Dr. Katy Lilly establishes roots in NH as she travels the world
DURHAM - Between treating patients, competing in triathlons, helping future medical students, traveling overseas and raising two children, it's hard to keep up with a local doctor.
Katy Fader Lilly, 34, who works as a family physician at Woodbury Family Practice in Newington, said she's inspired by positive change in herself, her community or globally.
As she works hard to give her patients - whether insured or not - the treatment they need, Lilly said she believes health care reform is the state's biggest obstacle.
Before coming to New Hampshire in 2007, Lilly said she looked forward to establishing some roots as she had moved seven times in seven years. She currently lives in Durham with her husband, John, and their two children, Jack, 9, and Maggie, 4.
Along with establishing her practice five years ago, she's served as a team physician at the University of New Hampshire, she is a member of the board of Growing Places - a local child care program - and was one of the doctors who started Healthcare GivES - a Seacoast group which helps raise awareness for social issues.
In the past two years, Lilly has organized half-marathon teams which raised more than $30,000 for Growing Places, while Healthcare GivES has collected more than $80,000 to help educate area residents.
Last August, Lilly said she traveled to Kenya with her son Jack, who was 7 at the time.
"Traveling to a developing country is an eye-opening experience," Lilly said.
For Lilly, it was the second time she had an opportunity to use and expand her medical knowledge while working with colleagues and helping care for "some of the sickest patients I have ever seen" with limited resources.
While she learned the power of listening to patients, Lilly said Jack had experiences of his own.
"Even at his young age, he was able to recognize how fortunate we are to live in the United States," Lilly said. "Interestingly, play is a universal language and he integrated right into a new culture wonderfully whether he was climbing trees with expatriate American children or making bows and arrows with Kenyan children."
If another opportunity to travel arises, Lilly said she hopes to visit Burundi, where some of her relatives are in the process of building a hospital in the small East African nation which is recovering from previous wars and conflicts.
Lilly said it would be an opportunity for the whole family, but she has no plans to travel yet.
"We hope to learn French and take trips there to work as time allows," Lilly said.
For the time being, Lilly said she would like to continue strengthening relationships with family and friends in the Seacoast during the next several years.
"New Hampshire is an ideal place for people to live, young and old," Lilly said, adding the state can draw visitors and new residents by communicating its strengths.
Lilly said the state possesses a rich combination of natural beauty - lakes, mountains and the ocean - and a major city, world-class medical facilities, quality schools and more.
"New Hampshire doesn't need to make drastic improvements," she said.