Meet our team at Pediatric & Young Adult Clinic! Please take a few moments to learn about our skilled practitioners and our friendly, nurturing staff.
At Pediatric & Young Adult Clinic, we consider it both a great joy and responsibility to care for children. Most of us are parents ourselves, so we strive to be understanding and available to the families we are privileged to serve. We are honored that you have chosen us as your child's primary medical provider and are confident that you will be pleased with the quality of care and service that we can provide you and your family.
A vital part of our service to children begins with our outstanding staff who works hard to manage and maintain a professional, caring and supportive environment for our patients in a timely manner. Our doctors are lifelong learners. Not only have they received advanced medical training in pediatrics, they continually pursue ongoing education to stay abreast of the latest in child health care.
Your child's health is as important to us as it is to you. We look forward to providing you with excellent medical care your child deserves.
The "Dr. Dennis" Story
I am a third generation Oskaloosan and I never wanted to be anywhere but my hometown.
In early grade school I became the neighborhood doctor. My nickname was “Dr. Dennis”. I practiced on skinned knees and bloody noses. Both Dado and Aunt Dorothy taught me a few basics of health care, and my doctor kit had real syringes and a stethoscope! I am proud to be Dr. Dennis-Smithart but I will always be “Dr. Dennis”
My passion for academics, medical science, teaching, and advanced care knowledge are very much a part of me and I am blessed to give from that passion to the people of this area.
I grew up hearing girls could not be anything they wanted to be. My career goals were dismissed so many times it actually solidified my resolve to succeed. My parents, grandparents, Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Harry always encouraged me. My husband, Mike, has been my best friend since high school and always a great encouragement.
We married just before med school started, and he was my steadfast supporter; he did everything for me, with a smile and a backrub when I became weary. Late in my med school third year, I was filling out my elective schedule; and he looked it over and commented, "You don't have any peds next year." My response was a surprised gasp since it had not been intentional. He then kindly described his observations of my Med School 3rd year. Pediatrics had been my most time consuming rotation - arrive my 6:30am, and leave at 6-7pm; on call every 3rd round; on your patients every Sat/Sun. The other rotations were much easier, though still demanding. Mike pointed out that on the other rotations I was grouchy, but on Peds, I was the happiest he’d ever seen me. I had to admit he was right.
Some Med School staff suggested I should go into OB or peds, because I was “short and gentle”. I had been rebelling against their mindset. The more specialized fields played the game of one-upmanship; the pediatricians just wanted to help their patients and were willing to work as a team to do so. I realized no opinion mattered but mine and I wanted to be a pediatrician.
I thoroughly enjoy each day in the office. My patients are the best in the world. It is a privilege each time a parent entrusts their precious child to my care.
Things You Might Like to Know
- I was an Osky Indian Cheerleader
- I sing, and play the piano and clarinet
- I like to run, but am exquisitely slow.
- I can bore you to death talking about my four dogs.
- I like to hike, unicycle, and bicycle
- My favorite vacation is RAGBRAI -the oldest, longest and largest bike tour in the world
- Our daughter, Kelsey, is a graduate student at U of I, and plans to go into medicine.
CHRISTY ABOUT DR. DENNIS
“. . . . wonderful mentor and exemplary physician. She inspires me to be my best. She is a great patient advocate and works with other specialists, counselors, and school administration and teachers to help her patients reach their fullest potential. She is always looking for community resources that can help meet the needs of our patients."
Ms. Christine Doyle, ARNP, PNP
The "Ms. Christy" Story
I grew up in west central Illinois.
My Dad was a farmer; mom was a homemaker. We weren’t rich, but we certainly never felt deprived. Mom was an amazing seamstress and made nearly all of our clothes.
My Mom and her mom, Grandma Grady, taught me how to sew and to do nearly every craft involving a needle and thread or yarn. Every Christmas she gave us flannel nightgowns, however the best part of her gift was how beautifully she would decorate a package!! She personally kept the Elmer’s glue folks in business!! I can only imagine what she could have done with a glue gun!!
My Aunt Pauline would sometimes pull me out of school during the Christmas Season to perform singing gigs!! I would sing Christmas songs and sprinkle in a few of the songs of the 30’s and 40’s.
I spent many hours with Dad working on the farm. I helped with the hogs, learned to give shots to baby pigs, and spent many hours on a tractor cultivating crops. Harvest in the fall was my favorite; Dad drove the combine and I drove the truck. I am 5’2” and I got lot of looks when I would pull into the elevator with a truckload of grain!
I knew at an early age, I wanted to work in healthcare. I discovered that nursing was a very “hands-on” profession. So I became a nursing student. It was a good decision.
I got my bachelor’s degree in nursing at Wesleyan College and met my husband, Dennis. We were married in 1986!! We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary this May. We have two beautiful adult children.
I have had many wonderful experiences as a nurse. I worked in obstetrics and nursery right out of school. It was there I really got interested in pediatrics. Then I worked at a neonatal intensive care unit and had the opportunity to become a neonatal flight nurse.
Later I took a teaching position at a diploma nursing school and taught for several years while I worked on my Master’s degree in nursing at the University of Iowa. During that time I enrolled in the nurse practitioner program there. I loved it!!! I had finally found the perfect profession!
By God’s divine intervention, Dr. Dennis’ husband had successful heart surgery and she asked me to cover for a few days. I couldn’t say no and after just a few days of filling in, I was in love with the staff and certainly the wonderful patient families. Dr. Dennis had me ‘on the hook’ and when she offered the position I was ready!
Dr. Dennis about Ms. Christy
“She's much too humble. Besides her medical prowess, she cooks and crafts like Martha Stewart, can do home repairs/building like the guys on This Old House, and is almost never wrong about anything. When she does make a rare mistake, like the definition of an obscure word, I have to subdue my pleasure. My goal in life - To do something better than Christy."