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MARSHALL – When young Robin Lawrence was growing up in Battle Creek, one of her favorite television shows was the weekly NBC drama “Emergency!”
“When you’re 11 years old, it’s fun to think about being the ‘perfect nurse,’” she said.
Much has happened since then, including a real-life nursing career and marriage. Today, Robin Kuiper’s experience may not be quite the same as the fictional tension faced by Squad 51 of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, but her own medical work is no less challenging.
As a family nurse practitioner, Kuiper has joined the express-care team at Oaklawn, where she will be based primarily at Oaklawn — After Hours Express in Suite B at 1174 W. Michigan Ave., Marshall. Information about services there is available by calling (269) 789-4390.
Kuiper also will see patients at Oaklawn Express Care – Albion and Oaklawn Express Care – Beckley Road.
“I’ve always wanted to help people,” Kuiper recalled, adding that her interest in medical subjects must have begun when she was quite young. “I wanted to make sick people better.”
She was further inspired by an ongoing interest in the sciences, including chemistry, and — while attending Gull Lake High School in Richland — the young woman joined a friend in volunteering as a “candy striper” assisting staff at Battle Creek’s former Community Hospital.
Kuiper also took part in a health-occupations course at the high school, learning to provide some basic services while shadowing medical providers in Kalamazoo.
“I was the first one of a large family to go to college,” she said, adding that — once she had made the decision to pursue medicine as a career — her parents gave her significant encouragement.
After graduation from Gull Lake, Kuiper enrolled in the nursing program at Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek, from which she graduated in 1998 with an associate’s degree.
Kuiper worked for several years as a registered nurse and critical-care specialist at medical sites in the Battle Creek and Charlotte areas. In time, she enrolled at Battle Creek’s Spring Arbor University campus and graduated in 2007 with a bachelor of science degree in nursing.
Kuiper went on to work in various nursing capacities at medical sites in Battle Creek and Kalamazoo, and in 2020 enrolled in the University of Phoenix’s program for family nurse practitioners, graduating with a degree in that field in late 2022.
Kuiper’s medical resume includes experience working in urgent care and intensive care as well as cardiac and oncology patients. She is additionally certified in basic life support and advanced cardiac life support.
Kuiper has two adult children, Kesha of Battle Creek and Dustin of Kalamazoo. In her spare time, she enjoys reading science-fiction novels and true-crime thrillers. She lives in Kalamazoo with her husband, Mike, who works as an estimator for a printing company.
As a longtime Battle Creek resident, Kuiper says she feels fully at home in Calhoun County. Since her youthful visits to Marshall during the Christmas season, she said she has had a strong familiarity with the Marshall region and Oaklawn’s place in it.
“It’s a people-oriented place,” she said specifically of Oaklawn. “It represents its community very well. Everybody I know who lives around the area and has gone to Oaklawn for treatment likes the care that they get.”
That’s because the medical staff “gives good care and listens to their patients,” she said.
“That’s important to me because I like to listen to what patients have to say.”