New pediatricians ready to begin seeing patients at Natchez office

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 22, 2000

Pediatricians Kimberly Cadle and Jennifer Russ are ready to take care of the next couple generations of Natchez residents.

&uot;We’d love to be in practice here for 20 years and have the experience of taking care of all of the kids in a family and then start taking care of their kids,&uot; said Cadle, whose practice with Russ opens July 31.

Cadle, who was born in Hattiesburg and raised in Russellville, Ark., met Alexandria, La., native Russ when both were residents at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock.

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Cadle, always interested in science, decided in high school she wanted to be a physician and in med school that she wanted focus on pediatrics. Russ knew from the time she was a child she wanted to be a &uot;baby doctor.&uot;

Russ’s husband is a Natchez native, and she knew she would be moving back with him to begin her practice.

So when they were residents she tried to convince Cadle she needed to go into practice with her. Cadle had attended Pilgrimage with her parents, so she was no stranger to Natchez either.

&uot;I can remember thinking in high school this might be a nice place to live,&uot; Cadle said.

Russ’s husband spent three years researching the need for a pediatric practice in Natchez, and the new doctors began setting up their office this month.

Located in the basement of the Ob/Gyn Clinic at 136 Jefferson Davis Blvd., the office is shaping up to be an appealing place for youngsters, with murals of bright ice cream cones and baskets of cherries on the walls. The paintings, by local artist Erin Meyer, are meant to remind patients of the games &uot;Hi-Ho Cherrio&uot; and &uot;Candyland.&uot;

Russ and Cadle are already taking appointments. Even their competition — other pediatricians — have been welcoming them to Natchez, they said.

Not that Cadle and Russ aren’t apprehensive about their new practice.

&uot;Most physicians, when they finish school, go into an established practice,&uot; Cadle said.

But Cadle and Russ are enjoying the ability to make their own decisions.

Cadle and Russ said they want to continue the tradition of strong patient relationships other Natchez pediatricians have developed.

&uot;My husband went to Dr. (John) Coffey and Dr. (Don) Killelea,&uot; Russ said. &uot;When they retired, people wondered what they were going to do.&uot;

&uot;You develop a bond with your pediatrician,&uot; Cadle said. &uot;It doesn’t have to be a medical problem.&uot;

When she was in medical school, Cadle said, half of the problems she saw in patients were not related to physical ills.

&uot;Pediatricians can have such a huge impact, not only on physical health but social and emotional well-being,&uot; Cadle said.

&uot;You don’t just have the patient,&uot; Russ said. &uot;You have the parent. You’re taking care of the family, too.&uot;