Locals partner to open pediatric clinic in Brookhaven

Published 2:58 pm Thursday, December 28, 2023

BROOKHAVEN — Ole Brook Kids Pediatric Clinic Co-owners Kayla Thurman and Amber Martin hope to serve the community with their new business. Both are certified nurse practitioners. Martin has 24 years of pediatric experience and Thurman has 11 years of pediatric experience. 

The new pediatric clinic will open at 301-C US51 S, hopefully, by the end of January. The location can be found on Dr. Louie Wilkins Drive just south of Walgreens. 

For the last four or five years, Thurman and Martin have shared a small office space and worked closely together. Thurman said she saw ways to help the local community and an opportunity to fill a need for a purely pediatric clinic in Brookhaven. She shared her idea with Martin and they went in together to open up the practice. 

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“We would see so many patients who didn’t have any other places to go but didn’t need an emergency room or adult urgent care. We are pediatric trained and will offer something new,” Thurman said. “In the last year, it just came up. It was a God thing. It fell in place perfectly. We needed a physician to partner with us and my preacher recommended someone I used to know. Every piece has been put together. It is a huge leap of faith. Now our idea and dream is a reality.” 

Ole Brook Kids will be located in a former dentist office. Renovations have been mostly cosmetic and the once red brick exterior was painted now snow white. Martin said the building is owned by Hunter Posey who happened to have the perfect space for them. It all fell into place. 

The clinic will treat fevers, coughs, acute illnesses, minor injuries and simple wound repairs. Their mission statement states they understand illness and injuries don’t always happen between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will work to provide care outside of those hours. Martin said they plan to be open with longer hours during the week and be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Wellness visits, sports physicals and vaccinations will also be offered by the clinic. 

Thurman and Martin have practiced in Brookhaven long enough that Martin is confident they will have a client base to start. 

“The connections we have made have been remarkable. It has fallen in place. This is a community that is well connected with people excited to be a part of a small business,” Martin said. “We felt led. The support in the few things we have put out there has been humbling and amazing. We care about our patients and look to our work as service.” 

Thurman said they plan to be “Big enough to serve you and small enough to know you.” 

Careers of service

Thurman received her bachelors of science in nursing from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in 2012 and started her career in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at UMMC. She earned her masters of science in nursing from the University of Alabama Birmingham as a pediatric nurse practitioner in 2015. She is originally from Monticello. 

Her career took her to Blair E. Batson Children’s hospital to work in the Pediatric Emergency Department. Thurman’s husband is Dillon Thurman and they have three children Kinley, John Luke and Fisher Thurman. She is an active member of Grace Life Church in Brookhaven. Outside of nursing, she enjoys watching her children’s activities and spending time with family. 

Thurman’s interest in pediatrics began in middle school. She said in high school as soon as she got her driver’s license she would drive up to Jackson to volunteer at the children’s hospital. 

“Working with kids you take care of the whole family. You have a fulfillment and get to watch them grow. You are with them a while,” Thurman said. “I wanted to come back home and serve my own community. I had a dream of opening up my own clinic. I presented the idea to Martin and she said yes so here we are. We are trusting God and His will. He has worked it all out.”

One of the reasons she enjoys working with pediatrics is due to the resilience of kids. They tend to bounce back faster and children offer a challenge because they do not always fit the box. 

Martin graduated with a bachelors of science in nursing from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1999. She began her career working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at UMMC. In 2012, Martin continued her education and earned a masters of science in nursing from the University of South Alabama. She is originally from Gulfport. 

She is married to Brad Martin. Their children are Makayla, Mallory and Maddox. All three children have kept Martin busy with local activities and sports. They are active members of Calvary Baptist Church. 

Outside of nursing, Martin serves as an adjunct teacher for the Mississippi College nursing program. She teaches courses in registered nursing, the bachelors of science in nursing and masters of science in nursing programs. Her time at UMMC prepared her for pediatric medicine. 

“I always wanted to be a nurse and loved neonatal care. It all led to pediatrics. When my husband was in school in Georgia I worked at a hospital there. They encouraged me to go back to school to do this and I have loved it ever since,” Martin said. “It has been about connections with people. One door opens and then you step through it. You see children a lot. I had always thought about having my own pediatric clinic. It brings back your passion when you have ownership of it.”