The Great Bend Children’s Clinic is celebrating its 30th anniversary of caring for the kids of central Kansas. From its fledgling beginning in a small office on Lakin with one pediatrician, Dr. Marta Edmonds, two RNs and two office staff, the clinic has grown to three pediatricians, including Dr. Ryan Williams and Dr. Mahefa Ratsimbason; two APRNs, Karen Norris and Kelli Smiley; a staff of 10 full- and part-time RNs; office manager Tammy Buehler; six office and accounting staff; and John Edmonds, business manager.
In September of 1995, the clinic moved to a larger building on Broadway and in December 2009 to its current location at 1021 Eisenhower. It’s a child friendly environment with 12 exam rooms, kids’ movies playing in the two waiting rooms (sick and well) and a well-equipped front office, nurses’ station and lab.
Anytime the clinic is open it’s a noisy busy place with children laughing and squealing, an occasional baby crying, phones ringing, and people chatting. It’s an amazing environment of good cheer and genuine caring.
But lest anyone believe that this 30-year journey has been easy, much has changed in the practice of medicine and the business of medicine over 30 years. Operating as a small independent clinic among the giants of medicine has given them autonomy but without the infrastructure for support. They have weathered the storms integrating new technology, adapting to a myriad of regulations, and establishing relationships with local businesses for help along the way.