Just months into her tenure at Mercy Clinic Family Medicine – Lockwood, family nurse practitioner Leisa Blanchard is already on a mission.
“I want to help as many patients living with diabetes as possible,” she said. “I’ve been a certified diabetes educator for 17 years. Helping people with diabetes is my passion, because everyone is impacted by the disease in some way, whether it’s a family member, friend or colleague.”
Blanchard knows her community well. A Milford, Missouri native and graduate of Golden City High School, she began her journey into health care after graduating from Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, Missouri.
“I started as a floor nurse at Barton County Memorial Hospital,” Blanchard said. “I worked in the emergency room and obstetrics unit, which I absolutely loved. From there, I joined the Barton County Health Department as a home health nurse, and that’s when I started meeting people who had trouble managing the effects of diabetes.”
Now with a master’s degree from Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas, the family nurse practitioner has 20 years of nursing experience under her belt. She is also a member of the University of Missouri Extension Advisory Council, as well as the Barton County Ambulance District Board of Directors.
“I’m also proud to work with the American Association of Diabetes Educators on a state level,” Blanchard said. “Being the advocacy chairperson for the Missouri Coordinating Body, it’s rewarding to work with legislators on diabetes issues to make real changes. It’s a bipartisan issue that affects everyone.”
Outside of work, Blanchard is also a full time grandmother. She and her husband of 34 years enjoy spending time with their five grandchildren, as well as gardening and riding their motorcycle.
“I absolutely love living here and fighting for a healthier community,” Blanchard said. She joins Drs. Hawks, Whitesell and Wolf, as well as physician assistant Kim Wagner, at the Lockwood clinic. “They are really amazing doctors. I love their philosophy and look forward to partnering with them, as we work to help people of all ages.”
Mercy, named one of the top five large U.S. health systems in 2017 by Truven, an IBM Watson Health company, serves millions annually. Mercy includes 44 acute care and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, more than 700 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 40,000 co-workers and more than 2,000 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.