Love Without Hesitation: A Portneuf Love Story

Twenty-five years ago marks the engagement of Portneuf Medical Center lovebirds, Greg and Keri Kearns. Having met in what used to be Pocatello Regional Medical Center, Greg and Keri were both on the evening shifts. Greg worked as the evening x-ray technician, while Keri was on the switchboard. After many conversations in the parking lot (in scrubs and uniform), not even the cold temperatures could prevent their connection from growing stronger. “We were supposed to go out that fall, but because of scheduling conflicts we kept not being able to go out, but in December we finally got to go out and I think we were engaged within two months and married about a year and a half later,” explained Keri.

Greg joked, “A lot of people don’t know this- it's just a little weird fact- the whole reason they located her department offsite is so my productivity would go up. That’s the only reason.” Referred to as a nondate, Greg and Keri didn’t want to their first date to sound too official, so they skipped dinner and went straight to the movie- which they now consider their first date. But Greg would argue that their first date was the first three months in the parking lot talking after work. Shortly after, the pair were engaged by February 1994 and married in March of 1996. “The thing I remember most about the day I proposed was that there was no hesitation with either of us.  We both just knew we would be really happy together. Also, I remember the day I asked her father for her hand.  There was no hesitation from him either. I wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing at the time.” laughed Greg.

Soon after, the Kearns welcomed their firstborn, Brenden, at Pocatello Regional Medical Center. Brenden was the 100th baby born. Before the labor and delivery area was decorated, each employee had the opportunity to donate a piece of artwork to decorate the walls. Greg and Keri chose a painting of the “Princess and the Frog,” which now still can be seen in the nurse’s area and will always have a special place in their hearts, as well as their names on the painting.

Referring to himself as “uncle-dad,” Greg expanded their family and took in his niece Emma after losing his sister who had been in a state of coma for several months.  Emma describes Greg and Keri as, “People who love their families. They try to find the good and humor in everything.” Additionally, Emma found inspiration in how well Portneuf Medical staff attended to her mom that she decided to go into health care herself. “I chose healthcare because when my mom passed away I decided that helping people was just what I wanted to do.”

Now Greg, clinical coordinator manager for the cath lab and I.R. and Keri, clinical research associate at the cancer center continue their work at Portneuf Medical Center with Emma also on the team who is currently working in nutrition services while finishing her nursing degree at ISU. Greg and Keri now have a household of four children including Brenden-22, Emma- 21, Aaron-15, and Jenna-14. “We have a crazy busy life right now, working and chasing our amazing kids all over the place, but the truth is, I couldn’t be happier. I come home each day to a pretty great guy.  Occasionally getting to bump into him at work is a nice little bonus” reflected Keri.

After all they have experienced in love and in life, Keri shares that her favorite thing about Greg is his strength and loyalty. “He’s a wonderful father, adores his family and always puts us first. However, my absolute favorite thing about him is his sense of humor.” Ironically, Greg explains that his favorite thing about Keri is her sense of humor, “we both make one another laugh a lot every day.” Keri jokingly describes how she and Greg both forget about their anniversary. “Instead, he shows me all the time how much he loves me with all the little things he does - scraping my windshield in the mornings before heading to work, buying little gifts that will make my life easier, respecting how I feel about something even if he doesn’t understand why. It is easy to love and do things for him in return. So love should be something you relax into, trust and find strength in.”

We wish Greg and Keri a happy 25th engagement anniversary and are grateful to see their story flourish at Portneuf Medical Center.