Being a nurse practitioner is about more than medicine to Advance Practice Nurse Kim Peery, APN, PPCNP-BC. It’s also about education.
“If you just write a prescription for your patient, the care will be partial,” Peery said, “Educating people can help prevent future illnesses. They’ll feel better about their care and more confident as parents.”
In June, Peery will join Pediatrician Rachel Barnhart, MD, in a new clinic at the Family Medical Center located at 200 Richmond Avenue East in Mattoon. Peery has been providing pediatric care through Sarah Bush Lincoln pediatric since 2016.
“It’s exciting to start a practice from scratch and have the opportunity to create an efficient office,” Peery said, “We are proponents of wellness care, disease prevention, great service, and access to same-day or next-day access to healthcare for acute illnesses.”
Peery and Dr. Barnhart are welcoming patients, newborns through graduating high school seniors. Their office will also be a licensed “Vaccines for Children” (VFC) provider. The VFC program helps provide vaccines to children whose parents or guardians may not be able to afford them. This helps ensure that all children have a better chance of getting their recommended vaccinations on schedule, and it means that these parents will no longer have to drive to the Department of Public Health in Charleston.
Peery graduated from St. Louis University in 1997 and spent nine years as a nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Mary’s hospital, caring for infants facing serious health challenges and educating parents about how to properly care for their fragile children.
Following her time at St. Mary’s, Peery was the coordinator of the Footprints program at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis. Footprints coordinates palliative care for children living with special needs or chronic, life-threatening illnesses. While it was emotionally challenging, Peery says her time with Footprints drove her to find new ways to help her patients.
“I learned about the struggles these families face when dealing with a chronically ill child and how it affects the entire family dynamic,” Peery said, “It was rewarding to get everything organized for them. I enjoyed that coordination of care.”
Her experience as a coordinator inspired Peery to work toward more supervisory roles that would allow her to diagnose issues and help develop treatment plans for her patients. In 2006, she received her Master’s Degree from the University of Missouri St. Louis (USML). During her time at UMSL, Peery was also a wife and mother of three. That experience is one that helped her become even more effective as a pediatric nurse practitioner.
“It was difficult finding a work-life balance,” Peery said, “I missed out on some activities so I could study and write papers, but seeing what you can accomplish when you hit an obstacle is amazing.”
Before joining the Sarah Bush Lincoln network of providers, Peery worked in a pediatric private practice in Highland for nine years while also teaching pediatric nursing clinical classes at Southern Illinois University.
To schedule an appointment with Kim Peery, call the Family Medical Center office, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at (217) 238-5345.