Family Nurse Practitioner Kristi Esker, DNP, FNP-C, is passionate about helping people improve their health.
Esker recently joined the medical staff at the Sarah Bush Lincoln Casey Clinic where she is caring for patients formerly seen by Diana Oakley, APRN, who relocated to SBL’s Occupational Medicine Clinic in Mattoon. Esker has worked as a certified family nurse practitioner since 2007 and brings a wide range of experience in managing chronic diseases and providing preventive care to people of all ages. She is accepting new patients.
Esker looks forward to getting to know families in the Casey area. “I really believe in providing quality, compassionate, holistic care. It’s something we focus on as nurses. I believe that you have to spend quality time with patients to get to know them. It takes time to develop a trusting relationship and, oftentimes, when you talk to them, you can uncover other health issues,” she said. “As a nurse practitioner, I promote health and try to prevent disease, and I also promote health education.”
Born and raised in Teutopolis, Esker earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 2001 from the University of Illinois. While she doesn’t recall a defining moment that inspired her career choice, “I always knew I liked helping people and working with people,” she said. “I worked as a healthcare tech when I was in high school and I really enjoyed it, so that’s how I decided to go into nursing.”
Esker decided to continue her education at the University of Illinois with master’s degree in nursing after she worked for three years as an obstetric nurse at Carle Hospital. Esker returned home to Teutopolis from Tuscola after her first child was born. She began providing care as a family nurse practitioner at Carle Clinic in Mattoon in 2007. By 2017, Esker had earned a doctorate in nursing from Indiana State University, where she currently serves as adjunct faculty.
“I chose family practice because I enjoy working with people of all ages. It really keeps me on my toes to know about all the medications and disease processes from kids through adults,” she said. As a former obstetric nurse, she has expertise in women’s healthcare, as well.
“I like it all. It could be something small, like educating patients about a medication or a disease process, or something big, like finding an underlying issue or disease that’s causing their ailments— it really doesn’t matter,” she said. “Improving their health is what provides me great satisfaction.”
Esker is excited to establish new relationships and become part of a close-knit community. “I’ve always liked Casey. It kind of has that small-town feel like Teutopolis, so I’m looking forward to working with patients there and improving their health,” she said. “I hope to be able to provide information and education that allows people to make better health choices.”
In her free time, Esker enjoys being outdoors, exercising and traveling with her husband, Matt, and their two children, Benjamin, 12 and Stella, 9. To make an appointment with Esker at the SBL Casey Clinic, call 217 932-4061.