On the corner of Second and Main, where there used to be a couple of weed-infested empty lots and an abandoned house, a new structure is being built. It’s the future home for a new service that has not been in Luther in recent history.
It’s the future home of Luther Family Care.
We are excited to being close to opening and providing medical care for the community we love and live in.
The medical facility is the dream of Krystal Fletcher, Advanced Practice Registered Nurse. She and her husband, Nick, and their four children moved to Luther four years ago. Krystal was a nurse for almost ten years in Oklahoma City before graduating in the top three percent of her class from the University of South Alabama with her degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner. She also earned board certification.
With their children in Luther schools, and developing roots in the community, the Fletchers have worked diligently for three years in a pursuit to bring medical care to Luther.
She answered a few questions to give us more details.
Tell us about Luther Family Care.
KF: It will be a family practice welcoming patients from birth on. I can treat all illnesses/diseases and prescribe medication for things such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, COPD, diabetes, thyroid, and anxiety/depression. I collaborate with specialists such as cardiologists, pulmonologists, dermatologist, etc. I can also perform preventative health care, draw labs, order imaging to prevent or catch illnesses early. I will also be able to see pediatric patients for the well child exams. It will be appointment based but will also be open to walk in appointments as well, like an urgent care.
KF: I wanted to help with access to primary care and Luther had no care as well as nothing close in several directions. Our town has good schools, restaurants, shops, why not medical care? It seemed like the one thing missing.
I have worked in a clinic in another rural community that had no healthcare and the patients that I served were so very grateful to have their care so close to their home. After living here and seeing the need of my community, I have been driven to find a way to provide care to my community that needs access to primary care in order to help manage their chronic conditions, hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol, etc as well as take care of their acute illnesses such as colds, flus, etc.
You were steadfast and determined, it seems, to build in Luther. I saw Nick and the kids at many Town Board meetings while you went through the process of buying a lot from the Town. Has the long process that started three years ago been worth it?
KF: I began working on trying to get a building the end of 2017 looking around for something to rent on Main Street. We contacted many businesses as well as vacant buildings and had no luck. We then started looking at vacant lots to buy. After much perseverance we found someone willing to sell their lot to us for a clinic to benefit the community. We then obtained the lot next to it to buy as well to be able to build and make a parking lot. Nick, my husband, went to many Town meetings. At the time, I felt like every roadblock that could have happened, did happen. But through a lot of prayer, we persisted. The process has definitely been worth it! I am just so glad that the time is so close for me to be able to open my doors and serve my community. We are very appreciative of Mayor Jenni White, Town Manager Scherrie Pidcock, Trustee Trandy Langston and board members who helped us navigate some of the obstacles.
While building Luther Family Care, where have you been practicing. And how have you managed through Covid-19?
KF: I have been working in a clinic I own in Yale, Oklahoma, and then working part-time in Stroud at another nurse practitioner clinic. Covid has definitely changed the way I practice. But for the most part it is back to normal, with just checking temperatures outside and screening sick patients and seeing them outside. When the first outbreak started, we had to close the clinic down for a week due to possible exposure. Once we reopened, some visits were conducted over the phone or computer. The visits that were done in the clinic were screened and then I would go do visits in the patient’s cars. rain or shine, seeing patients wearing rainboots and with umbrellas. It was very interesting, nothing like this had been covered in school. 🙂
It is exciting to see someone’s plans become reality, and inspiring to hear about your passion to serve others.
KF: During my schooling is when I realized that I loved primary care and taking care of chronic medical conditions. I then decided that I wanted to work in a rural community who did not have access to this type of care. Being entrusted with someone’s health is an honor, something I do not take lightly. My promise to patients, is to give people the care I would want to receive. I chose nursing as a career to make a difference in people’s lives. Nursing is full of caring and compassion. Nursing is challenging, interesting, and always changing to incorporate the latest education. As an Advanced Practice Nurse, I plan to continue providing compassionate, thorough care while treating each patient as an individual with respect and dignity. I hope to always present as a provider that is available, honest, and thorough. I want to be a provider that advocates for the patient while also teaching the patient to advocate for themselves and do their best to take care of themselves.