Melissa Stoddart has already visited the area, said an announcement today (Oct. 6) by South West Health.
The Islands Health Centre will continue to see patients on Mondays and Fridays until Stoddart has completed an orientation period at the health centre in Freeport with nurse practitioner Connie Day.
Dr. Ken Buchholz of Annapolis Royal continues his support of nurse practitioners at the islands’ clinic as collaborating physician.
“The community has played an important part in this successful recruitment through their promotions of Long and Brier islands as a wonderful place to be,” said Tanya Nixon, vice president of community health for South West Health.
“Melissa’s successful recruitment is the outcome of the collaboration between our staff and the Islands community.”
Stoddart is the second nurse practitioner hired for the islands in the past year and a half. In April, 2010, South West Health announced the hiring of full-time nurse practitioner Constance Day, who was relocating from Alberta.
Day succeeded the popular Karen Snider, whose contract was not renewed the previous fall by South West Health, a decision that prompted much controversy on the Islands, as well as a protest at Province House.
Unlike Snider, Day did not move to the Freeport area, and soon stopped making the lengthy commute. Over the past year, area residents say the nurse practitioner position has mostly been filled on a temporary basis by visiting nurse practitioners.
The community has played an important part in this successful recruitment through their promotions of Long and Brier islands as a wonderful place to be. - Tanya Nixon, South West Health
South West Health did not announce whether Stoddart, the new nurse practitioner, will reside on the islands or commute.
Since 2003, Stoddart has been a community health nurse and public health nurse in the Northwest Territories and Manitoba. She graduated this year as a nurse practitioner from Dalhousie University and Aurora College in Yellowknife, and has also taught a few terms as clinical instructor at Dalhousie University.
Stoddart will take some new patients. People without a family physician or nurse practitioner are welcome to call 839-2398, South West Health said.
Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with advanced knowledge, training and experience. They can examine patients, perform screening tests like a pap test, order blood work and diagnostic imaging, write prescriptions, refer patients to specialists, diagnose medical problems and help manage chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.