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Family nurse practitioner Cecilia Stahlhood joins Oaklawn’s Coldwater office

COLDWATER – While young Cecilia Gawart was growing up in her hometown of Battle Creek, her family’s trove of popular magazines seemed destined to steer her toward a fulfilling career in medicine.

“When I was a kid in the early 1980s, my parents used to read the Reader’s Digest, and I used to love reading all the medical articles,” she said.

Now married with a family of her own, Cecilia Stahlhood is preparing to further her medical career with the Oaklawn Medical Group. In her role as a family nurse practitioner, she has been assigned to work out of the Oaklawn Primary Care office based at 375 N. Willowbrook Road in Coldwater. Appointments there may be made by calling (517) 924-1605.

Stahlhood is no stranger to the Coldwater area, having worked with several of the medical providers there during her clinical rotations as a nurse practitioner student.

That academic pathway actually began when Cecilia — barely in her teens — browsed through those copies of Reader’s Digest. One of the most popular features in the magazine was a series of health-based informative articles with titles such as “I Am Joe’s Heart” and “I Am Joe’s Spleen,” focusing on the various ways the human body functions.

“I was drawn by the human-interest pieces and was fascinated with what people went through — how they could survive health problems and come out all right on the other side,” she said.

After graduation from Harper Creek High School, Stahlhood earned a bachelor of science degree in 1994 from Western Michigan University, focusing on her initial career choice in community health education, which occupied her for the next several years.

In time, however, Stahlhood recognized that nursing “was something that I’d always wanted to do.” As a result, she went on to pursue an associate of science degree in nursing, graduating from Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek in 2002.

For more then a decade and a half, Stahlhood worked as a registered nurse, gaining clinical experience in pediatrics, women’s health, surgery, orthopedics, neurology and trauma medicine.

Stahlhood obtained a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Chamberlain University in Downers Grove, Illinois, graduating in 2019, and went on to each a master of science degree in nursing from the same institution, graduating in 2021.

As a student, Stahlhood gained valuable experience in several of the Oaklawn Medical Group’s primary-care offices, including those at Olivet, Beadle Lake near Battle Creek, Michigan Avenue Primary Care in Marshall and the Coldwater office where she now is based.

Stahlhood is licensed in Michigan as an advanced-practice registered nurse and is certified as a family nurse practitioner by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, of which she is a member.

Although Oaklawn has a broad range of services throughout the region, Stahlhood observed that its roots lie in the communities it serves.

“Oaklawn is smaller in nature, so it feels more like home and family,” she said. “I did my clinical rotations at Oaklawn and got that feeling at each office where I worked.”

Stahlhood and her husband Rahjah reside in Battle Creek with her stepson Kadyn, 15, and her daughter Aleena, 12.

“We enjoy being outside,” Stahlhood said of her family activities. That includes water-based activities at Michigan lakes, including kayaking, boating and motor camping.