Meet Campobello Island’s nurse practitioner

Chris Scalabrin

In August 2020, Horizon’s Campobello Island Health Centre (CIHC) welcomed Nurse Practitioner (NP) Christopher Scalabrin to the team.

On Campobello Island, the health centre team offers primary health care programs and services to Islanders with the main goal of improving community-based access to care and reducing the need for islanders to travel to the mainland for care.

These services include and are not limited to: specimen collection, diabetes education, respiratory health screening, mental health services, smoking cessation, methadone maintenance program as well as other programs, always with the goal of supporting community-based access.

Chris works full time on Campobello Island. Let’s get to know CIHC’s new NP through a Q&A!

Tell us about your education and training background

I graduated from Rutgers University, in New Jersey with a Bachelor of Arts in history in 1990. Then, I obtained a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Dominican College in Blauvelt, New York in 1994. Finally, in 2006, I graduated from the University of New Hampshire with my master’s in nursing with a Family Nurse Practitioner degree.

Where are you from originally?

I am originally from Northeast New Jersey and lived in New Jersey until at 31-years-old, when I moved to New Hampshire where I met my wife settled down and started a family.  In 2006 we moved to Saint Andrews and became permanent residents and eventually Canadian citizens.

Where did you begin your career to end up where you are today?

I started my career in Acute Psychiatric Services in 1990 and transitioned into Geriatric Psychiatric Services. After six years, when I moved to New Hampshire, I worked in a long-term care facility, then in Medical Surgical Services and then in Emergency Medicine where I remained for eight years.

After obtaining my Nurse Practitioner Degree I remained in Emergency Medicine until we moved to Saint Andrews, where I worked at the Calais Hospital in Primary Care and in Orthopedics. 

The role of a nurse practitioner is a little different in the United States, can you tell us how that experience has shaped your career?

In the U.S., nurse practitioners have been in practice for many years. While the privileges are similar between the U.S. and Canada, in the U.S. NPs have had their practices expanded into different specialties and in direct patient care in the hospitals.

Why did you want to be apart of the Horizon team?

I was ready to make a change in my career and Campobello Island was my choice.

Why’s it important for Campobello Island residents to have access to primary care, right on the island?

We know the importance of prevention and timely treatment, so readily available access to health care allows for a significant improvement in health outcomes and continuity of care.

What does a typical work day look like for you?

I arrive at CIHC early to review records and diagnostic results in order to plan and organize my day. Then I see regularly scheduled patients throughout the day and I always allow time for an acute visit. This is time reserved for someone with a sudden illness or issue. I finish my day reviewing labs, blood work and scans so I can arrange any follow ups if they’re needed.

Why do you love this job?

I enjoy helping others to improve their quality of life.

What’s the No. 1 piece of health care advice you give to family and friends?

Make sure to eat healthy, that you are getting a good night’s sleep, and have some form of dedicated exercise for 15 minutes per day five to six days per week.

If you’re a Campobello Island resident, looking for health care please reach out to Horizon’s Campobello Island Health Centre by calling 506-752-4100 or register with Patient Connect NB (811) if you are seeking a primary care provider. The CIHC is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., for appointments, and the team offers programs and groups during evenings and weekends as required.