Thrive by IU Health

July 26, 2023

Coleman Center medical assistant has been drawing blood for more than 40 years

Coleman Center medical assistant has been drawing blood for more than 40 years

She was trained on the job as a phlebotomist and brought her skills to IU Health three decades ago.

By TJ Banes, IU Health Senior Journalist,

Her co-workers know her as “Mama Kim” because Kimberly “Kim” Manuel has formed such strong bonds with her patients and team members.

Manuel started working with patient EKG in 1993. A year later she joined Coleman Center for Women’s Health and she hasn’t left since. Now, as she wraps up her career in healthcare, Manuel’s co-workers share their praises for a job well done.

“I hear her conversations with patients, and she knows them personally and their families and has watched their children grow. She is my own go-to when I need a ‘mom talk,’” said medical assistant Michelle Steele.

Manuel’s role has included both patient care tech and medical assistant. Early in her career, she was involved in direct patient care. Over the years, her role focused on blood draws. She also helps order supplies, organize new doctor and patient packets and any other project that needs an extra set of experienced hands.

A graduate of Shortridge High School, Manuel first thought about pursing a career in nursing. She completed training as a Certified Nursing Assistant and then learned about the phlebotomy training at Wishard.

“I love working with the patients,” said Manuel, who recently spent time talking to patient, Kayla Nuckles who came to Coleman for a blood draw. Like many of the patients at Coleman Center, Nuckles has a history with IU Health - through pregnancy and childbirth. In May 2022, at 14 weeks, she miscarried her daughter, Penelope. Since then she has spoken openly about her loss.

“I’ve seen some of these patients over and over again,” said Manuel. Her patients know her by name and she knows each of them by name.

“She is kind and compassionate and has raised and trained many team members at Coleman over the years,” said Michelle Mackintosh, manager of Coleman Center.

“I have had many patients say they only want Kim to draw their blood.  She has been such a vital, integral part of our team here at Coleman,” said Dr. Alissa Conklin.

“She’s a master at her craft of drawing blood and paying attention to details and the patient simultaneously. She knows when there is a need to distract them with stories or have someone else come in to help,” said medical assistant, Valerie Springer

Manuel said she’s going go to miss her co-workers and patients and is looking forward to starting her next chapter in retirement. She plans to enjoy time with her family - two adult children, three grandchildren and one great-grandson. She wants to spend more time exercising, learning sign language and Spanish, and creating jewelry and crafts,