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Caring for Generations of Northeast Georgians Since 1979

Generations Magazine
Caring for Generations of Northeast Georgians Since 1979



970 Lawrenceville Hwy, Lawrenceville, GA 30046

Caring for sick grandfather inspired Payne’s choice of career

She was just 16 when her beloved grandfather Franklin Rachels Sr. died, but during a battle with Parkinson’s disease, his young granddaughter was there by his side doing everything she knew to do to make him comfortable.

“I was trying to care for him, but I really didn’t know much of anything or how to take care of him,” Tiffany Payne said. “I felt helpless and I wanted to know more so the next time this happened, I wanted to be the one to step in and help.” Her grandfather died in 2006, and Payne said it hit her especially hard because he was the first close loss she had ever suffered. But during the years she took care of him, Payne said she realized she wanted to go into healthcare. She said it just “fit” her personality and that unlike some people, she learned she was not bothered by taking care of someone’s personal needs and requirements.

A native of Augusta, Payne graduated from Lakeside High School and enrolled at Georgia College in Milledgeville where she received her bachelor of science in nursing degree. She worked in nursing for about eight years before getting her nurse practitioner degree in 2018. Payne was a nurse for about eight years in cardiac, the cardiac intensive care unit and then in the postsurgical unit.

As a nurse practitioner for MedLink, located at 980 Lawrenceville Highway in Lawrenceville, Payne sees patients anywhere from 1-99-plus years of age for “anything and everything,” she said. She cares for patients with pediatric needs to managing diabetes to women’s health issues. Payne said she enjoyed being a nurse, but was only able to care for patients on a short-term basis.

“I wanted to see the whole picture and care for them on a long-term basis and get to know the patients,” she said, adding that’s why she went on to become a nurse practitioner. “...I absolutely loved being an RN, but getting to be a provider is a different level of care.” She joined MedLink in 2019, just as the COVID-19 pandemic was about to hit and said, “It was daunting, but we were open the whole time and never closed our doors.” She said MedLink continued to take care of its patients throughout the entire ordeal. MedLink is a federal health qualified community center and Payne explains it helps patients with or without insurance, offering a sliding fee scale.

Married to Kyle Payne, a physical therapist, she and her husband like to try new restaurants, go hiking and watch University of Georgia football games. And she loves her job. “Every day is something new,” Payne said. “No two days are ever the same.”

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