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Katie Smith: Coaching is her passion

Katie Smith, RN is excited about being a health coach

Would you want to learn football from a coach who never played? Of course not! We all want to be coached by people who understand the game, its challenges, and our own abilities. Which is why Katie Smith, the soon-to-be health coach at the Mount Ayr Medical Clinic believes she’s found her ideal role. “I’ve struggled with my weight, anemia, thyroid issues,” she explained. “I’m just like everyone else! I’m not this super-healthy person who’s naturally thin. I have to work on all of it.” Being able to relate to her patients makes Katie a great fit for the Health Coach role. “I like the preventative care aspect of nursing,” she said. “My focus is on wellness and how the mind, body, and spirit all work together. I say, let’s catch your high blood pressure now, before it gets really bad and you end up in the hospital. I enjoy keeping people healthy.”

A registered nurse, Katie is from Des Moines, and went to school and worked there in the Mercy Hospital System. After her mother moved to the Mount Ayr area, Katie started spending time here. “I was a single mom when my mom moved here. She was traveling to Des Moines on weekends to watch my daughter while I worked as a nurse. After a while, I moved here, and I commuted back to Des Moines to work.” She started going to school events, like football games, and just fell in love with the community. “I like that it’s laid back, there are no traffic lights, everyone knows your name, and everyone helps you out,” she said. “I wanted my daughter to grow up here.” So even though there were no job openings at Ringgold County Hospital, she put in an application and waited. In 2014, she got a call and was offered a job at RCH. A year later, she moved from the acute nursing team to the Mount Ayr Medical Clinic where she’s been for about four years. When Katie started college, she had three areas of interest: nursing, helping juvenile offenders, and psychology. “I decided to become a nurse so I could combine my interests.” She worked as a psych nurse, a cardiac nurse, and as an RN in acute care, so she’s seen and learned a lot. In her new role, she’ll have plenty of patient interaction as she works to keep people healthy and try to keep them out of the hospital. “When I was working on the [acute] floor at RCH I started training to run a 5K,” she said. “Then I did a half marathon. And then I ran a whole marathon! That’s when I fell in love with nutrition, wellness, and exercise. It all ties together! When I saw that the Health Coach position was open, I jumped on it. I have all kinds of ideas. I’m so excited!” Katie finished her Health Coach training in late March. (It was postponed due to inclement weather.) She anxious to dive in and get going. “It’s the perfect next step in my career!”

To make an appointment with Katie Smith, RN call 641-464-4533.

Knowledge is power!

Katie RouthRinggold County Hospital and the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic are here for you when you’re sick, injured, and in need of quality health care. We’re also here for you when you’re not sick! We are your source for healthy living information and your partner in good health.

Katie Routh is happy to be back to her hometown of Mt. Ayr. A registered dietician, she works with Ringgold County Hospital patients both in and out of the hospital. While they’re in the hospital, she assesses their nutritional states and ensures that the food they’re eating is appropriate and assisting in their recovery. She takes a holistic view of her patients and recognizes that nutrition is an important part of the healing process. Her services are also available to outpatients and she works regularly with diabetics and those wanting to lose weight. “I enjoy helping people overcome their struggles,” she said. “It’s great being able to teach and show people that it’s possible.”

Health-CoachLeslie Dredge-Murphy is also helping Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic patients meet their healthy living goals. Her services are free to clinic patients and together they work to define individual success. Whether it’s weight loss, disease management, increased exercise capabilities, even quitting smoking, she is a coach and partner to help each patient meet their goals. “It’s all driven by our patients,” she said. “We can work on anything that’s holding them back from living a healthy life. We’re really promoting preventive care. It’s important to encourage healthier lifestyles.”

Walking is the easiest form of exercise to stay fit. It’s convenient because it can be done almost anywhere and anytime, whether you’re walking to class or down the street. In comparison to other exercise methods, walking puts less strain on the lower back and creates less stress on your joints such as your hips, knees, and ankles. Because it doesn’t require expensive equipment, walking is available to everyone. You can use your walking time as a social event and catch up with friends and family members. Along with physical benefits, walking can improve your mood, relieve stress, and alleviate depression.

Physical benefits of walking:

  • Aids in weight loss; burns body fat
  • Strengthens bones; reduces risks of bone fracture and lessens severity of osteoporosis
  • Strengthens heart and improves efficiency
  • Improves overall fitness
  • Lowers blood pressure; reduces cholesterol levels
  • Improves efficiency of lungs
  • Raises metabolism even while you rest
  • Helps control appetite
  • Increases energy

So don’t wait, get marching!

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