dr kristia abernathy

Dr. Abernathy Returns Home to Serve North County Community

“I always planned to return home to help my community. I want to help take care of the people who took care of me. I’m so happy to be back home.”

Dr. Kristia Abernathy has returned to St. Louis to care for patients at the Affinia Healthcare location at 4414 N. Florissant Ave. A family medicine physician, Dr. Abernathy joined Affinia Healthcare in 2022 after completing her residency at Southern Illinois University Center for Family Medicine in Springfield, Ill.

For someone who admits to not caring for science in high school, Dr. Abernathy persevered because of the strong commitment to serve her community. Her first recollection of wanting to be a doctor was when she was a patient in the hospital.

“When I was nine, I was in the hospital but didn’t see any doctors who looked like me,” she recalled. “I wanted to be that for other young people.”

In 2011, Dr. Abernathy graduated from Hazelwood East High School and went on to Xavier University in Louisiana where she earned her bachelor’s degree in biology with a pre-med designation. She returned to St. Louis to attend Saint Louis University. She followed her passion for community outreach and did her residency at the SIU Center.

Throughout her schooling, Dr. Abernathy held onto her desire to serve her community. She would often volunteer to work at a free student-run clinic in North St. Louis, serve as a mentor for younger students, and volunteer at career fairs. And when she finished her residency, she knew her next step would be to join a federally qualified health center like Affinia Healthcare.

“I love my community and always want to see it grow and thrive,” Dr. Abernathy said.

Later this year, Dr. Abernathy will get the chance to practice medicine in her old neighborhood, North St. Louis County, when Affinia Healthcare opens its new location in Ferguson, Mo. The new location will provide medical, dental and behavioral healthcare in a new facility adjacent to the Emerson YMCA on Pershall Road. The new location is in response to a community needs assessment that showed the demand for healthcare services was outweighed by the resources available.

This makes the return home so much sweeter for Dr. Abernathy.

“There’s a need for doctors and care, especially primary care physicians, in this area and we want to help eliminate these healthcare deserts,” said Dr. Abernathy. “This allows us to focus on prevention and early diagnoses. We hope to make a positive impact on our patients’ health and ensure they are happy, healthy and thriving.”

“Dr. Abernathy is exactly what makes community health successful,” said Dr. Kendra Holmes, Affinia Healthcare President & CEO. “Her heart is for the community and her mission is to ensure our communities receive the best care available. We are so proud to have her at our new location in Ferguson, serving the community that helped make her the fantastic physician she has become.”