Riverside Cardiology Specialists
The woman who inspired Kim Liebold to go into nursing also taught her that good work – and any recognition that came with it – should never be about her.
Liebold’s grandmother had to drop out of nursing school due to family needs, yet she still became a much-loved unofficial caregiver for her community. She believed God worked through her and many others to help people who were sick or struggling. And she was thrilled her granddaughter, now an Adult Nurse Practitioner specializing in cardiology for more than 21 years, could finish what she started.
“I remember giving her my ‘white nurse’s cap’ when I graduated because she always admired what it stood for,” Liebold says. “My love for the practice of nursing, medicine and my faith all work together to be a gift that I cherish and am blessed to have.”
Liebold’s philosophy of gratitude has guided her in her career, volunteer work and personal life, even after she lost her son when he was 20. Following Hunter’s death six years ago of complications linked to a sports injury, she found herself and others continuing in service projects in his honor – thereby spending extra time with their loved ones.
“I pledged through my grief journey to find the good in all things,” she explains. “We called this “The Hunter Effect’. There’s so much negative in the world, but equally so much good to be done.”
Liebold grew up in Smithfield, where she met her future husband, Scott, at age 15. The high school sweethearts, now married 32 years, raised two children, Hunter and Samantha; Scott is a retired Fire Chief of Newport News.
Encouraged by a biology teacher, Liebold trained as a registered nurse at Riverside School of Professional Nursing after her 1984 graduation from high school. While working full-time at Riverside’s CCU, she earned a bachelor’s in nursing from Christopher Newport. She later completed a master’s for ANP at Medical College of Virginia.
The complexities of the cardiovascular system always fascinated her, even in high school. As a CCU nurse in the late 1980’s, Liebold helped care for cardiac patients with newer technologies at Riverside such as thrombolytics, IV amiodarone and balloon angioplasty, and she embraced the challenges of learning about advanced cardiac life support as an early instructor. One of the region’s first specialty NPs in cardiology, she went on to specialize in arrhythmia management, cardiac device therapy, congestive heart failure management and risk factor reduction.
“I am honored to help patients through their journey, optimizing their health and quality of life,” she says. “I’ve been blessed to work with the most amazing cardiologists and now fellow NPs. I always want to take care of the person in front of me like I would want to be cared for.”
Alongside co-workers and their families, Liebold has volunteered extensively at the Peninsula Rescue Mission, which helps the homeless and less fortunate, from cooking and serving meals to handing out Halloween candy and Easter Baskets.
As co-youth director for Bethany United Methodist Church in Smithfield for 15-plus years, Liebold has helped educate more than 1,000 local residents in hands-only CPR. In addition, her young flock has encouraged placement of automated external defibrillators throughout the community and done home repair in rural Appalachia.
In her spare time, Liebold enjoys running, taking violin lessons and visiting the Outer Banks with her family. She also has a second-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, which she originally started with Hunter as a hobby.
Liebold is quick to share all her successes with God and many other people in her life, including those under her care: “I get more out of helping others, and from my patients, then they ever get from me.”