Advertisement

Open Health Welcomes New Doctors

Share:

New Doctors Crop
Dr. Victoria Eguaoje and Dr. Eileen Burnett are joining the Open Health staff in Niverville.

The staff is growing at the Open Health medical clinic in Niverville. After being bought by the Town of Niverville in March 2020, the clinic is on its way to offering a full team of clinicians, one of the goals set by new management.

“A new part-time doctor joined us in early July,” says Kristen Fyfe, Open Health’s business manager. “Her name is Dr. Eileen Burnett. We are also looking forward to welcoming a new full-time doctor this fall, as well as another part-time doctor. We are hoping to be able to expand our services to include some evenings and Saturdays in the near future and these new positions should allow for this.”

Dr. Eileen Burnett grew up in Niverville and is a daughter-in-law to Drs. Chris and Mairi Burnett, founders of Open Health. She will be completing her Masters in Public Health over the next three years but has joined the clinic on a part-time basis to practice family medicine.

The new doctor sees the importance of having a passion for family medicine when working in a small town. She describes her specialty as “a unique area of medicine in which the physician can walk beside an individual, a family, and a community over time, through many different health issues.”

According to Fyfe, what makes Dr. Eileen Burnett unique is that she is the first person who grew up and graduated high school in Niverville to return to work in her home community as a physician.

“I am aware of the difficulties that exist in recruiting physicians to rural areas,” says Dr. Eileen Burnett. “Having grown up in Niverville, I feel privileged to give back some of my time and expertise to the town members, people who I consider to be extensions of my friends and family.”

Another doctor, Dr. Victoria Eguaoje, will be starting at Open Health full-time in early October. She joins the Niverville practice having completed a family medicine program from the Max Rady College of Medicine at the University of Manitoba. She also holds a medical degree from the University of Benin’s College of Medicine in Nigeria, and comes to her position with Open Health through a collaborative effort with Southern Health-Santé Sud.

Dr. Eguaoje describes herself as a global health enthusiast. She has a background in community involvement services and a focus on family health. She also has a special passion for youth and to see diversity in our community.

“I am passionate about diversity, inclusion, and representation,” says Dr. Eguaoje. She sees a strong connection between the social determinants of health and health outcomes and hopes to empower the next generation to address the root causes of health problems. “I look forward to providing [Niverville] with personalized, comprehensive healthcare focusing on family health needs, wellness, and prevention as I will be accepting new patients upon my start.”

These new staff members come to Open Health following an unprecedented move to involve the town after a serious health issue affected one of the main physicians and threatened the clinic’s operation.

On January 29, Drs. Chris and Mairi Burnett sat down with The Citizen to reveal that Mairi had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells in her bone marrow. By March, the Burnetts had sold the clinic to the Town of Niverville for $1. The town then oversaw the hiring of a business manager in March to ensure the clinic was able to maintain its services while Dr. Mairi focused on her health, which is now improving, albeit slowly.

“Dr. Mairi is improving slowly, still tired and wanting to do more than her body will allow,” says Dr. Chris. “We are both so thankful for the support from the community, for the prayers and wishes of so many, expressed in so many ways, over these past nine months. We are now looking at her possible return before the end of the year but are not sure what that looks like yet.”

Dr. Chris reflects not only on Mairi’s health journey, but the clinic’s journey over the past nine months.

“If this had been another community, I think the story of healthcare in Niverville could have been so tragically different,” he says. “This was before the advent of COVID-19 and no one could have foreseen the challenges of providing care in this setting. The town has done a great job and we are happy with the process. The bottom line is that without this move, the physician services in Niverville would have closed. It was our intention all along to create a community-owned clinic; the personal health circumstances caused us to have to accelerate this drastically and instead of a process spanning years, it took weeks. There are many unsung heroes during this transition and we remain thankful for their foresight and wisdom.”

As Dr. Chris implies, the staff changes come at a timely point in the history of public health in our province, and as Manitoba has recently been seeing an upswing in COVID-19 cases. Physicians have been encouraging patients to continue to reach out for care and not put off addressing their health needs amid fears of contracting the virus when out and about.

On top of adding new staff, Open Health has introduced virtual or teleconference appointments to help facilitate patient care.

For more information

https://openhealthniv.com

Advertisement
More LOCAL NEWS

Local Operation Red Nose Chapter to Stay Home in 2020

The volunteers and organizers behind the local chapter of Operation Red Nose, based out of St. Malo, have announced that they will not be running the program this upcoming December. Operation Red...

Read more

The volunteers and organizers behind the local chapter of Operation Red Nose, based out of St. Malo, have announced that they will not be running the program this upcoming December. Operation Red...

Read more

Niverville Council Meeting in Review—September 15

Niverville’s council met on the evening of Tuesday, September 15 to discuss a variety of items on the town’s agenda. New Church Sign After some discussion, the town approved a new...

Read more

Niverville’s council met on the evening of Tuesday, September 15 to discuss a variety of items on the town’s agenda. New Church Sign After some discussion, the town approved a new...

Read more
Advertisement

Heritage Pavilion Going Up in Niverville

One of Niverville’s long-gestating beautification projects is in its final stages of completion this week. The Heritage Pavilion, located in the Heritage Centre Gardens, is under construction now,...

Read more

One of Niverville’s long-gestating beautification projects is in its final stages of completion this week. The Heritage Pavilion, located in the Heritage Centre Gardens, is under construction now,...

Read more

St. Adolphe Market Creates Opportunity for Local Vendors

A new kind of event is popping up in St. Adolphe. With the help of two energetic organizers, the St. Adolphe Market aims to bring people together and raise money for community causes. Kira...

Read more

A new kind of event is popping up in St. Adolphe. With the help of two energetic organizers, the St. Adolphe Market aims to bring people together and raise money for community causes. Kira...

Read more
Advertisement

Ste. Agathe to Host Late Summer Parade and Fireworks

September may have arrived, but residents of Ste. Agathe still have one burst of summer fun to look forward to. Like so many other local events, the town’s annual Cheyenne Summer Festival,...

Read more

September may have arrived, but residents of Ste. Agathe still have one burst of summer fun to look forward to. Like so many other local events, the town’s annual Cheyenne Summer Festival,...

Read more

Market on 59 to Showcase Local Makers

Local vendors and artisans are gearing up to descend on the TC Energy Centre in Île-des-Chênes for the annual Market on 59 event, to be held this upcoming Sunday, September 13. The doors will open...

Read more

Local vendors and artisans are gearing up to descend on the TC Energy Centre in Île-des-Chênes for the annual Market on 59 event, to be held this upcoming Sunday, September 13. The doors will open...

Read more
Advertisement

Community Garage Sale, Clean-Up Day Around the Corner

Colder weather is looming, and many of us will be spending the next few weeks tying off the loose ends of summer. This often includes tidying up our homes, throwing out things that have been taking...

Read more

Colder weather is looming, and many of us will be spending the next few weeks tying off the loose ends of summer. This often includes tidying up our homes, throwing out things that have been taking...

Read more
Time until next issue
Citizen Poll

Do you think the province should enforce a Manitoba-wide mask mandate this fall when it comes to indoor public places?

For related article, see link below.
https://nivervillecitizen.com/news/local/q-a-mask-confusion-and-misinformation