeing a mix of patients, but I am seeing more children as the word has gotten out," she said. "A lot of parents have said they are glad I'm here so they don't have to drive as far."
In addition to taking appointments during regular hours on Monday through Friday, Hatfield is also seeing both children and adults during sick call, from 8-9 a.m. on weekdays.
LHS was fortunate to already have a nurse with extensive experience in pediatrics on staff.
Linda Harris, LPN2, who has been a floor nurse at Lawrence Memorial Hospital for five years, had previous experience at The Children's Clinic in Jonesboro and as a private duty nurse with pediatric vent patients.
"I'm used to working with children, so I am really enjoying it," said Harris, who is now in her third week as Hatfield's nurse. "It is exciting to be able to provide these services here."
Hatfield said the most rewarding part of her job is seeing people get better.
"I admitted my first child to the hospital," she said. "It was very rewarding to see him get better and to be able to take care of him here."
Before the addition of a pediatrician, if a child was brought into the emergency room and needed to be admitted, they would have to be sent to Jonesboro or in more serious cases, Arkansas Children's Hospital.
Hatfield earned her bachelor's degree in biology at Lyon College in Batesville and attended medical school at UAMS in Little Rock. She completed her residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of Missouri at Kansas City.
She resides in Strawberry with her husband, Bryan, who has returned to work for his family's construction business in Batesville and Melbourne.
She is the daughter of Steve Dale of Batesville and Tony and Sharon Herndon of Cave City.