Please tell us about your current professional position, its responsibilities, and your accomplishments, as an individual and team.
I am a board-certified pediatrician, and I have been practicing in the North County St. Louis community since 2002. I help serve the health care needs of children from birth to age 18 years old. I currently work for SSM Health Medical Group at the new Cardinal Glennon Pediatric Outpatient Center located in Ferguson. Prior to joining SSM Health Medical Group, I was self-employed as co-owner of Rainbow Pediatrics.
I am also an instructor of Clinical Pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine, where I serve as a preceptor for the Community Outpatient Practice Experience (COPE), a program in which I instruct and supervise medical residents in my North County office. I was also was involved as a collaborator with Washington University School of Medicine in a clinical study that had an aim to help improve the clinical treatment of African-American children with asthma.
I am a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, National Medical Association, Mound City Medical Forum (vice president), and the St. Louis Metropolitan Medical Society.
I also serves on several physician committees, including the SSM Health Medical Group Pediatric Service Center Advisory Board, the SSM Health Medical Group Pediatric Leadership Council, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (Missouri Chapter) Gun Safety Work Group.
Why you get up and go to work every day? What motivates you?
My biggest motivation for what I do on a daily basis is my patients – it is the relationships that form over the years between myself and my patients and patient families that I serve. Having worked in the same office for 18 years, I have had the pleasure of taking care of children from the time they were newborns until the age of 18. In addition, some of the teens that I saw when I first started 18 years ago are now parents themselves, and they now bring their children to my office. I have known many of the families for so long that I feel that they are a part of my own family.
Is there anything about your education you would like to emphasize?
I graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Washington University in St. Louis. I then entered medical school and graduated from Saint Louis University School of Medicine, after which, I completed my residency at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine’s Pediatrics Residency Program.
Please tell us about any important mentors or leaders who guided you.
I feel that my biggest mentors were my parents. As long as I can remember, they set a standard of excellence for myself and my sisters. They always expressed the importance of education. It was expected that my sisters and I would work hard in school, get good grades, and go to college. With that expectation, combined with their nurturing and guidance, we all rose to the occasion. My parents have continued to motivate and support me throughout my life, and I am forever grateful for the wonderful parents that God has blessed me with.
Please tell us about any personal or family matters you would like to share.
In order to be successful, I think it is so important to have a support system around you. After I moved from Central Illinois back to St. Louis, all of my immediate family also moved to the St. Louis metropolitan area. We are a close-knit family, and having them near has been a great asset.
In addition, St. Louis is the place where I met and married my new husband, Dr. Otha Myles. I have been married for one year, and I now have two wonderful daughters.
With an aim to serve the community, I have organized numerous health fairs along with blood and bone marrow drives. In addition, I have volunteered numerous times as a speaker to educate students, particularly African-American students, about my career path in order to inspire these students to pursue careers in science.
We are consciously local, so any comments about St. Louis as a place to live and work are welcome.
After completing my residency in Springfield, Illinois, I knew that I wanted to return to St. Louis to live and to serve the awesome residents of this city. I particularly enjoy working in North County. I feel that North County is the perfect location for a pediatrics practice due to the diversity of the area. Our patients are from all races, cultures, and backgrounds, and I enjoy treating each person with the best medical care possible.
I believe St. Louis is a great place to live and work. There are so many opportunities to attend concerts, theatrical plays and other cultural events, and the amount of free attractions and activities such as the Zoo and Science Center are virtually unheard of in other major metropolitan cities.