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Treat Others Like Family

One hour north of Evansville’s Deaconess campuses is Deaconess Clinic – Petersburg, a small primary care facility where relationships are central. The staff’s compassionate care strongly impacted one Petersburg family, who wrote a letter of appreciation about their attentive, caring doctors and nurses.

For several years, Dr. Gary Keepes was the primary care physician for John, a man in his mid-60s whose son attended both high school and medical school with Dr. Keepes. John, whom the

doctor calls “a really nice guy,” had been generally healthy. But he developed a persistent cough, congestion, and shortness of breath that Dr. Keepes diagnosed as lung cancer.

Although John recently passed away after his battle with cancer, his family turned to Deaconess for help and comfort during his ordeal. The staff was able not only to refer him to an Evansville oncologist and enroll him in hospice late in his illness but also to support and inform him and his family. “During that process,” says Dr. Keepes, “I think they felt that if they needed something, they could just call.”

The same went for John’s daughter, Missy, who was diagnosed with aggravated migraines after experiencing terrifying stroke-like symptoms that landed her in Deaconess Gateway Hospital’s emergency room. Her nurse practitioner, Toni Martin, and doctor, Dr. Nathaniel Grow, worked with her to explain her diagnosis and medication, helping her feel more at ease during a frightening time. “A lot of people come in nervous,” says Toni. “After you explain things to them, they’re not as upset.”

The Petersburg office staff’s compassionate acts are right at home in a small town where Dr. Keepes, a Petersburg native, has known many of his patients since high school and even takes care of a few of his former schoolteachers. “I already know these folks,” he says. “It’s hard not to care about them.”