Sometimes when you start a new job, the fanfare isn’t there.
But other times, the hiring is big news as in the case of Beth Booker at the Weston Family Clinic and Medical Spa. The family nurse practitioner joined the practice of Dr. Debra Keith in Weston and to make Booker’s former patients aware of the news, a billboard was placed along Interstate 29, near exit 44.
Booker has spent the past 21 years working in private primary care in St. Joseph, with Dr. Fred Potts and later Dr. Steven Brushwood. Working for Brushwood, in a way, paved the path for Booker to join the Weston practice.
While working in St. Joseph, Booker worked with Dr. Keith’s daughter, Katelyn, who was a nurse at the office.
“Dr. Keith and I had talked at that time and the timing really wasn’t right then,” Booker said. “But Dr. Brushwood was looking to sell his practice, so I was interested at that point and she was too. So, I got ahold of her and everything worked out. It wasn’t the particular year when I talked to her before, but a few years later and the timing was right.”
Booker is a native of St. Joseph, attending high school at Central before going to Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa. She attended University of Missouri-Kansas City for graduate school.
She knew for a long time she wanted to help people and keep them as healthy as possible, a goal she had since her sister died of cancer when she was a child. Booker’s mother became a nurse and she followed in her footsteps.
Booker was a nurse for 12-plus years before going back to school to become a family nurse practitioner, starting at North Kansas City Hospital.
“I absolutely want to make a difference,” she said. “I want to help people become healthy, their optimal health. I want to be able to help them make a plan to get there if they aren’t already and help them continue to be there if they are already.
“Dr. Keith is fabulous to work with and I just always admired her and thought she was great. I couldn’t ask for anything better in a collaborative physician.”
She says she liked working in Weston and has had some of her former patients follow her to her new locale. The office is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
“I love it; the people are warm and friendly and I’m used to the rural area,” Booker said. “I grew up a little east of St. Joseph in a rural part, so it just reminds me of that — reminds me of home.”