Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

September 25, 2013

Bellefonte expands: New pediatrics wing shows growth in Grayson

By Leeann Akers - Editor

Sept. 25, 2013 —

In a time when the future of medicine is uncertain, hospitals are laying off workers and no one knows quite what the new health care mandates will mean for hospitals. But Bellefonte Primary Care in Grayson is expanding.

The cilnic will open the doors to its new pediatric wing on Monday, and Dr. Karem Menezes and Nurse Practioner Maria Sargent will have a lot more space to treat their patients.

When the clinic opened a couple of years ago, the plan was always to expand into the unused portion of the building. But no real plan was in place for specifics. The new pediatric wing, which boasts waiting areas for both well and sick children, will cater to the smallest patient.

Menezes joined the staff at the clinic about a year ago. She earned her medical degree from Montemorelos University's School of Medicine in Montemorelos, Mexico.  She completeed a pediatric residency and her pediatric internship at Miami Children's Hosptial in addition to a prior pediatric residency at Monterrey Institute of Technology and higher education in Monterrey, Mexico.  Dr. Menezes also completed an internship at Silvestre Adventist Hostpial in Rio de Janerio.

Sargent is a Grayson native who attended the University of Kentucky and spent more than a decade working in pediatric ICU. She has been on board with Bellfonte for more than five years and a PA specializing in pediatrics.

“It is nice to be able to see patients over the years and watch their growth and development,” Sargent said. “Being in ICU, you were with a family in crisis. Now, I see patients in the good times too.”

Although Menezes is from Brazil origionally, she is very happy to call the tri-state area home.

“I plan to stay here. I like it here because I get the opportunity to see a veriety of problems in different patients,” Menezes said. “Maria and I are very hands on here because we are alone.”

Menezes and Sargent agree that working in Grayson is a lot like pediatric care in the past, when care givers had to be more well rounded.

“A family care doctor, although a wonderful trained professional, they might miss something that we are trained to see specifically,” Menezes said. “I have grown a lot as a person and as a doctor by working here, and you can't get that in larger cities.”

Both women aknowlege that many people in the area are in the habit of taking their children out of town for care.

“That's just how it has always been done, you see it in lots of small towns,” Sargent said. “But we have skilled people right here in town who are offering the same high level of care – as soon as people realize we are here.”

To schedule an appointment with Sargent or Menezes, call 474-0669. In addition to regular office hours, Sargent also schedules patients on Saturdays.


Leeann Akers can be reached at or by phone at 474-5101.