Patient Tells Newspaper Readers He ‘Feels at Home’ With His Ascension Seton Doctor



Pictured (left to right): Tina Turner-Bell, CMA, Peggy Reed, Practice Manager, Samantha Cheatham, CMA, Stephanie Sanchez, CSR and Dr. Randall Kirtley. Not pictured is Kendall Loveday, CMA. Photo courtesy of Terri Slaughter.

After falling and banging up his knee, patient Richard Skelly consulted with his insurance carrier. They told him to go without delay to the Ascension Seton Family of Doctors in Lockhart. The rest of the story was told in the local newspaper, the Lockhart Post Register.

In a letter to the editor, the patient said, “After the usual greetings, I went into detail as to why I was there. Dr. Kirtley actually listened to me. He asked necessary questions. He showed sincere compassion, was totally polite, friendly and, above all, professional. He made me feel at home.”

This was no news to the team that works with Dr. Randall Kirtley. Like a country doctor, the family practice physician goes the extra mile to care for his patients.

“He never fails to spend time listening to his patients and he treats all like they are his only patient,” said Terri Slaughter, relationship manager, clinical enterprise family practice, Ascension Seton. “When patients are in the hospital, he will call and often visit them in person. He keeps up with his patients.”

When Dr. Kirtley first started practicing in Lockhart 25 years ago, he worried his patients might find his follow up intrusive. He quickly learned that they appreciated his interest and concern.

He will be the first to defer accolades and will quickly point out that he could not be successful without the support of his clinical team. The Lockhart clinic employs two medical assistants, two front office staff and practice manager Peggy Reed. Staff turnover at the Lockhart clinic is extremely low.

Reed, who has been on staff for 17 years and a patient even longer, says the team’s secret recipe is that they are like family to one another.

“We have each other’s back,” said Reed. “We have our ups and downs, but it’s a lot of fun working together.”

Small-town, family doctors used to do it all, including labor and delivery. In fact, Dr. Kirtley delivered babies who now visit him for their college physicals.

“I always wanted to be a doctor,” said Dr. Kirtley. “I enjoy people and I like to work with a variety of medical needs. I also like that I’m aligned with a big organization with a Christian mission and many resources, but still based in a small town.”

Originally from Mesquite, Dr. Kirtley was recruited to Lockhart in 1989. Since then, the community has grown and he has his own family living locally. His two daughters live in and around Kyle and his mother recently moved to the area.

Dr. Kirtley insists that he and his team are simply doing what they are supposed to be doing – their jobs. But for patients like Richard Skelly, his patient-centered approach stands out.