Dr. Na­dine Arse­nault-Sam­son re­ceives hon­our from P.E.I. French Heath Net­work

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CLASSIFIEDS/FEATURES -

The P.E.I. French Health Net­work (PEIFHN) has a new cam­paign, Étoile Santé, whose pur­pose is to pro­mote, re­cruit and make peo­ple aware of health pro­fes­sion­als who of­fer French­language health ser­vices in Prince Ed­ward Is­land.

The award was re­cently given to Dr. Na­dine Arse­nault-Sam­son of Summerside.

Find­ing French-lan­guage health pro­fes­sion­als and ac­cess­ing the ser­vices they of­fer re­mains a chal­lenge in in­creas­ing French-lan­guage health ser­vices here in Prince Ed­ward Is­land. It is cru­cial to make French-lan­guage pro­fes­sion­als more ac­ces­si­ble and vis­i­ble in the com­mu­nity. It’s the rai­son d’être of the Étoile Santé cam­paign.

A na­tive of Saint-Ti­mothée in the Evan­ge­line area, Arse­nault-Sam­son opened her fam­ily medicine prac­tice in Summerside in 2006. She has since been a pil­lar in the field of health for Fran­co­phones liv­ing in East Prince and be­yond. Her ex­per­tise, car­ing na­ture, thought­ful­ness and pa­tience make her a true “Étoile Santé” in the life of hun­dreds of fam­i­lies.

“I’m one of the only doc­tors who speak French in the East Prince re­gion.”

Fol­low­ing three years of study at Univer­sité de Monc­ton, Arse­nault-Sam­son stud­ied at Univer­sité Laval in Que­bec for seven years, which in­cluded a two-year res­i­dency. She sees ap­prox­i­mately 1,000 pa­tients on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

“I would say my fam­ily medicine prac­tice takes up 80 per cent of my time. I also spend 10 per cent of my time do­ing pal­lia­tive care, both in hos­pi­tal and home set­tings.”

Among her other du­ties, Arse­nault-Sam­son teaches, regularly wel­com­ing in­terns who are at dif­fer­ent stages of their train­ing. She also does on-call weeks at the hos­pi­tal. “Dur­ing my weeks, I visit hos­pi­tal­ized pa­tients and I’m also on-call 24 hours a day.”

Na­dine Arse­nault-Sam­son, who has been a fam­ily physi­cian in Summerside for nine years now, is mar­ried and has two girls who speak French very well, but who would have dif­fi­culty mak­ing them­selves fully un­der­stood in English, if they re­quired emer­gency care or had to con­sul­tant a spe­cial­ist.

“We live in French, the girls go to a French school, and my hus­band speaks French. I’m bilin­gual, but when I’m tired or when I get called at 2 a.m., I even have a hard time find­ing my words in English. So I know that there truly is a need when peo­ple ask for ser­vices in French, and I think it’s be­com­ing more and more ac­cepted in health care on the Is­land”

Peo­ple are en­cour­aged to nom­i­nate health pro­fes­sion­als who ac­tively of­fer French-lan­guage health ser­vices in Prince Ed­ward Is­land. For more in­for­ma­tion on the Étoile Santé cam­paign or to nom­i­nate some­one di­rectly on the PEIFHN’s Web site, go to www.san­teipe.ca.

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