There’s no doubt about it, Sara Openshaw has local connections.
Sara grew up on a dairy farm outside of Mountain Grove. She was a Walker, before she married her husband, Nick, also from the area with Wright and Texas County family connections.
“I know what it’s like to get up every morning and get the cows to the barn to be milked,” Sara Openshaw, explains with a smile. She doesn’t miss the work required to run a dairy farm, and that’s partially how she ended up in the healthcare field.
“I knew I wanted to go to college and get a degree to do something besides working on the farm,” Openshaw said.
A high school experience with a local nurse practitioner piqued Openshaw’s interest in providing healthcare to others.
Openshaw wanted to get a college degree but not be too far from home, so she obtained her associates degree in nursing through Missouri State University-West Plains campus, followed up by a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Missouri State University in Springfield.
While going to school, Sara worked as a nurse in the obstetrics unit at Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains and later as nurse for Intrepid USA, a home health agency. Sara also served a stint as a clinical instructor for Texas County Technical College, teaching the obstetrics and gynecology course.
“I loved my time as nurse, but I wanted to do more one on one patient care in my community,” Openshaw said.
Maryville University’s family nurse practitioner program seemed to be the perfect fit for Sara, providing her with the opportunity to obtain an advanced nursing degree without having to be too far from home.
“My home health job provided me with the flexibility I needed to do clinical rotations for my nurse practitioner degree,” Openshaw explained. Openshaw was also able to do her clinical rotations in locations not too far from home, including at Texas County Memorial Hospital.
For a full-time position after graduation, Openshaw sought a local job.
“I wanted to provide healthcare for the people in my community,” Openshaw said, explaining that she hoped to find a job within a 30-mile radius of Mountain Grove.
Finally, after several years of school and working as a nurse in the healthcare field, Openshaw’s dream has come true. She took the full-time family nurse practitioner position at the TCMH Mountain Grove Clinic because the location was close to home and long-term employment opportunities with TCMH “seemed very positive”.
Openshaw is passionate about providing care to her friends and neighbors in rural America. “I believe that everyone deserves to be treated with respect, and I believe they should have access to the care they need,” Openshaw said.
As a family nurse practitioner, Openshaw sees patients of all ages—from birth through the end of life. Openshaw currently collaborates with Dr. William Wright, a family medicine physician that sees patients at the TCMH Mountain Grove Clinic and the TCMH Medical Complex in Houston.
Tracey Arwood, a certified nurse midwife, also sees patients, including OB patients, at the Mountain Grove Clinic. Next summer, Cory Offutt, MD, a family medicine and obstetrics physicians will also see patients at the clinic.
“I hope that together we can grow the clinic practice,” Openshaw said.
Through the TCMH Mountain Grove Clinic, Openshaw is able to provide vaccines for children, routine diagnostic services through the laboratory and X-ray unit, as well as low-cost prescriptions for uninsured patients through the 340b prescription drug plan available to patients with a TCMH healthcare provider.
Openshaw sees patients Monday through Friday, and if scheduling allows, she will see patients on a same-day basis, too.
When Openshaw isn’t working, you will find her spending time with her husband and their almost two-year old son, Camden. Nick Openshaw is a math teacher at Mountain Grove high school, and he’s the assistant high school basketball and baseball coach.
“I try to attend all of Nick’s games, so that keeps us pretty busy,” Openshaw said.
The Openshaw’s have a farm and some beef cattle, but Sara’s opposed to owning any cattle that require milking twice a day. “I put my foot down about dairy cattle,” she said with a laugh.
With her new career as a family nurse practitioner, Openshaw is excited to finally have her name and her credentials on a clinic door in her hometown.
“This is what I’ve always wanted to do,” Openshaw said.
For additional information to make an appointment with Openshaw, contact the TCMH Mountain Grove Clinic at (417) 926-1770.