The timing was right to add a physician to a local family practice.

Dr. Genna Siemons was looking to begin her practice after recently finishing her residency. Denise McPheron, Ottawa Family Physicians administrator, said the OFP doctors seized an opportunity to corral a young physician.

“We were not looking at the time,” McPheron said. “The doctors had a real good feel for her. We can always use another provider in the office. There is always room for another female.”

Siemons officially starts with Ottawa Family Physicians, 1418 S. Main St., Suite 5, on Sept. 1. She said the OFP physicians’ longevity was impressive.

“I like how long everyone has been here,” she said. “It says a lot about the group when everyone comes and never leaves. It means something is working.”

This will be Dr. Siemons’ first official practice.

“I felt like I got great training,” Siemons, who spent the past three years finishing her residency at Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri, said. “Dr. [Ellen] Sinclair and Dr. [John] Gollier had gone through [the same] residency program.”

Family medicine was intriguing to her for several reasons.

“I like [building] a relationship with my patients,” she said. “I like taking care of kids. This way, you get to follow people. There is enough variety. Every day is a little different. You don’t have to nail yourself down into one thing. I am excited to meet all the families and patients.”

McPheron said the timing of adding a female physician to the practice could not have been better with the recent opening of the urgent care clinic inside Price Chopper, 120 E. 19th St., Ottawa, and the expansion of Ransom Memorial Hospital’s emergency room, 1301 S. Main St., Ottawa.

“We are seeing a lot of new patients out there [at the clinic],” McPheron said. “The hope is to get the new patients established with her. Capture those people and keep them here in town.”

McPheron said having another female physician also could draw former patients back into the fold.

“We are hoping to get more of the female population back,” she said. “A lot of people are going out of town.”

McPheron said OFP is scheduling appointments for Siemons.

“We are ready for her to start,” McPheron said. “Call the office and we will get the schedule going.”

Siemons is eager to meet perspective patients, especially mothers expecting babies, she said.

“It would be ideal,” Siemons said. “They say your ‘practice ages with you.’ I love delivering babies and OBG [Obstetrics and Gynecology] care. I like all of it.”

Siemons likes the idea of being in the same group with veteran physicians.

“I had no reservations coming down here,” she said. “We really like the town and the group. We thought it would be a good place to start.”

The physician lives in Ottawa with her husband, T.J., who is an architect in Kansas City. Siemons said the lure of small community life drew them to Ottawa.

“My husband and I grew up in smaller towns,” Siemens said. “We wanted to get back to a smaller town. We wanted a place close to Kansas City so he could keep working his job. We ventured out this way. [Ottawa] has a lot of charm...the older houses and buildings and the proximity to Lawrence and Kansas City. You get that smaller town [feel], but not far [from the bigger cities].”

DR. CHRISTOPHER KOSTER

Dr. Christopher Koster will make history when he comes to town Nov. 1 as Ottawa’s first pediatrician.

“I am very excited to bring pediatrics to Ottawa,” he said Wednesday at the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce’s new educator/health professionals luncheon at Sunflower Elementary, 1325 Falcon Way, Ottawa. “I have a fair amount of experience with both outpatient and inpatient care. I am really excited to get the opportunity to help a community that has not had pediatrics before.”

Koster grew up in Great Bend and practiced in Lawrence with his father-in-law. He has worked at Lawrence Memorial Hospital for the past few years in pediatrics. Ottawa is similar to his hometown, and that was a big drawing card for him.

“This is the size of town I started in and what made me want to do pediatrics,” he said. “To be getting back to that is exciting for me. It feels like home to me.”

Koster’s office will be in the Franklin County Office Annex, Suite 3. Koster has connections to Ransom Memorial Hospital. He knew Matt Heyn, RMH’s chief executive officer, from Great Bend. Koster said his father, Larry, works in the RMH lab.

“It will be fun to work with him again,” Koster said. “I am really excited about what’s happening at Ransom Memorial. There is lots of progress. It will be fun to be a part of that.”

Koster can’t wait to start taking care of children one-on-one and getting to know their families, he said.

“I will take care of children from birth to 18,” Koster said. “It is managing their healthcare. It is my job to be the medical home for kids. I will take care of everything from ear infections, flu to sports physicals.”

He is married with two daughters.

Other new health officials introduced at the luncheon included Heath Wilt, cardiology; Laura Badjalimbe, internal medicine; Leonel Martinez, cardiology; Bob Green, cardiovascular; Leonel Martinez, ear, nose and throat; Sara Cunningham, Ottawa Care Clinic; Lisa Kerley and Lisa McDaniel, advanced practical nurse, Ottawa Family Physicians.