Meet the Doctor
I’m often asked if I always knew that I wanted to be a doctor—and the answer is 'no.' In fact, I graduated high school unsure of what I wanted to do with my life. While at Millsap College, I started taking biology classes and found I had a knack for science. I was studying with a group of friends, several of whom planned to pursue careers in the medical field, when I began to realize that I could see myself as a doctor.
I attended medical school in Little Rock at UAMS—University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. During that time, I married my husband, Derrick. Upon graduating medical school, I was accepted into the pediatric residency program at Vanderbilt in Nashville, TN.
I was honored to be selected as chief resident of pediatrics my last year there. Since then, I have been a full-time general pediatric doctor, taking care of babies, children and teens over the past 17 years.
In my personal life, I am a girl mom! I am blessed to have had four beautiful daughters. My first daughter, Cameron, left this world when she was just five years old. This was truly the tragedy of my life. It has been 12 years since that fateful day, and I can honestly say I never thought I would survive it. But, through the help and support of my family and friends, I have found ways to endure this difficult life-long journey of grief. My three living children are Kennedy, a high schooler; Brooklynn who is in junior high; and Carrington, who attends middle school. These girls keep me hopping from sporting events to school functions to friends’ houses… and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Being a mom has really helped me in my role as a pediatrician. I can relate to patients and their families in a realistic way, because I have usually been through something similar to what they are experiencing. I really love becoming a part of the family when taking care of a child. As a pediatrician, I have practiced in Sherwood Arkansas, McAlester Oklahoma, and Northwest Arkansas. In each of these locations I have worked as an employee of the hospital. In 2009, I was blessed to be able to carve out a clinic within the Northwest Health system that was ideal for me.
Creating Best Start allowed me to develop a clinic that focuses on families and relationships. We work with the parent or caregiver to play an active role in the child’s health, without dictating decisions or expecting every parent to make the same choices.
We want to foster confidence in parenting, recognizing that the parent or caregiver has the ultimate word in what is best for the child. This model of practice has given me much joy and pride in our clinic. Over about the past year, I have felt led to take Best Start to the next level. I made the decision to go into private practice, allowing me to run Best Start independently and invest in my practice even further. I am excited about the opportunity to put the new ideas I envision into place to create an even more ideal experience for my patients. So, at the end of March, Best Start became a physician-owned practice. We moved just up the street from our previous location to 5203 Willow Creek Drive, Suite 2, in the Johnson area. We are accepting new patients, and would love to have you and your family come check us out. We see children of all ages, from birth to late adolescence. If you are expecting a baby, we would be delighted to help you and family get off to the best start possible.
If you are new to the area or looking for a different experience for your child’s healthcare,
we would love to join you, anywhere along the way. At Best Start we understand that being a parent or caregiver is both a rewarding and challenging role in life. It is our commitment to play an active part in keeping your family healthy, active and fulfilled. Come see us!