BIRHC Board Meeting has been cancelled for this Saturday, September 28th
New date will be announced when determined.
An inside look into being a health care provider on Beaver Island, by Dr John Martin
As many of you know I started seeing orthopedic patients as a volunteer starting back in 2014. When one of our two nurse practitioners left in October of 2017 the clinic was left in a bit of a bind as clearly one NP could not cover the clinic 24/7. I offered to help until the clinic could hire a full time replacement NP but of course as an Orthopedic Surgeon there would be limits to my involvement given I was not a primary care doctor. Although I have some training as a primary care physician (I am a certified USAF Flight Surgeon) I would never pretend to have the knowledge of say a Board Certified Family Practitioner. So after discussing the options with the BIRHC Board of Directors I renewed my ACLS certification and worked hard to update my primary care knowledge base and “filled in” to relieve the one remaining NP.
This is where life on the island takes form. In my naivete I kind of assumed we would have a replacement within a couple months. Well, finally, a year later we now have one! In retrospect this delay was of course predictable. When one thinks about the recruitment logistics it becomes clear this would be no easy task. First the new NP has to be someone willing to move full-time to the island. Because of the 24/7 coverage commuting to the mainland is not feasible. Second, the person must be willing to work for below market salary given the limited budget of the clinic. Also this new NP must be ACLS certified, capable of adult and pediatric care, and be willing to come in unpaid when conditions dictate “all hands on deck” situations. The good news is when one does find such a person they tend to be dedicated and compassionate toward their work.