Note: At its Dec. 6 Women in Business Breakfast, the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce named twelve Women of Distinction for 2020. In recognition of their achievements, the Morning Sun will be publishing profiles of each Woman of Distinction.

Dr. Mindi Garner grew up in Parsons before attending Pittsburg State University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry. She went on to Oklahoma State University for medical school. After completing her residency at the University of Tennessee in Memphis, Garner returned to southeast Kansas.

“I came back after many years of training,” she said, adding that it was one of the best decisions she has made in her career.

“I feel a lot of community support here,” Garner said. “I just feel I can give back to the community that helped me start my career.”

More recently, Garner earned a Master of Business Administration degree from PSU in 2017.

Garner has now operated her main medical office in Pittsburg for 16 years, with a satellite clinic in Girard. She also works with a wide range of area healthcare organizations including Ascension Via Christi, Girard Medical Center, Premier Surgical Institute in Galena, and Kansas City University-Joplin medical school.

She is also active in many community organizations, including the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce, Girard Area Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Pittsburg Revitalization Committee and Children’s Advocacy Center.

Dr. Garner also works closely with pre-med students in the area through “Premeds with Promise,” a program she started shortly after opening her clinic, which employs PSU pre-med students, giving them valuable experience by employing them as medical assistants.

“There’s been over 90 students that have completed that program that are in medical school, residency or private practice now,” Garner said.

Garner also employs PSU business majors at her office and clinic through her “Bizofmed Professionals” program, giving them experience working in billing, office management, or other positions on the business side of the medical profession.

Despite the wide range of achievements she has had in her career and the contributions she has made to the communities she works in, Garner said it was humbling to hear she was being named as a 2020 Woman of Distinction.

“Many women have been awarded this that I think a great deal of, and a lot of them are my mentors,” Garner said, “and just to be part of that group, I’m thrilled and humbled.”