February is full of heart, when we celebrate both National Heart Month and Valentine’s. It’s also Black History Month, which makes it a perfect time to introduce you to one of Roper St. Francis Healthcare’s most dynamic duos – Kenosha and Doug Gleaton. Both are smart as a whip, both are dedicated and accomplished caregivers and both LOVE caring for your loved ones. And as first generation doctors in their families and leaders in their community, they take seriously their job as role models for other young African Americans who may be thinking about a career in medicine.
For Kenosha, an OB/GYN, the road to medical school entailed sacrifice. Her parents were factory workers in Lancaster, S.C., and her mother was just 19 when Kenosha was born.
“When I was in middle school, my mom noticed I was veering off track, dating the wrong boy,” Kenosha told House Calls magazine in a 2012 Picture of Health profile. “She sold our new Maxima—which we were very proud of—and used the money to send me to a private school in Charlotte, an hour and a half away. I believe this was the turning point for me. It proved that I had options, introduced me to other cultures, and compelled me to make better choices.”
She went on to graduate from the College of Charleston and earn her MD from the Medical University of South Carolina, where she met her future husband.
Doug, a family medicine doctor, grew up in North Charleston and knew from an early age that he wanted to be a doctor, then worked hard to achieve his dream. He and Kenosha overlapped in medical school, but first caught each other’s eyes in church. Roots of faith and community run deep, and they offer talks to adolescents and teens on the importance of goal-setting, among other topics.
“I encourage patients to, ‘be the change you want to see,’” says Kenosha “Upward mobility is attainable, but without vision, nothing will change.”
So how does a professional couple busy taking care of patients (and two kids) find time to keep their own spark of romance alive? They make it a point to not bring their clinical work home, as much as possible.
“And we’ve committed to schedule one date night a month just for us,” says Doug.
This allows them to decompress, reconnect, and enjoy common interests they shared when they first met.
“We’ve come to realize that good marriages happen, while great marriages are intentionally built,” he adds. “The act of building requires work, patience, sweat and occasional tears! However, the result can be something beautiful that withstands the test of time and weathers the storm.”