Common paths, common callings

Published 12:33 pm Friday, May 5, 2017



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By Don Robinson, M.D.

Those of us who enjoy living in Southwest Georgia, often reflect on our natural resources.  We promote the lake, the river, all kinds of hunting, and abundant agriculture.

Sometimes, what really makes our area special though are the men and women who have been raised here, steeped in our local small-town values.  They may leave for a while, gain experience and skills, and then we can be really fortunate when they return home, raising the level of ability and dedication in our community.

Thus is the story of Kyle and Katie Kelley, and we are indeed fortunate they are here!  Kyle was born right here in Bainbridge, delivered at Memorial Hospital by this writer.  He grew up here going to Decatur County Schools and graduated from Bainbridge High School.  He remembers playing ball through Leisure Services, going to Swine Time, Friday night football, and showing hogs with the FFA.  Off and on he has worked at Memorial Hospital, lately in the Emergency Department as he has continued his education.

Katie grew up on the other side of the creek!  Katie’s father relocated to a new job in Donalsonville where Katie was born.  She went to Seminole County Schools, eventually graduating from Seminole County High School as the Valedictorian.   She remembers growing up in a home where church was an integral part.  She succeeded in school; playing sports, being a cheerleader, and even becoming Homecoming Queen.   She spent time shadowing at Donalsonville Hospital, where she decided she would like to provide anesthesia in her future.

Kyle and Katie grew up in homes where family was valued.  They both led childhoods of high expectations and success, but it was always in the framework of the family.

Kyle left home to attend Mercer University in Macon, where he received a BS degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.  Very impressive!  He began his nursing education at Kaiser in Tallahassee.  He would go on to get a second Bachelor’s degree, this one a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and then a Master’s degree, both from Troy University.  His Master’s degree was achieved as he underwent training to be a Nurse Practitioner.


Katie received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Valdosta State.  She went on to work 2 years at Memorial Hospital in our Intensive Care Unit.  That is where the magic occurred and she met Kyle!  Katie went off to Birmingham, winning a highly competitive spot in the Nurse Anesthesia program.  She would complete her Masters of Science in Nursing from UAB as she developed her skills and qualified to be a Nurse Anesthetist.  In fact, Katie is a CRNA- Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.

Katie has now been working at MHM in our anesthesia department for over a year.  Kyle is just about to begin his practice as a Nurse Practitioner at the primary care office of MHM, Amelia Medical Plaza.  Oh, he will have initials too.  ARNP or Accredited Registered Nurse Practitioner, will follow his name.  Southwest Georgia is truly fortunate to have two such accomplished professionals return home and work here for our community.


Talking with them, it is obvious Kyle and Katie share lots of values, hopes, and dreams.  They have recently added to their family, beautiful Carver McKinley!  They look forward to raising their family in the same environment that helped to mold each of them.

They are each leading health care teams now, but they both got their start in more basic positions.  They have perspective from all sides of the team they lead and how everyone contributes to caring success.  Katie, who has been doing this for a while now, calls her OR team, “Excellent!”  She says that the OR staff, “Is one of the best I have seen in terms of people working together.”

Kyle says he is excited to be taking care of people from his home community!  He is interested in helping at times of crisis, while also managing chronic medical problems over the years.  Katie says in her profession, she meets patients when they are anxious and vulnerable.  She says that she needs to provide caring and compassion.  She thinks that is what she is best at, and I would agree!

Home-town values, developed on opposite sides of Spring Creek, are now forming the basis of family.  Kyle and Katie want to raise Carver where she will grow up knowing her extended family, where she will know what a church family is, and where she will be supported by friends and family across the community as she grows up.   We are fortunate that the Kelleys have chosen to serve in the Memorial Hospital Family.  They are a part of us and we are blessed to have the opportunity to continue to benefit from their skills and heartfelt caring.