L’ARDOISE: A new doctor will be starting here next month.

Sherry Sampson, managing director of the Dr. Kingston Memorial Community Health Centre in L’Ardoise explained that Dr. Kristen Iverson, who has been practicing out of the Richmond County medical clinic for the past two years, will be returning to British Columbia on September 20.

“… This was a kind of a transitionary thing for her and she just wants to be closer to her family who are on the other side of the country in Vancouver,” Sampson explained.

“We had hoped it would be more than the two years that had she signed up for or agreed to but it didn’t turn out to be that way.”

As a result of Dr. Iverson’s departure, her patients will be transferred to Dr. Kaylee Murphy, a native of Newtown, who will be starting at the health centre on August 20.

“Everybody has access to the same system here,” Sampson explained of the health centre. “Because we’re a collaborative practice, you can see any physician in our practice or any clinician in our practice, so the transfer of files is very minimal as far as that goes. It’s just the meeting and getting to know the patients.”

Dr. Murphy completed her undergraduate degree at Dalhousie University, then attended medical school at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry in London, Ontario. After completing medical school, Dr. Murphy returned to Nova Scotia for family medicine training through the Annapolis Valley site of Dalhousie University.

Sampson said the health centre’s stakeholders were “very pleased” to be able to quickly fill this gap.

“Actually, she came to us,” Sampson said of Dr. Murphy. “She came to our location, asked some questions about our practice here, asked if there was any availability in the area. At the time when she approached us, that was under certain circumstances because we were unsure at that point if Dr. Iverson was going to leave so we kept in touch with her for probably the past year back and forth as things evolved. We knew that she was receptive to coming to this area and to this facility and we kept in touch with her and when the decision was made for Dr. Iverson to leave, she was onboard.”

According to Sampson, the L’Ardoise-based health centre sees approximately 3,100 patients a year in an area covering parts of Cape Breton County, all of eastern Richmond County, as well as the communities of River Bourgeois and Louisdale.