THOMSON - If there's one thing that can be said about Dr. Kelli Carter, it's that she cares.
"Life is not just about what we want, but it's also about what we give," she said.
Just last week, she opened up her own practice on Washington Road in Thomson across from Farmer's Furniture. Carter, who for seven years worked at Tricounty Health Systems in Crawfordville, is adamant that a doctor's primary concern should be for the care of their patients.
"I think everybody deserves a quality, competent physician who's going to not only provide them with medical care, but the love, support, and nurturing that they deserve," she said.
In Crawfordville, Dr. Carter said she didn't quite have the medical resources that she has now.
Photo by Elwood Hamilton
Dr. Kelli Carter recently opened her own medical practice on Washington Road in Thomson across from Farmers Furniture.
Photo by Elwood Hamilton
"We practiced some darn good medicine," she said. "But I didn't have X-rays, and I didn't have lab work. Our office was a double-wide trailer with a dirt parking lot."
To this point, her road through Thomson has not been easy.
In September, she went to work for Dr. Burton Barmore, who only four days after she arrived was arrested for Medicaid fraud and writing illegal prescriptions for the pain medication OxyContin. Burton subsequently pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 41 months in prison followed by three years of supervised probation and fined $15,000.
Carter was left with all of Barmore's patients.
"Rather than letting them go without a doctor, I stepped in and handled everything," she said. "They were my patients too. It was the right thing to do. It wasn't about the money."
Carter went on to say that she spent many 10- and 12-hour days helping everyone she could, sometimes even over the phone. Unfortunately, many in Barmore's office were without a job, including nurses and receptionists. Carter again, did what she thought was right.
She helped the five affected families financially, even though she still hasn't been paid since February.
"I don't forget people who are good to me," she said. "I will go to the ends of the Earth to help somebody."
They're all now reunited again under one roof as Family First Healthcare, and Carter is eager to start helping the community.
"I want to see good things for us, and good things for Thomson as well."
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.