After almost 29 years of providing medical care to residents of Fillmore County, Dr. Jakim, of the Preston Olmsted Medical Center, is ready to retire. Whether it’s a routine immunization, or treating injuries, many have become familiar with Dr. Jakim’s friendly face.
Dr. Stephanie Jakim is originally from Lima, a town in Ohio named after the capital of Peru. She grew up in a large family with seven brothers and sisters. She attended medical school at Ohio State, where she learned her valuable skill set. According to Dr. Jakim, one of the reasons she chose to get into the medical field was due to the lack of female representation. She worked to break the glass ceiling and serve as inspiration for the doctors and nurses of tomorrow. Dr. Jakim completed her three years of residency in Eau Claire Wis., in the eighties. During this time, she put to use everything she had learned at Ohio State into practice. Dr. Jakim’s hard work during her residency would pay off when she began her employment with Indian Health Services in northeast Arizona. Her work in Arizona spurred her interest in practicing family medicine. During her time there, she treated the Hopi and Navajo tribes, forging relationships that have lasted to this day. She was even adopted by a Hopi family and given a new Hopi name: Qotsavoli, which means White Butterfly. Dr. Jakim also met her husband Mike, with whom she just celebrated 34 happy years of marriage. She and Mike then moved to Olympia, Wash. She lived and worked in Olympia for five years, but she and Mike yearned to get back to the Midwest. While looking at jobs in Wisconsin, Stephanie and Mike’s realtor showed them a picture of their current farmhouse, and they instantly fell in love with it. She began working as a family doctor at Preston’s brand new OMC shortly thereafter.
Dr. Jakim looked back on her years at the Preston OMC with a great sense of satisfaction. She took time to praise the staff that she’s had the pleasure of working with over the years. She also reflected on how it was to be a doctor throughout the pandemic. “It was obviously hard on everybody,” said Dr. Jakim, “I especially felt bad for the parents and children going through it.” In order to be sure workers were sufficiently spread out, Dr. Jakim would sometimes be assigned to work at the Chatfield OMC during the pandemic.
One thing that Stephanie Jakim appreciated about working as a family doctor was how her patients were intergenerational. Throughout the years she would treat children, their parents, and their grandparents. Dr. Jakim spoke especially fondly of her elderly patients. It was not at all uncommon for her to make house calls, when required. Even in her last few weeks of working she would travel to hospice patients to provide end of life care.
Throughout her time as a family doctor Dr. Jakim has accumulated several incredible stories. She recalled when a man suffered a heart attack in the waiting room of the clinic. Dr. Jakim gave props to the ambulance for getting the man to Mayo for the care he needed so promptly. Dr. Jakim even delivered her own granddaughter! She had already offered to be her daughter’s labor coach, but when contractions were only minutes apart, she jumped into action. “It had been years since I’d helped deliver a baby, but it’s just like riding a bike,” she said. That same evening she helped serve brats at a local fundraiser – talk about a busy day!
Dr. Stephanie Jakim’s co-workers will be throwing her a retirement party on April 29. In retirement Stephanie looks forward to doing what she wants, when she wants. She’ll also be able to enjoy spending more time with her grandchildren, Xiomar, Xia and Xavier (whom she lovingly refers to as her X-team). Dr. Jakim’s patients will sorely miss her and wish her a happy and healthy retirement.