Volunteer contributions improve mountain services

Jocelyn et al editFor over 10 years the Sun Peaks Health Centre has been offering convenient, local medical services to Sun Peaks residents and guests. And, for the last two years, those services have included a women’s clinic offered by Jocelyn Rhode, a nurse practitioner (NP) with over three decades of experience in the medical field.

The idea of providing a women’s clinic was hatched as Marg Kosolofski, and health centre volunteers, sought ways to better utilize the clinic and offer an array of needed services on the mountain. One area of need identified for this community was in offering young visitors and employees a clinic that could provide recommended health screening and services to people without primary care providers.

“Marg approached me to ask if I would be interested in providing my service as an NP at a Women’s Health Clinic. Of course I agreed! I love varying practice environments,” explains Rhode. “I always say that I have been nursing for so very long that it keeps things interesting and stimulating for me to be able to work with different staff and patients.”

Rhode’s experience has spanned nursing in clinical areas ranging from labour and delivery, general surgery, oncology, critical care, to the emergency room. She also practised in the Yukon for almost 12 years as an advanced practice nurse doing rural, emergency, transport and public health nursing. In 2005 she attended UBC, where she graduated with a master’s degree in Science of Nursing and Family Nurse Practitioner. Since 2007, she’s been Logan Lake’s only NP, and now that the community’s only physician has closed his practice, Rhode finds herself with a very full plate.

“I practise there full-time Monday to Friday,” explains Rhode. “The only physician left his practice at the end of February and did not find a replacement to assume care of his patients. What this means for my position is that I continue to provide the patient care and health care that I always have, except that I have also had to take on many patients left from the physician’s practice.”

But, this additional responsibility in Logan Lake hasn’t diminished Rhode’s long commitment to Sun Peaks.

“I (used to) volunteer with the Sun Peaks (Ski Patrol Emergency Medical Response Team (EMRT)) where I skied and was on-call for medical issues,” says Rhode. “I have a lifelong attachment to Sun Peaks, starting when it was just a small village at Tod Mountain. My volunteer work at the mountain is a perfect way for me to continue to retreat here and be amongst the outdoor lifestyle and interesting people.”

Going forward, the Women’s Clinic will be offered once a month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sundays for April and May, then back to twice a month for the ski season. Included in the services offered by the clinic are Pap screening, breast exams, laboratory and x-ray referral and colon cancer screening.

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