PLATTSBURGH When it comes to health care, Jennifer Facteau-Rabideau believes patients should have a say in what treatments are provided to them.
"Most of the time, people just want to be heard; they just want to have somebody listen to them," the nurse practitioner said.
It is with that in mind that she recently opened her own practice, Small Town Health Care, where she strives to provide holistic, patient-focused primary care.
Located at 345 Cornelia St., the facility is the only nurse-practitioner-led practice in Plattsburgh and one of the first in the state.
Facteau-Rabideau saw a need for her services in this area, as so many additional people will have access to primary care under the Affordable Care Act.
In fact, 30 million more Americas will have access to health care under the legislation, she explained, so more and more advanced-practice nurses are needed to meet the increasing demand for primary-care services.
"There’s not enough physicians ... that’s why people end up in the ER and fast tracks for an ear infection or a sore tooth or something like that, because they don’t have a primary-care person," Facteau-Rabideau said.
As a nurse practitioner, the Saranac High School graduate is a registered nurse with a master's degree, which she obtained from SUNY Stony Brook in 2012.
Before earning her bachelor's degree from SUNY Plattsburgh, Facteau-Rabideau completed Clinton Community College's two-year nursing program in 1998.
“In every state in the United States, you can diagnose, treat and prescribe for patients (as a nurse practitioner), both primary care (and) specialty, from babies to 102 years old," she said.
Small Town Health Care, however, accepts only patients age 18 and older.
Though Facteau-Rabideau can sign off on her patients' charts and write prescriptions without the supervision of a medical doctor, the state does require that she have a collaborating physician.
Not all states require this, she noted, and there is legislation pending that would do away with the requirement in New York State.
Dr. Glenn Schroyer of Plattsburgh Medical Care currently serves as the nurse practitioner's collaborating physician; he does not work out of her office or oversee her daily operations, but the two are in contact every three months to discuss patients.
"If I have any questions, I can just call him," Facteau-Rabideau said.
Before starting her own practice, which opened on Oct. 1, 2013, Facteau-Rabideau was a nurse in the Intensive Care Unit at CVPH Medical Center for 10 years, worked in out-patient surgery at CVPH Health Plaza and most recently, served as a nurse practitioner with Dr. Zbigniew Wolczynski at Adirondack Primary Care.
Though the patients there were technically Wolczynski's, she said, she provided care for many of them and considered them her own.
So Facteau-Rabideau asked herself, "Why bother having somebody else in here if I could do it by myself?"
With the help of the North Country Small-Business Association, a loan through Glens Falls National Bank and the support of her family, she opened her own practice.
“I don’t think of it as a big deal," Facteau-Rabideau said. "It’s just what needs to be done and what I like to do.”
She and a number of family members renovated the office space themselves with the intention of creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
“People are more comfortable if it’s more homey, if it’s quiet," she said.
Patients are even greeted by the scent of a flickering candle as they enter the office's waiting room, which comprises chairs and tables of various sizes, reading materials and children's toys.
Small Town Health Care is considered a micro-practice, as it is run solely by Facteau-Rabideau and her office manager, Carrie Fuller, who also happens to be her first cousin.
“We’re a family-oriented practice that believes in taking care of people like we take care of our family," Fuller said.
Eventually, Facteau-Rabideau would like to bring another nurse practitioner, possibly one specializing in psychiatric care, into her practice, but for now, she is enjoying her new venture just the way it is.
“It feels good; it’s busy," she said. "It’s nice to do your own thing.”
Email Ashleigh Livingston:alivingstonpressrepublican.com
TO LEARN MORE
Small Town Health Care is currently accepting new patients and can be reached at 310-3090.