Home is Where the Heart isPosted on 02/27/2023

Rebecca Kalb, a southern Ohio native, is a nurse practitioner in the SOMC Cardiology Group, now serving the heart patients of her hometown.

Born and raised in Portsmouth, Kalb has spent most of her life in this community and loves the people here.

After earning her associate degree in Medical Laboratory Technology from Shawnee State University, life took Kalb north as she completed her Bachelor’s in Nursing from the Ohio State University. After earning her BSN, she started her career as a nurse at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, where she spent five years.

“Although we enjoyed the hustle and excitement of big city life, we never felt a sense of community and closeness with our neighbors when we lived away,” she said. “We decided to return home and set our roots here because we have always loved this community and feel this is exactly where we want to bring our talents and services.”

Upon returning to Portsmouth, Kalb spent five years as a nurse in the SOMC Heart Care Unit (HCU) and Intensive Care Unit (ICU). During her time in the HCU, she was involved with the implementation of SOMC’s open heart program, which she is incredibly proud to have been involved with.

After ten years as a nurse, Kalb, who loves learning, decided to pursue her MSN. She began her career as a nurse practitioner specializing in internal medicine/general to broaden her knowledge as a provider. She eventually transitioned to a palliative care role.

During this time, she unexpectedly lost her father to a heart attack.

“Over time, as I processed this loss, I grew a stronger desire to return to cardiac care so I could help prevent others from suffering this same outcome with themselves or loved ones,” she said.

Not long after, a cardiology position became available at SOMC. She knew this was where she belonged.

“I truly love this specialty and population of patients,” she said. “The most rewarding part of working in cardiology is the opportunity to have impactful interactions with patients and families. Heart disease is the number one killer, and cardiologists have the unique
opportunity to have a big influence on patient outcomes. Caring for a patient’s heart is very rewarding.”

She also finds the field of cardiology fascinating as it is an ever-evolving field where data and knowledge expand daily. Being able to look into someone’s heart and tailor therapy specifically for them is fulfilling to her.

“I get the privilege every day to help the sick recover, provide valuable support to those with chronic illnesses, and ensure patients receive the treatment/care they need to lead healthy lives,” she said. “My goal in this role was to keep patients as well managed as possible for as long as possible.”

Now, she is helping cardiac patients live healthy and active lives as a nurse practitioner for the SOMC Heart & Vascular Associates. She is also accepting new patients at the Ironton Family Health Center and the SOMC Vanceburg Family Practice & Specialty Associates.

When she isn’t serving the patients of the community, she spends her free time being very active in the community with her children.

“We have five children and couldn’t imagine raising them anywhere else,” she said. “We love feeling connected with the community and the people around us.”

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