Kelly was called to help others at the young age of 16 when she became a medical assistant. She then became a Registered Nurse at Moline Lutheran Nursing School in 1987. Kelly also earned her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Grand Canyon University in 2001 and her graduate degree to become a Family Nursing Practitioner from Arizona State University in 2006,
Kelly has been in the medical field for 31 years; her goal is to make a difference in others' lives and to show them their lives are worth living.
She has been a Family Nurse Practitioner for 12 years and is currently working at a family practice /telemedicine clinic where daily, the staff deal with individuals concerning mental health and addiction. Kelly is now licensed in over 40 states,
Psychiatric mental health has always been Kelly's passion. She has a huge heart for those dealing with any type of mental health disorder, especially addiction. Working at the level where passion meets compassion is her mission.
"I have discovered when I tell my story, I find that almost everyone has had a family member or friend who has been seriously impacted or afflicted with this horrific disease," Kelly says.
Her son, now 27, has been battling the disease of addiction for over 10 years. Kelly says, "This disease shows no mercy, I almost lost him to a heroin overdose in March of 2015, but by the grace of God, he was saved."
Kelly has attended many PALS meetings, many conferences on mental health and the disease, and has also seen some of the best addiction specialists speak. She has immersed herself in this journey.
Her passion now is to help those who are dealing with addiction, whether it be by going to the stakeholders, the parent, or the individual. She believes we must learn more fro'm what has been tried in the fight against addiction and isn't working, and that we must figure out a way to get the word out about this disease in order to save the more than 174 people we are losing daily.
Kelly is seriously thinking of going into addiction medicine where she can prescribe suboxone and help with behavioral counseling therapy; in the meantime, she wants to make a difference in some way that may impact even one person in dealing with this awful disease.
"We have to get to the bottom of the individual's reason for self-medicating, and most times it seems to be trauma. We have to find a better way to help people with addiction. The treatment must look at the underlying trauma, but include the spiritual aspect as well; I believe God is missing in so many peoples' lives and this is impacting our world," Kelly says.