Healthcare Heroes: Dr. Kimberly M. Creach

Dr. Kimberly M. Creach shares about the patient who most impacted her.

by Jo Jolliff

Jul 2024

Dr. Kimberly M. Creach
Photo courtesy Dr. Kimberly M. CreachDr. Kimberly M. Creach is the Mercy Chub O’Reilly Cancer Center Springfield Radiation Oncology Winner for 2024.

Dr. Kimberly M. Creach

Mercy Chub O’Reilly Cancer Center Springfield Radiation Oncology Winner

Dr. Kimberly M. Creach felt like she didn’t give her best the first time she interacted with one particular patient at the end of her shift. “I got a phone call from a referring physician that said, ‘Hey, I know you’re not on call, but I have a patient here and his friend had you as his radiation oncologist and he’s requesting you,’” Dr. Creach says. “So, I’m looking at the clock thinking I wanted to leave because I had three small children at home and it had been a long week.”

But Dr. Creach made the decision to do the consultation despite the several hours it would take and learned the patient had a tumor affecting the collection of nerves controlling his arm and was no longer able to ride his Harley Davidson, his biggest passion in life, because his throttle hand was too weak. “He had stage four cancer that was going to take his life, but before it was taking his life it was taking away what he enjoyed in life,” she says.

After attending his first rounds of radiation, Dr. Creach bumped into him and with a big grin he informed her he rode his Harley to treatment that morning. “That changed the way I approached patients,” she says. “Anytime I find myself getting resentful for whatever reason whether I have to stay late or things aren’t going well, I remind myself these patients aren’t just patients, they’re people with families and hobbies and things they love and enjoy.”