The Slocan Wellness Centre is reopening thanks to the arrival of nurse practitioner Donna Gibbons. To celebrate, the village is hosting a grand opening on Saturday, April 11 at 10 a.m.
Residents are invited to drop in to see the clinic space and possibly make an appointment.
Mayor Jessica Lunn said the reopening of the clinic with a nurse practitioner is important for the community as a lot of people do not have a family doctor. This will be an opportunity for the public to meet Gibbons, as well as acupuncturist Leslie Jordan and psychologist Dr. Sarah Sherrard.
Gibbons, who has been working in New Denver since December, will be at the Slocan clinic one day per week, but with her first two days already fully booked, she suspects she will be at the Slocan clinic more often.
Gibbons has been setting the clinic up and said she’s very happy to be able to serve the Slocan Valley. As a nurse practitioner she can perform many functions of a family physician.
Nurse practitioners are registered nurses who have additional education and nursing experience. They can diagnose and treat illnesses, order tests and prescribe most medications.
Gibbons started her health care career as a midwife, apprenticing under two midwives in Edmonton, and completed a masters’ degree in nursing (advanced practical obstetrics) at the University of Alberta.
After many years as a midwife, she took nurse practitioner training and worked at the maternal fetal medicine Clinic at the Lois Hole Hospital for Women, and then in the family practice program.
From Edmonton originally, she and her husband purchased land in Kaslo two decades ago. They were finally able to move permanently to the West Kootenay when the New Denver position came up last year.