Horizon’s Blackville Health Centre provides care in the community

In the rural community of Blackville, citizens have access to quality care, close to home at Horizon’s Blackville Health Centre.

Just off Main Street on Schafer Lane, the health centre is a family practice that provides services to the village of Blackville and its outlying communities.

The health centre is staffed by Patty McNeil and Faith Warren, administrative support workers, and Wendy Vickers, a registered nurse who is also the health centre’s coordinator. Dr. Arthur Losier and Dr. Nina Zigante have practices at the health centre, and between to the two doctors, one is available to see patients Monday to Friday.  

The two physicians work collaboratively with the health centre team to support patients and clients.

“We have a family practice, and I’m available to the community for anything people might need,” Wendy said. “If a patient needs to see Dr. Zigante and she’s on vacation, we can get them in to see Dr. Losier and vice versa. They’ll never go without care.”

Sometimes a patient will call for something that isn’t urgent, but they need to see a physician, and theirs is unavailable. The administrator can book them in with the other, that way, the client is able to be cared for without leaving Blackville.

“People are used to coming to the health centre. They don’t want to have to drive to the city,” Wendy said.

Services available at the health centre include addiction and mental health, clinical services, injections and vaccines (in conjunction with Blackville Public Health), and baby wellness clinics.

“They can come in and get their sutures removed, wound care, dressing changes and those kinds of services,” said Wendy.

They allow specimens to be dropped off Monday, Wednesday and Friday before 11 a.m. and do on-site blood collection on Tuesdays from 8 to 10:30 a.m.

“This means anytime one of our physicians orders bloodwork, our admin can book the appointment on their way out the door,” Wendy said. “We can usually get them back in for bloodwork before a couple of weeks.”

This saves patients and clients the 90-minute round trip to Horizon’s Miramichi Regional Hospital for bloodwork.

“Driving to the distance to the Miramichi hospital for care isn’t always ideal, especially in the winter,” Wendy said. “Considering we have an older population, we want to ensure they can receive care right here at home.”

In addition to clinical and lab services, the health centre hosts monthly diabetes clinics with a dietitian and nurse.

“There’s a definite need in our area for diabetes clinics, so that one is always happening,” Wendy said. “Depending on what the population needs, we’ll provide clinics.”