World trav­eler sets roots in New­ton

Fam­ily brings doc­tor to Cov­ing­ton

The Covington News - - Front Page - By Michelle Kim

For Dr. Erinne Gra­ham and her fam­ily, 2008 has been a year of great change.

Af­ter more than a decade with the Navy, hav­ing lived through­out the world, Gra­ham is be­com­ing a civil­ian again and set­ting roots in the Cov­ing­ton area.

“This is a big start­ing over,” said the af­fa­ble OB-GYN sur­geon, of mov­ing from Naples, Italy, where she and her fam­ily – hus­band Tovi, son Erik, 5, and daugh­ter Arya, 3 - lived for the past two years. “I’m leav­ing out of the Navy,” she said, “and I’m turn­ing 35.”

Gra­ham, a na­tive of White Springs, Fla., was brought to the area by Dr. Cathy Lar­ri­more, who trained Gra­ham while the two were at the Naval Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Portsmouth, Va.

“We teased that one day, we’d be out of the mil­i­tary and she would call me up, just like she did, to tell me she was get­ting out,” said Lar­ri­more, who set up her own prac­tice in Cov­ing­ton in 2004, but found she needed to ex­pand to keep up with new pa­tients.

Hav­ing fam­ily in the area was a fac­tor in her de­ci­sion, said Gra­ham, but she also ap­pre­ci­ated Cov­ing­ton’s slower pace of life, green­ery, open space and ac­ces­si­bil­ity to the big city.

Gra­ham is no stranger to strik­ing out in new di­rec­tions. Though most of her fam­ily mem­bers were ed­u­ca­tors, she caught the bug to be­come a doc­tor af­ter par­tic­i­pat­ing in a More­house sum­mer sci­ence pro­gram.

“I set a goal early on and con­tin­ued to­wards that path,” she said.

Af­ter grad­u­at­ing from Spel­man Col­lege in At­lanta, she joined the mil­i­tary, which paid for her med­i­cal school at the Uni­ver­sity of South Florida, in Tampa. Upon grad­u­a­tion she was sta­tioned in Vir­ginia, Guam and Italy.

Be­ing in the Navy gave her an op­por­tu­nity to see many things, such as the pyra­mids in Egypt. “You stand next to th­ese things, and you’re like, ‘Oh my good­ness. Hu­mans did this!” It also al­lowed her to ex­pe­ri­ence life abroad. “Over­seas coun­tries have a dif­fer­ent pace to life,” she said. “Ev­ery­thing hap­pens in its own time. You pri­or­i­tize things dif­fer­ently.” She re­al­ized pa­tients of other na­tion­al­i­ties also have dif­fer­ent ex­pec­ta­tions of their doc­tors and their health­care. “Some­times there’s more hand­hold­ing. Some pa­tients want to have 100 per­cent ac­cess to doc­tors,” any time of the day or night, she said. But af­ter 12 years in the ser­vice, Gra­ham felt it was time to set­tle down with a sta­ble home for her fam­ily. “My par­ents have had the same ad­dress for 40 years, and I want that for them,” she said. “I’ve thor­oughly en­joyed my time in the Navy, but it’s time to do some­thing for my fam­ily, be­cause they sac­ri­ficed for me. It’s time to make changes for them,” she said. Gra­ham be­gins work­ing with Lar­ri­more’s prac­tice in Oc­to­ber and starts see­ing pa­tients Nov. 3, ac­cord­ing to Of­fice Man­ager Liz Har­ris.

Michelle Kim/The Cov­ing­ton News

The doc­tor is in: Dr. Erinne Gra­ham a re­cent trans­plant to New­ton County from Naples, Italy, said she ap­pre­ci­ated Cov­ing­ton's slower pace of life and open spa­ces.

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