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New NP joins local practice

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There’s a new team member in Dr. Donald Gronbeck’s medical practice at YS Primary Care. Nurse practitioner Sarah Teegarden isn’t a completely new face in the office, however.

“I did my last clinicals here,” Teegarden said of the three months she spent in residence at the practice, before she graduated in August with her master’s of science in nursing degree from Cedarville University.

The positive impact of her presence this summer and a waiting list of patients seeking care prompted Gronbeck to offer Teegarden a new, permanent position on his staff.

She started in mid-October and is finishing her fourth week. She’s part of a team that includes three LPNs, a medical assistant and a billing and records manager.
As a nurse practitioner, Teegarden is licensed to see, diagnose and treat patients, including the prescribing of medication. “I can do pretty much everything a doctor does, but surgery,” she said. In many states, nurse practitioners can work as an independent care provider, but Ohio requires NPs to work in association with a doctor. Teegarden said that she appreciates the collaboration and oversight, however, especially as she builds her own patient base.

“I work closely with Dr. Gronbeck,” she said. In addition to developing new patient relationships, Teegarden also responds to urgent cases that arise.

Her specialty, like Gronbeck’s, is family medicine.

They have office hours Monday through Friday as well as the first Saturday each month. They also see patients at Friends Care Center and Soin Medical Center. “Dr. Gronbeck is the only family doctor with admitting privileges to Soin,” she said.
Teegarden said she was drawn to family practice because she can form long-term relationships with patients. “It’s not just episodic care.”

An Oakwood High School graduate, she got a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Wright State University before returning to Wright State for a second bachelor’s in nursing. “I originally wanted to do pharmacy,” she said, “but I wanted to interact more with patients.”

After working for a time as a home-health nurse, “I felt I could do more for patients if I learned more, so I went for a master’s.”

The last few months have been big for Teegarden, who is 34. In addition to getting her master’s in August and joining YS Primary Care in October, she got married in September. She and her husband, Ben Stevens, live with two cats in Beavercreek. (She also has a horse, RJ, that she boards in Waynesville.) The couple met in the program at Cedarville; he has another seven months before he’s done.

Teegarden said she’s happy to be working in Yellow Springs. Her mother, an occupational therapist, used to bring her and her sister to the village to visit and hike in Glen Helen when they were children. As a Wright State nursing student, Teegarden wrote a 36-page paper based on work with students at Mills Lawn. She said the village’s size, neighborliness, community pride and school engagement reminds her of growing up in Oakwood.

She said she is especially happy to be at YS Primary Care. “Our staff is really, really good. It’s a family environment. They know each patient. They don’t have to look up names — they know who’s calling.”


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