Nurse Practitioner Celia Evanson has been a welcome addition to the Rock Creek Health Centre Clinic since she took the position in January of this year.
Since then, Evanson has been offering various services to area residents each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, including prescribing medications, referring patients to specialists and ordering lab tests. Evanson calls her inaugural year a great success, and the Westbridge resident is looking forward to a lengthy stint as Rock Creek’s primary health practitioner.
“I don’t know exactly how many regular patients we have,” said Evanson, “but I do know that more than 600 people have been registered in our system. Residents have responded very positively indeed.”
Evanson also serves Greenwood one day per week, working alongside clinic head Dr. Michael Slatnik performing similar tasks as the resident doctor. While nurse practitioners are not qualified to diagnose diseases, perform surgery requiring anaesthetic or deliver babies, Evanson finds her role very similar to a general practitioner.
She also has an excellent support system within Interior Health, including internal medicine specialist Dr. Christine Simpson who offers specialized care weekly at the Rock Creek clinic. This means that if one of Evanson’s patients requires services that fall outside the parameters of a nurse practitioner’s mandate, she can easily refer them to Dr. Simpson, who is able to meet with the patient in Rock Creek and consequently save them a potentially arduous trip to larger centers such as Kelowna and Trail.
Evanson is no stranger to the Boundary, having spent considerable time here upon her parents relocation to Grand Forks years ago. She also did her nursing masters’ practicum in the region during her UBC program, so knows the area and its lifestyle well. Her family bought property in Westbridge recently with their sights set on building a home in which Evanson will not only eventually enjoy a well-earned retirement, but also an opportunity to remain in a region she has long found dear to her heart.
During the Rock Creek fire, Evanson, along with many others, found herself in a position to help, managing to convince authorities to allow the center to remain open, despite being within the evacuation zone. This allowed the clinic to provide support to those evacuees in need of basic medical services such as prescription drug refills and remain open beyond normal operating hours.
All in all, 2015 saw a big step forward for care delivery in the West Boundary, and most agree that Dr. Celia Evanson has been at the forefront of an ongoing drive to deliver excellent health care to this small, yet vibrant community.