Whether she’s riding motorcycles with her husband, enjoying a roller coaster with her daughter or keeping others well as a chiropractor, Kimberly Smith-Howard stays busy.
But Kimberly still makes time to visit Wellstar Spalding Regional Hospital for her regular screenings like mammograms — and says she has made health and wellness a priority since her breast cancer diagnosis in 2006.
Kimberly, who has lived in the Griffin area since high school, had just turned 40. She saw her gynecologist for her annual checkup and got her first mammogram. It came back abnormal, and so did her Pap smear. She was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer and cervical pre-cancer.
Kimberly said maintaining a positive attitude helped her through treatment, and she was encouraged along the way by a team of experts.
“When people are going through such a bad time, and they’re not feeling well, it really means so much to have healthcare professionals who are concerned as much about your mental health as they are your physical health,” Kimberly said. “They’re not just there to do a job, get through the day and go home. They’re there to really encourage the patient and make them feel better physically and mentally.”
After chemotherapy, radiation, a lumpectomy and a hysterectomy, Kimberly has stayed healthy for 15 years. Her diagnosis renewed her focus on her own wellness, and she decided to enter the healthcare field herself. In 2011, she went back to school, earning a bachelor’s degree in health coaching and later her chiropractic degree from Life University. Now, she is working on a master’s degree in positive psychology.
Kimberly still goes to Wellstar Spalding Regional Hospital for care.
“I’ve always had the most compassionate nurses and the most competent doctors. Everybody has always treated me really well,” she said.
That care she relies on is convenient as well, she added.
“I love being close to home. I love that I have a hospital that does such a great job that’s right at my back door,” Kimberly said.
She encourages women to make time for health screenings and seek care if something seems wrong.
“Always do your routine check-ups and take care of yourself. Know your body,” she recommends.
To schedule a mammogram, call (678) 581-5900.