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‘Super’ additions to the medical team

Tallgrass Creek welcomes two new health care experts

Created date

December 19th, 2014
doctor with a resident

Dr. John Saxer, Creek’s new, full-time physician, may seem familiar to some of his patients. He has been named a Kansas City “Super Doctor” for several years by KC Magazine

The popular publication selects its honorees each year by asking area physicians in different specialties who they would choose if they needed medical care. When the votes were tallied, Saxer consistently made the list in the family practitioner category. 

Saxer joined Dr. Austin Welsh, Tallgrass Creek medical director, in September. Since then, he has been meeting residents, including those moving into Meadowlark Terrace, Tallgrass Creek’s new residence building. 

First impression

The two physicians initially got acquainted during a telephone conversation about one of Welsh’s current patients who was previously under Saxer’s care in a former practice.

“I was immediately impressed with the thoroughness and knowledge Dr. Welsh exhibited about his patient,” says Saxer. “Over time, as we talked about a potential position at Tallgrass Creek, I knew he and I shared the same medical philosophy, and he was the sort of person I wanted to work with.” 

Welsh is equally positive about the newest member of the Tallgrass Creek medical staff.  

“Dr. Saxer has years of experience in South Johnson County, and the many specialists he has worked with hold him in the highest regard,” says Welsh. “He has a loyal following of patients, including several who live at Tallgrass Creek and are delighted to have him as their primary care physician.”

Saxer will employ the full range of skills as a family medicine physician. 

Experience counts

Saxer comes to Tallgrass Creek with a wealth of medical experience. Before joining Tallgrass Creek’s medical staff, he was in practice at Cerner’s Children’s Mercy Wellness Center. Prior to that, he practiced for 25 years with Leawood Family Physicians, a general medical practice close to Tallgrass Creek.  

“I’ve practiced the full spectrum of medicine, from delivering babies to caring for seniors and everything in between,” he says. 

A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Saxer attended medical school at Loyola University in Chicago. After graduating, he came to Kansas City’s Baptist-Lutheran Medical Center for his residency. He began practicing family medicine a week after his residency ended. 

Saxer and his wife Susan live in Overland Park and are proud parents of five daughters and a new baby granddaughter. 

For Saxer, practicing medicine at Tallgrass Creek represents a new challenge in a unique environment. 

“I’m very glad to be here,” he says. The work is stimulating, and the residents couldn’t be nicer. It’s a great place to practice medicine.”  

Another new face

Another new face in the Tallgrass Creek medical center is Shelly Duke, a family nurse practitioner who joined the staff this summer. Duke received her master’s in nursing at the University of Kansas and has been practicing since 1990. In addition to working in a local clinic, Duke was most recently a nurse practitioner at a Walgreens health care clinic.

“Working as a nurse practitioner in the retail environment allows you to see an array of problems, and I’m glad I did it,” says Duke. “But at Tallgrass Creek, I’m able to have ongoing relationships with my patients. It is more challenging for me, personally, to treat the whole person while developing those relationships.”

Duke and her husband Jim have three sons. Duke enjoys being outdoors, particularly gardening, swimming, and attending her sons’ soccer and baseball games. Like Saxer, she finds her new environment uplifting.

“The two doctors I work with are excellent, the residents are delightful, the surroundings are modern and pretty, and there’s just a very positive feel,” says Duke. “It’s a great place to be.”