Wednesday, October 22, 2014

New doc impressed with Ottawa

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer | 8/15/2014

A one-time college basketball player at Baker University has found a new team in Internal Medicine Associates of Ottawa.

Dr. Charisse Symmonds has been seeing patients since late July at the internal medicine office in Suite 4 of the Franklin County Office Annex, 1428 S. Main St., Ottawa. She is affiliated with nearby Ransom Memorial Hospital, 1301 S. Main St.

A one-time college basketball player at Baker University has found a new team in Internal Medicine Associates of Ottawa.

Dr. Charisse Symmonds has been seeing patients since late July at the internal medicine office in Suite 4 of the Franklin County Office Annex, 1428 S. Main St., Ottawa. She is affiliated with nearby Ransom Memorial Hospital, 1301 S. Main St.

“I am very impressed with the hospital, and the staff has been very welcoming and friendly,” Symmonds, 31, said. “I think it’s been a positive experience for everybody — patients and families.”

Symmonds has found that some of her new patients wanted to stay in Ottawa for their medical care rather than drive to Lawrence or Kansas City, she said. Symmonds thinks Ransom Memorial Hospital, with its recent facility renovations and expansion of equipment and services, is well positioned to meet the area’s needs, she said.

Growing up north of Emporia in a house that had been in her father’s family for five generations, Symmonds graduated from Northern Heights High School near Emporia. The six-foot, one-inch tall basketball center/forward then joined the Baker University women’s basketball team for one year in Baldwin City. Deciding it was too much to try and play basketball and complete a dual major in biology and chemistry, Symmonds finished her undergraduate work at Emporia State University, she said.

She earned her medical doctorate at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences and did her residency at Northside Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla., where she was the chief resident her final year.

Symmonds was approached by Larry Felix, former chief executive officer of Ransom Memorial Hospital who retired earlier this year, about settling in Ottawa, she said.

“I wanted to move back to Kansas to be close to family,” Symmonds said. “I contemplated going back to Emporia, but I liked Ottawa and the area and it’s close to family and friends.”

Symmonds and her husband, Clint Arndt, recently purchased a house outside Ottawa.

“We are officially Franklin Countians now,” she said.

A general practitioner in internal medicine, Symmonds provides such services as wellness exams for men and women, treatment of high blood pressure and diabetes, screenings for cancer, stroke and heart attack and a variety of other medical services with her emphasis being in adult medicine.

In her spare time, Symmonds enjoys photography and participating in recreational sports.

The book “Think Big,” by Dr. Ben Carson, then with John Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, inspired Symmonds to enter the medical profession.

“I read his book in fifth grade and it really left an impression on me,” Symmonds said. “I wanted to be just like him.”

Symmonds is glad she followed that path into the medical field, she said.

“I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

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