(Town Crier photo/Nan Snider)
"We are so pleased to have Kristi back with us in Lake City," Mayor Jerry Bowman said. "She grew up here and has chosen to open her family practice clinic here. Needless to say, we are very proud of her."
Statler graduated from Lake City High School in 1991 and went on to graduate from Vanderbuilt University in 1995. She graduated from medical school at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock, in 2002. She completed her residency at Area Health Education Center (AHEC) in Jonesboro and joined the NEA Clinic team, opening her clinic in Lake City in August.
The NEA Clinic in Jonesboro is the largest physician-owned multi-speciality group in the Mid-South, with 24 specialities within its 16 clinic facility chain. NEA Clinic was founded in 1977 and has grown into a dynamic healthcare industry with 467 employees.
The newest clinical sites include Blytheville, Lake City, Late Night Urgent Care, dialysis clinic, physical therapy, and new corporate offices.
Dr. Statler and her husband Todd make their home in Jonesboro, in between their two areas of work, Lake City and Egypt. Mr. Statler is actively involved in a family farming operation, which specializes in growing rice.
"When I finished my residency, I seriously looked at joining the NEA Clinic team," Dr. Statler said. "When the opportunity to come home to Lake City became an option, I quickly jumped at the chance to do so. We opened our office here on Aug. 1. I have had many friends, former classmates and relatives come by the office to wish me well. The city and other businesses have also been supportive.
"I am very happy to be here, and am looking forward to serving the people in this area."
"I want to encourage people to drop by Kristi's office and get reacquainted with her," Bowman said. "We have needed a doctor here to meet the needs of our people, and I can't think of anyone better than Kristi," Mayor Bowman said.
Dr. Statler's parents, Fred and Pat Qualls, live in close proximity to the new NEA Clinic, and like most parents, are very pleased to have their daughter working in Lake City.
Sarah Miller and Elizabeth Morgan work for Dr. Statler at the new clinic on Cobean Avenue. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8:30 a.m. until noon on Friday. The telephone number is 237-4100. A new health information website,www.neahealth.com, will be launched soon.
A reception for Dr. Statler was held at city hall following the ribbon cutting. It was standing room only as friends, business associates and family joined in the celebration.