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Pediatrician Offers Medical Home for Patients

June 20, 2017 9:47 a.m.

  • Rachel Barnhart, MD

Pediatrician Rachel Barnhart, MD, understands the complex issues facing today’s parents.

She has joined the Sarah Bush Lincoln network of providers. The new practice is located in the Family Medical Center, Suite 4, at 200 Richmond Avenue East in Mattoon. Dr. Barnhart will provide pediatric care to infants through high school seniors, with the support of Advanced Practice Nurse Kim Peery. Peery has been caring for children at Sarah Bush Lincoln’s Pediatric Clinic for the last year. Dr. Barnhart has practiced in Fairfield since 2004.

“I want my families to know that they have a medical home and that there’s no such thing as a dumb question,” Dr. Barnhart said, “They can ask me anything.” Her office is 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, something that is very important to Dr. Barnhart.

“I understand the unique needs of our local families,” Dr. Barnhart said, “I want my patient families to know that, in my office, we truly care about their child.” 

Born and raised on a farm in Norris City, IL, Dr. Barnhart spent most of her childhood outdoors. Winters were busy with school sports and summers meant family time in the country: boating, swimming, fishing, hiking, gardening and camping.

While earning an undergraduate degree from the University of Evansville, Dr. Barnhart realized that her true passion was medicine. She then attended the University of Illinois, Chicago School of Medicine where she participated in the Rural Medical Education (RMED) program. 

The birth of her first daughter, Savannah, turned Dr. Barnhart’s focus to pediatrics. She went on to complete her pediatric residency at the University of Alabama Birmingham, though she always knew she would return to Illinois to practice.

During her residency, Dr. Barnhart’s second daughter, Shelby, was born. Dr. Barnhart believes that balance, time management, and a strong support system are the keys to having a healthy family at any stage of life.

“Doing my pediatric residency with two young children at home was an advantage. There’s so much they can’t teach you about children in books,” Dr. Barnhart said, “I understand the issues parents face today.”

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Barnhart, call the Family Medical Center, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., at (217) 238-5345.


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