After more than four decades of caring for and treating patients, Perry Smith, MD, is taking down his family-physician shingle and looking forward to enjoying more time with his family and tinkering with his hobbies.
Dr. Smith’s last day at The University of Kansas Health System Family Medicine was July 14. A new family physician will join the team in October.
“From the beginning, I knew I wanted to be in family medicine,” said Dr. Smith, an Inman native. “I had good family practice physicians when I was growing up. This is what I wanted to do. I enjoy my work, but it is time to take a step back.”
Family medicine physicians care for people with all types of conditions, he said. “The team is focused on coordination with families and sometimes other healthcare professionals, including specialists, when needed.”
“Some of my patients have never had another doctor,” he continued. “I delivered them, their kids and their grandkids. In several instances, I have cared for fourth and fifth generations.”
Dr. Smith is well aware he will miss these patients and his co-workers. But he also is eager to spend time with his grandchildren and dabble in his hobbies.
“I will miss being around people. I have been seeing 30-plus patients a day and have built relationships with many of them,” he said. “I also will miss interacting with this great staff and my family medicine partners.”
With more time on his hands, Dr. Smith and his wife, Krista, hope to continue their travels. They have traveled extensively throughout the years and “will continue to do so now that we can start going places again.”
He also is eager to tinker with his restored Model A Ford and to put miles on his bicycle. Then there are the antique clocks he wants to learn more about.
“Krista probably has a few things in mind to do around the house. But mainly I will keep out of her way,” Dr. Smith laughed.
Daughter, Kelsey Sciacca, her husband, Adam, and their two children, Reid and Chase, live in Great Bend. Son and daughter-in-law, Mason and Amy, live in California with their son, Faris.
Past and future
Dr. Smith, a graduate of the University of Kansas School of Medicine, joined Tom Alderson, MD, and Jay Schukman, MD, in 1980. Alderson, Schukman and Smith later became Central Kansas Family Practice. Great Bend Regional Hospital then purchased the practice. In August 2018, the practice became part of The University of Kansas Health System, after the acquisition of Great Bend Regional Hospital by the health system.
Jeff Brozek, MD, joined Dr. Smith in 1987; the other partners had left. “Jeff and I didn’t know one another before this. He interviewed with me and it turned out to be the best partnership I could have ever had. I couldn’t have asked for anyone better than Jeff.”
Patients can be assured that the physicians, as well as the other practitioners, will always be available. “This is key to family medicine,” Dr. Smith said. “We want to be here at all times to treat people like they need to be treated. Someone is always on call after hours. My patients will be in good hands.”
In addition to Dr. Brozek, the team includes Charles Keener, MD, Teri Turkle-Huslig, MD, Jonathan Pike, MD, Gina Westhoff, physician assistant, and Elise Snapp, advanced practice registered nurse.
Dr. Smith was pleased to share that a new specialist will be joining the family medicine team in October. He added that this provider is already very familiar with the family medicine practice and the Great Bend community. Further information about this provider will be forthcoming from the health system this fall.