By Kathryn Rice

“Taking the time to care” is the motto of The Care Clinic owned by Leslie Luke.

The clinic is manned by Luke, a board certified family nurse practitioner, Carla Schneider, who does billing, coding and the front office, and Luke’s daughter, Hannah Tucker, a part-time receptionist.

The clinic’s clientele ranges from babies, children and adults. Luke’s oldest patient is 97.

The services provided include well-woman exams; well-child exams of all ages including school and sports physicals; chronic illness: diabetes, hypertension, asthma, fibromyalgia and depression care; acute illness: sore throat, earaches, respiratory problems; preventative care: immunizations, birth control counseling, STD testing; medical grade microdermabrasion, which helps remove lines and age spots; laser hair removal, hormone replacement and weight loss techniques.

Luke has owned the clinic since December 2006 and has been in the current location since January 2008. Luke has been a family nurse practitioner since 2000.

Luke’s journey in the medical profession began when she worked as an aid through high school at a small county hospital. She attended school to become a medical assistant. Then decided to attend nursing school.

She worked as a women’s health practitioner at Family Guidance in St. Joe. The desire to treat whoever walked in the door, led her to attend UMKC to become a nurse practitioner for family practice. She worked in Bethany at a rural health clinic, then with Dr. Susan Watson at her Comprehensive Health Clinic in Maryville. When Watson returned to working at St. Francis Hospital, Luke struck out on her own.

Dr. John Symonds is her collaborating physician.

Luke can prescribe most medicines except for some of the controlled substance pain medications.

“I like to have the patient involved in their treatment plan,” Luke said. “I enjoy my work. I like getting to know people, about their families and their lives.

“I like to laugh and ‘laughter is the best medicine,’” Luke said. “And it is important to laugh every day.

“My patients will say I take time to listen,” Luke said. “Sometimes this is the most important step in their treatment.”

The Care Clinic is located at 106 West Edwards, Maryville. The clinic’s hours are 9 am to 6 pm, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.