PITTSBURG — Dr. Jessilyn Kmiec Humble may be one of the newest physicians to practice medicine at Via Christi Medical Center in Pittsburg, but she has deep local roots.
She is a 2004 graduate of Girard High School and a 2008 graduate of Pittsburg State University where she majored in biology with a minor in chemistry and physical science.
She returned to the area about three months ago after graduating from the University of Kansas School of Medicine and completing a three-year pediatric residency at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinic in 2015.
Her office is located at 2711 S. Rouse St., Suite E.
As far back as she can remember, Humble wanted to be a doctor.
"Both of my parents worked at a hospital, not as doctors, but I was exposed to medicine at an early age," Humble said.
Her desire to enter the field of medicine was cemented into a long term goal while attending Girard Middle School and Girard High School.
"While in middle school I took one of those personality profile modules," she said. "One of the suggested options that came back for me as a possible career was was being a doctor."
During her high school years Humble said Girard provided her with a positive and enriching experience. Among the Girard High School instructors she remembers most were her physics teacher, Steve Taylor; her gifted program sponsor, Linda Knoll; and Debra Brodbeck, who taught anatomy and physiology.
Taylor said he enjoyed having Humble in his class.
"She was determined, confident and very intelligent," Taylor said.
But she also was a teenager and liked to have fun.
"I also remember her being a little ornery, in a good way, and a lot of fun to have as a student," he said.
Brodbeck, who retired in 2015, said she vividly remembers Humble.
"Jessilyn was extremely motivated and determined," Brodbeck said. "She always had her eye on the target" of getting into med school to reach her dream of becoming a doctor.
"There was never a question in my mind that she would achieve her goals. That didn't keep her from being involved in other school activities and of being well rounded but she was a very hard worker."
Humble said Knoll was a guiding force throughout high school.
"She would have us write out our goals and then have us focus on what we needed to do to reach those goals," she said. Which helped provide Humble with the focus she needed to not only excel in high school but to keep that focus in her college years at Pitt State and on into medical school and her residency.
Knoll said in addition to Humble being an outstanding student in high school, she also showed empathy toward others at that early age.
"She is a young woman you never forget," Knoll said. "Jessilyn was the ‘consummate student.’ She exhibited outstanding potential in all areas of academic endeavor, carrying a 4.0 GPA, was a member of the National Honor Society, and could have chosen any career field but becoming a doctor was her lifetime goal."
Knoll said in her opinion, Humble has all the attributes of becoming an outstanding doctor — knowledge, integrity, character and kindness.
"She exhibited high interest in helping and working with people even as a teenager," Knoll said. "She was also willing to stand up for ethical and moral issues that are important to her in the assistance of others."
That degree of caring and of being focused paid off for Humble in her years as a pediatric resident. Those were especially challenging times with long days, months with as few as four days off and lots of intense focus on learning how to best treat childhood illness and injuries.
"There were times we went as long as 28 hours on duty without sleep," Humble said.
Among the many other activities she has been involved in for years is dance. During her college days at Pitt State Humble worked with students through Jody Phillips Dance Company in Pittsburg.
Those years helped confirm her desire to go into pediatric medicine.
"I've loved working with children," she said. "I just love that age group. They're so energetic and excited."
Humble is married to her high school sweetheart, Nicholas Humble. He attended and graduated from St. Mary's Colgan High School and the two dated in high school.
Today the couple has three children — boys in the sixth grade, second grade and a son who is 15 months old.
Humble said while juggling the roles of doctor, wife, community member and mother is a challenge, the backing of her husband, parents and in-laws has made the job easier.
"I have a very supportive family and that makes a big difference," she said.
Nick Humble worked for Crossland Construction while she was completing medical training in Kansas City and was able to transfer with the company to Crawford County when the couple moved back to their home area.
"We're very glad to be back in Pittsburg and the Girard area — this is home," she said.
Throughout her academic career Humble rolled up a variety of distinctions, including the Golden Gorilla Award and the Outstanding Senior Female Top Ten Nomination.
She also received the Scholars in Rural Health award during her pre-medical school days; the Dr. Louise DeSchweinitz Award in 2012 for being the most outstanding performance in her graduating class on the clinical rotation in Pediatrics at University of Kansas School of Medicine.
During her residency at Children's Mercy Hospital, Humble received the Extraordinary Every Time Award in 2013 from the hospital's nursing staff for "excellent patient care and nurse communication."
— Mike Elswick is a staff writer for The Morning Sun. He can be emailed at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @ mike_elswick.