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Mon, July 22

Cook Family Practice taking health care to another level

Karrie Cook, left, has been a nurse for 23 years. She is accompanied by Medical Assistant Jeannette Needham. (Photo by Agata Popeda/Daily Miner)

Karrie Cook, left, has been a nurse for 23 years. She is accompanied by Medical Assistant Jeannette Needham. (Photo by Agata Popeda/Daily Miner)

KINGMAN – There is a new healthcare provider in town. Cook Family Practice, 2331 Hualapai Mountain Road, opens Monday, July 15. It offers medical and nursing services and accepts all insurance in Arizona.

“People don’t realize a nurse practitioner doesn’t have to work under a physician,” said nurse practitioner Karrie Cook. “We are completely autonomous. We do everything a physician do. We write prescriptions, we order physical therapy, we monitor patient’s health care – just like a doctor.”

Cook came from Wyoming where she had been working at a hospice. She moved to Kingman five years ago when her son got into the Cambridge program at Lee Williams High School. When she moved here, she was “completely retired,” but got bored at home and decided to go back to school.

She earned her master’s degree in May 2017, and started working for a local provider. Soon, she decided to open a business of her own.

“Kingman doesn’t raise the bar a whole lot for patient care,” she told The Daily Miner a few days before the big opening. “I thought I can do a little bit better, be more efficient. I found the right assistant and I believe together we can elevate healthcare in this town.”

A doctor gives orders and leaves, Cook said. The person who is actually taking care of the patient is a nurse. Historically, physicians have never done patient care. They never worked on the hospital floor, they never bed bathed. Thus, they have a harder time connecting to people.

A nurse looks at a patient as a whole, head to toe, his or her social and medical history.

“It’s not just you,” Cook explained. “It’s your spouse, your loved ones and your kids. They all make up your environment and your happiness.

“I don’t want my patients to be numbers,” Cook said. “I don’t want for them to get in and get out. I want to sit down and listen to them. Figure out what to do to make a difference in their life.”

Cook sees patients from birth to death. She offers primary and hospice care, visiting terminally dying patients at their homes.

Doctors don’t do that, she said. She manages diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension. She makes referrals to oncology, and if there’s something out of her expertize – like a growth on your thyroid, which would be also out of a regular physician’s expertize – she refers patients to specialists.

“Patients in this community have very low expectations as to medical services,” she said. “The bar needs to be raised. People forget they are customers. I’ve gotten such a huge following of patients because I give them time to talk.”

The plan is to build a large practice based on reputation.

“If we need to expand six months from now, we will,” Cook said. “If the need is there, we’ll bring more people. But if you come here, you will be taken care of. A lot of times it is not about taking a pill, it’s about you and changing your life.”

Cook Family Practice is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nurse Cook invited all – new and old clients – to call for an appointment.

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