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Doctors Christie and French to lead Family Health Team board

Dr. Elizabeth Christie

Dr. John French

The Prince Edward Family Health Team (PEFHT) board of directors welcomed a new president and vice-president at their first meeting following the September annual general meeting.
Dr. Elizabeth Christie moves to president, from vice-president, replacing Dr. Greg Higgins and Dr. John French fills the vice-president position vacancy. They join board members Dr. Higgins, Dr. Cliff Rice, Dr. Kim Haigh, Nurse Practitioner Carol Hobbs and former County Mayor Leo Finnegan.

Dr. Christie completed her medical degree at McMaster University in 2004 and finished her family medicine residency training at Queen’s University in 2006. The Prince Edward County native also has a degree in law from Queen’s University, completed in 1992. She practiced public interest and environmental law in Toronto and Kingston until entering the McMaster School of Medicine. Dr. Christie shares a family practice with Dr. Josh Colby and NP Mary Woodman in Picton, and is an emergency department physician at Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital.

Dr. John French graduated from the University of Alberta with his MD in 1987.  Following his internship in Ohio, he first practiced in Picton in 1988. He spent a year working in New Zealand, then returned to the County where he has lived ever since.  Dr. French is currently an associate professor with the Department of Medicine with Queen’s University in Kingston and has family practice clinics in Picton and Wellington, as well as his duties as an emergency department physician at Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital.

“The board recognized and thanked Dr. Higgins for his excellent leadership as president over the first six years of the Family Health Team,” said Duff Sprague, executive director of the PEFHT. “It was the vision of Dr. Higgins and Dr. Rice that led to the application to the Ministry of Health for a Family Health Team. Their application was among the first received by the province.”

Today the PEFHT is affiliated with 23 family physician practices and employs nurse practitioners, RNs, social workers, dietitians, a pharmacist and administration staff. They offer specialized services in palliative care, congestive heart failure, cardiac rehabilitation, diabetes education, wound management, foot care, nutrition counseling, pre and postnatal care, family health, asthma, smoking cessation and mental health and is considered by many to be the standard for rural health teams.
The PEFHT’s unique Visiting Specialist Clinic program has brought specialists in psychiatry, heart failure, respirology, neurology, rheumatology, chronic pain, pediatrics and orthopedic medicine to Picton – services formerly available only in larger centres.

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