Twenty-five years ago, Dr. Beverly Holmes embarked on a journey no woman before her had ventured. This weekend, Lockwood’s first female physician is asking the community to help her celebrate her retirement from Mercy Clinic Family Medicine – Lockwood.
“After any kind of a relationship longer than 10 years, you have so much history with people,” Dr. Holmes said. “It’s difficult to convey to anyone just how special the moments are that go along with that.”
Dr. Holmes, a Greenfield, Mo., native, helped launch the Mercy clinic (originally St. John’s) on Main Street in December 1990. “At the time, there wasn’t a physician in Lockwood,” recalled practice manager Jean Scott, who has worked alongside Dr. Holmes since day one. “She became the first female doctor in the community, which welcomed her with open arms.”
For 18 years, the Oklahoma State University alum served as the only physician at the clinic. “I’ve cared for patients of all ages, and I’m still treating people who’ve been coming back since we opened,” Dr. Holmes said. “I’ve been blessed to see a different perspective on how their day is going, because we’ve been through difficult family times and celebrated joyful things.”
“Her patient satisfaction scores have always been through the roof and her dedication is unmatched,” Scott said. “She’s always been there, even when there were snow storms. It didn’t matter how deep the snow was, she made sure the clinic was open; we built a reputation for being there when people need us most.”
Over the last quarter-century, Dr. Holmes has seen firsthand how much health care has evolved. “I can cure things now that I’ve couldn’t before,” she added. “We have so many new, better medications and people are living longer with chronic diseases. Our quality of life has certainly improved.”
Speaking of which, Dr. Holmes will soon focus more on gardening, quilting and antiquing with her husband, but she’s not exactly saying goodbye to all patients. She plans to continue caring for patients at two local nursing homes: the Good Shepherd Nursing Home and the Dade County Nursing Home in Greenfield, Mo.
“She just hates to leave her patients. It’s really hard for her,” Scott added. “She’s been taking care of patients in those nursing homes since she started in Lockwood. She knows them inside and out. Many would be lost without her.”
That’s why it’s not surprising to hear her advice for up-and-coming doctors. “Enjoy your patients and get to know them,” Dr. Holmes said. “They’re not a disease; they’re people who have a condition and it’s your job to help them through that. You’ll end up developing a lot of friendships and may just get a lot of hugs.”
To join Dr. Holmes in celebrating her time with Mercy, a retirement reception will be held Sunday, April 19, from 1-3 p.m. at the Immanuel Lutheran Church & School, located at 212 W. 4th Street in Lockwood. Refreshments will be served.
Drs. Travis Hawks and Haley Wolf are both taking new patients at Mercy Clinic Family Medicine – Lockwood. To schedule an appointment, call 417-232-4560 or visit www.bit.ly/MercyLockwood.