In June 1993, the Finleys opened the Shady Cove Clinic. That first day was busy with Finley treating 16 patients, including one suffering from a heart attack. Because of an increase in the number of patients over the years, the clinic has since added two additional nurse practitioners, Laura Johnson and Tamera Zerby. While Johnson and Zerby work solely in the Shady Cove Clinic, Finley divides her week between both the Eagle Point and Shady Cove locations, said Glen, administrator of both clinics.
With the two clinics boasting thousands of patients, the three nurse practitioners are busy seeing men and women for chronic illness, high cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes and most other conditions. A practitioner does everything a family physician does. This includes fish hooks that Finley has become quite an expert at removing, added Glen with a chuckle. “We do get some interesting cases.”
Finley’s approach is holistic, meaning all facets of a patient are considered, including mental and social and not just physical well-being. She personally sees only 20 to 22 patients daily, she said. Finley’s goal is to answer any questions a patient may have and she schedules fewer appointments each day to allow for this.
The generous allocation of time is why people may choose a nurse practitioner for medical treatment. Some feel there is also a philosophical difference between doctors and nurse practitioners. A doctor may look at a patient and see a disease that needs to be cured while a practitioner sees a patient that needs to be healthy. There is a transition in this country from a majority of doctors treating patients to about one-half of medical care now being provided by nurse practitioners or physician assistants, said Glen.
A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who has completed graduate level education with either a master’s or doctoral degree and extensive training at the university level, explained Glen. A practitioner holds national board certification and is licensed or certified through state nursing boards. The priorities for a practitioner are prevention, wellness and patient education for healthy choices. Practitioners may prescribe medication.
With 18-years behind them, the Finleys are dedicated to keeping the Shady Cove Clinic open. They share patients with the Veterans Administration Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center and Clinics and they share patient notes with doctors. Both the Shady Cove and Eagle Point Clinics offer urgent care and the Eagle Point location also has x-ray equipment for orthopedic injuries. Annual physicals are available for truck drivers, athletes and others, said Finley.
New patients are welcome and the clinics take virtually all insurances that doctors in the Rogue Valley accept. Rural health clinics also have a special status under Medicare. The Oregon Health Plan is accepted as well as Tricare for military dependents. And there are plans for people with no insurance, said Glen.
The Shady Cove Medical Center is at 21990 Highway 62. For more information call 541-878-2022 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org The Eagle Point Medical Center is at 275 Loto Street. Call 541-830-0333 or e-mail email@example.com.
By Margaret Bradburn
for the Independent